Wednesday, October 19, 2016

This month's TCRPC meeting and why it's important to know who is representing (or misrepresenting) you outside the City as well

The next Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council (TCRPC) meeting is this Friday, October 21st. To see the agenda use this link.

How the City of Lake Worth is represented by the elected's outside the City limits is vitally important. Since the topic of the FEC tracks that run through Lake Worth is a "hot" topic again the public deserves accurate and factual information. What you'll read below is a very poor job of communication vis-à-vis Brightline and the Florida East Coast (FEC) right-of-way.

The video below is Commissioner Ryan Maier's report to the City of Lake Worth about his attendance at a TCRPC. He claimed that the topic of "train horns" took up "most of the meeting". Just one problem. That's not true.
Maier was confused about train horns, quiet zones, and even thought (and may still believe) Lake Worth can make an ordinance controlling train horns in the City. That is not possible or even legal but how many people's expectations were raised by Maier that the City Commission had control over what happens on the FEC tracks? Laws concerning the FEC right-of-way are federal jurisdiction.

Lake Worth's liaison to the TCRPC is not to be taken lightly. It is very important to make sure that the City is not misrepresented about what is happening here, for example, false information about mangroves being cut down by the City at another Council meeting.

Now back to the FEC tracks: Maier 'explained' to the public (video above) that train horns have "bells" and changing the volume of the horns "is an easy fix". Again, not true. Train horns are made of chimes and changing the design is a difficult engineering task. And, once again, these are federal regulations. Do you recall the news the horn pitch/frequency are within the guidelines set? That's why the horns "sound" louder. It's not because the volume was increased.

Maier goes on to refer to Brightline as a "mass transit train" like a subway or some other form of mass transit. Again, not true. Maier may be confused with the Coastal Link to follow after AAF is operational.
Learn more about the Coastal Link and also watch an excellent news segment by former WPTV reporter Brian Entin using this link.

Then he made at least two references to "it's only going to get worse". What a comforting message for the public.

The topic of train horns, the FEC corridor, and Brightline are crucial topics that deserve careful study and an attention to details. The facts would be a good place to start, especially coming from an elected commissioner.