WPBF: Superintendent, other officials want All Aboard Florida project stopped
Posted on May 14, 2015
MARTIN COUNTY, Fla. —All Aboard Florida’s high-speed rail project will put school children at risk, according to leaders in Martin County.
The superintendent of schools joined other elected officials at a news conference Thursday morning, demanding the project be stopped.
Superintendent Laurie Gaylord said 8,000 students cross the tracks 350 times per day.
“High speed rail and a bus, (the) train’s going to win,” Gaylord said.
Martin County sheriff William Snyder said the thought of a high speed train colliding with a school bus keeps him up at night.
“The ultimate nightmare for me would be one of these buses stalled on a track and a train coming,” Snyder told WPBF 25 News.
The sheriff said the added 32 trains per day will make it more difficult for deputies to respond to calls and said AAF’s project just isn’t feasible in small Martin County towns.
“We are not set up for this kind of extra rail traffic, we don’t have the bridges that go over the crossings,” the sheriff said.
All Aboard Florida said safety is a top priority and said the high-speed rail will utilize a technology called Positive Train Control.
The technology, which is said to increase safety and help trains avoid collisions, would have prevented the train derailment in Philadelphia according to some experts.
Martin County commissioners have allocated $1.4-millon to fight AAF from a legal front, already filing a lawsuit.
Local lawmakers are urging to state not issue tax-exempt, low interest bonds to help fund the high speed rail project.
All Aboard Florida said that effort would only make the project more expensive and delay progress, not stop it all together.