All Aboard Florida: Vero Beach Balks at Road Safety

All_Aboard_Florida_Logo_Color_FinalAll Aboard Florida has proven to be a contentious issue on the Treasure Coast.

The City of Vero Beach is upset mainly because there will be no stop on their turf. Lacking a stop Vero Beach takes the role of a jealous ex and is seeking a way to stop the project, or force the train to stop in their territory.

Undeniably AAF should get no subsidies at all from any level. Taxation is theft and subsidies are inefficient interventions into the market. Yet it is likely the city council would champion the loan if Vero Beach had a stop.

vero beachVero Beach is upset because they are contracted to cross private property. The property owners want to use their 120year old train property more by adding another track. Vero Beach complains that since the property owner is using the property as long-intended they should not be able to do so as it causes inconveniences for road bureaucrats.

But city officials voiced concern about maintaining those crossing indefinitely, which is done at the expense of cities, not the railroad, under long-standing contracts with the Florida East Coast Railway.

Screw you serfs. Why should we maintain safety in the roads? As overlord Corteau put it what is in it for the government to keep their roads safe?

“Why should we have to spend more money because a private company wants to come through (Vero Beach), at no benefit to us?” Commissioner Don Croteau said.

The safety of Vero Beach roads has been brought to the headlines after the recent tragedy where no barrier was in place on the bridge.

If such lack of protection had occurred at Walt Disney World they would have to pay dearly for doing so and possibly face bankruptcy. That reality encourages businesses to maintain high standards of safety to avoid lawsuits and keep their customers happy and safe so they may keep coming back.

Vero Beach road managers have no such incentive. Instead “customers” have to protest which one such resident is doing.  Unfortunately this negligence isn’t contained to Vero Beach as there have been incidents of bicyclists and kids waiting for school buses being struck and killed on government roads.

She contends that “there is no reasonable explanation as to why the same precautions and safety measures (on the Merrill Barber Bridge) haven’t been applied” to the 17th Street Bridge, also known as the Alma Lee Loy Bridge.

walter block roadsYes the drunk driver in Vero Beach appears to be the ultimate cause of the tragedy but the proximate cause of the tragedy is government road bureaucracy. The same thing goes when senseless deaths of children occur waiting along government roads for government buses. The offending driver gets punished but the death traps remain the same.

Vero Beach officials are scoffing at maintaining safety on its roads even though as a gesture of goodwill AAF has voluntarily agreed to pay for the initial costs of the extra crossing construction.

All Aboard Florida would pay 100 percent of the cost for these improvements, Roberts added.

Yes they may do so with stolen money but they haven’t gotten the RRIF loan yet.

In typical bureaucratic fashion the officials whine that keeping people safe will require more effort on their part. No improvement or increases in efficiency just having to do more of the same is their problem.

Every year about 35,000 people die a year on government roads. In addition 5,000 pedestrians and bicyclists have died in Florida over the last decade.

Yet many of the Treasure Coast appear to be duped into blaming this deadly problem with government on All Aboard Florida.

Don’t be a dupe. Recognize the dangers and who is to blame for them. Remember your safety is no benefit to government (until it becomes an election issue).

“Why should we have to spend more money because a private company wants to come through (Vero Beach), at no benefit to us?” Commissioner Don Croteau said.

Vero Beach residents respond to All Aboard Florida – Story.

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  • Susan

    “The property owners want to use their 120year old train property more by adding another track. Vero Beach complains that since the property owner is using the property as long-intended”
    This is not the case. Flagler NEVER intended for 32 trains per day to run the tracks at 110mph. And the road developers, mainly post WWII, never intended to expose the citizenry to HSR since the owners of the RR never intended to.
    The FRA, whose job it is to protect the citizenry (I assume we can agree that the feds are suppose to protect the citizens?) has NO experience in regulating HSR through dense populations with 400+ at-grade crossings. In fact, no entity in the world has such experience – it isn’t done.
    It doesn’t matter who owns what or who is paying for what. What matters is how many will be killed.

    • Susan,
      The property was long intended to be used for train. Who are you to decide what Flagler would have or would not have done with the property? The FACT remains that this is train property and entirely within their right to increase the capacity to which they use private property they have valid contract to use.

      You ignoring this undermines property rights and in turn seeks to use the bureaucrats fought during Seven50 to undermine private property rights. It may be inconvenient for you but it, nonetheless, is still private property used by trains where the owners want to use their property more for which it was intended- transporting trains.

      We cannot agree that the feds are supposed to protect the citizens. That flies in the face of what states do. They seek to maintain and expand their power over the citizens, American history is case in point. The FRA is there to dole out favors to the historically crony railroad industry.

      If we are to infringe everyone’s right because of what may happen we wouldn’t need the Bill of Rights or any right. Your argument that there may be an accident and someone may die therefore we need to stop AAF has sinister parallels to gun control nuts. This may happen therefore we eliminate it.

      Nor is it conducive with freedom.

      You are more likely to be killed in a car accident than a train accident. Should we also ban cars and guns? Why not hammers, knives and hat pins?

      Being that AAF, unlike the FRA, is a private enterprise they would be subject to lawsuits seeking damages for lives lost and to ensure measures are taken to ensure safety. This threat that AAF faces, unlike all the road managers who have failed to provide safe crossings, motivates them to ensure safety and avoid lawsuits that could lead to bankruptcy and lack of ridership due to perceptions of unsafe travel.

      35,000 people die a year on the roads. 500 pedestrians and bicyclists a year in Florida alone. Yet you give these proven deaths a pass to attack an entity that may cause a death later while being fully responsible for it.

      Govt bureaucrats should be thanking your for deflecting their failures and blaming AAF.

      • Susan

        Wrong, the liability for the at grade crossings fall to the municipalities. That’s a part of those 60, 70 and 80 year old agreements made with Flagler and the old FEC. We shall see if FEC can sign over those contractual rights to AAF without the county’s permission.
        FDOT says that the FRA regulates the safety of the trains – so since the world isn’t perfect, do we just walk away and say, okay, it’s no problem? In your perfect world, how long does it take to change the regulatory functions from DC to the states? Let us know so we can plan for the future.
        In your scenario, any type of business can do whatever they want regardless of the effect on human life – if it’s what they’ve been doing – go right ahead. Sorry, but HSR was not intended for the coastal tracks whether it’s railroad related or not.
        I don’t give any deaths “a pass”, I’m just trying to stop MORE deaths – you give RR deaths a pass. I don’t have a perfect world, I have to work with the one I live in. Please talk with the families of the 35,000 people who died and ask them to do something about it…while they all drive their cars on the roads. I’m trying to stop more people from dying on a train track and by trains that don’t yet exist…seems like I have a better chance of making a difference and stopping deaths than you do. All you do is sit there taking shots at people who are trying to make a difference in an imperfect world.

        • dfrags

          Way to go Susan. Could not have said it any better.

        • At crossings yes municipalities are responsible for safety but the private entity could still be sued which also extends to accidents off the tracks.

          Your example takes problems with unelected bureaucrats and their failures and puts those at the feet of a third party.

          Your same statist argument of this may happen therefore we should prevent it is the same argument used by gun grabbers.

          There is no perfect world claimed only one where property rights are upheld from non-aggression. Being that the Liberty Caucus supports free markets there is no regulation from the feds that we support. Not one.

          The scenario described above highlight specifically that private companies do not act with impunity. Rather the bureaucrats that you bail out have impunity. Private enterprises are responsible for the consequences of their actions (as is every individual in a free society). The extent to which they are immune from this is not an act of the free market but instead an act of cronyism thru favored legislation in most cases.

          You take a bad system and double down on it while giving unelected bureaucrats continued immunity from deaths and even more irresponsibly blame others for their failures.

          There is no perfect world or utopian society. Accidents will happen and people can be bad.

          What you do is instead place all the power in the hands of those who pay no consequence for their failures. If you think that continuing the errors of placing decisions in the hands of people who bear no consequence of their actions you are gravely mistaken.

          The most dangerous saying is that it has always this way.

        • Do you notice that you here identify the government agencies as responsible yet blame All Aboard Florida? Don’t believe anything the government says. You would be wise to suspect the opposite. Such as No Child Left Behind, Affordable Care Act, Patriot Act, etc.
          We cannot attack govt centralized planning and then attack property rights to save centralized planning that is already failing while causing more deaths in a few month than suffered at 9/11 every year.

      • dfrags

        If your rant is the official voice of the Liberty caucus then drop me from your rolls because that was uncalled for. If you buy a piece of land in Vero, Miami or Washington D.C. to manufacture boats, does that mean later you can manufacture boats with nuclear reactors onboard with impunity? You are trying to broaden the issue wide enough to drive a train through it. but it was made for a burro. Yes the “intended use” is what the article brought up not Susan, if you didn’t want to get put on the spot you should not have brought it up.

        • Susan

          Thanks for that excellent example. I was thinking of an arms manufacturer that decides to produce volatile explosives on their land next to a kindergarten. And I can prove that Flagler never planned on 110mph trains through urban communities, too!

          • That example is terrible. It is not your job to prove the intent of what owners want to do with their property. In fact in matters only what the current owners want to do- which is increase train travel on train tracks.

            I am sure bureaucrats would tell you that they can prove some point in history your yard was not to be used that way.

            This is small town collectivist madness in the face of proeprty rights.

          • Susan

            Actually, what they really want to do is run more freight north to JAX and Orlando. If they were to pay for ALL of the costs to do that including building a second track, safety improvements and liability, then I would have no problem with that and it would be their private business.
            But based on the bogus ridership and financial numbers, they are using the HSR (which cannot be profitable regardless of whatever they say) to get the RRIF to build the second track. HSR is not business as usual – but we’ve been down this road before…
            BTW, you need to get a thicker skin if you are going to pontificate like this…you always resort to specious attacks on the details to avoid the facts.

          • All hail Susan. She alone can decide what one can do with their private property. She alone can prove historic intent for the property regardless of that those individual property owners want to do with their own property.

            Case closed. Susan told the owners what they can and can’t do with their private property.

            Nothing personal to you but if you bring a statist argument that this may happen therefore it should be banned it will be promptly called out. If you don’t like it then don’t think it.

            The use of numbers is nonsense. Yes the RRIF loan should be rejected but in no way can you dictate thru statistical projections what another can do with their private property.

            The fact is they haven’t yet (and hopefully don’t get) the loan. The problems of road safety falls on road managers.

            They should have to pay for what they are responsible for and nothing more. That has long been the Liberty Caucus position- no loans, no public funding but they have the right to use their property as they see fit. Not Flagler nor you.

            The Seven50 anti-government opposition has been perverted into an attack on property rights of private owners. Once again those unelected bureaucrats are very happy with this while Seven50 gets a pass. The blaming of AAF for government failures only strengthens Seven50 not weakens it.

            It was government we opposed in Seven50 due to violation of property rights and the restriction of choice by coercion. Not attacking the property rights of others because of feelings, emotions or inconveniences.

            Making AAF and FECI use their property as others see fit is a direct violation of their property rights and though we may not like it their property rights must be protected or we do not have any either.

        • If you wish to leave you can remove yourself as that is your personal responsibility.
          The analogy of making boats to making boats with nuclear reactors is not applicable. First we have nuclear reactors on the Treasure Coast with no problems, what is your point?
          That there may be a danger associated with something therefore we should ban it?
          And what of every property owner that voluntarily chose to move next door to the railroads. Does doing so absolve themselves of any responsibility? Seems like another cop-out from personal responsibility for big govt to take over.
          Again as you will see with every issue we examine here the two main guidelines are property rights and non-aggression. That is why our opposition of AAF is limited to public funds and we point out that govt has failed though AAF gets the blame.

          • dfrags

            Because of your ranting, you have totally missed the point or want to ignore it. The discussion was I don’t care what AAF does with the land as long as it is not a bullet train running across the tracks. As Susan said flagler never intended nor did anyone ever plan on someone putting in a high speed train to benefit a few cities. We common sense know this because the technology did not exist back then. The purpose of the boat was to bring forward the point that you feel no one should have a problem with what others do on their property, but government and business has made a point of double dealing, and telling us what we could and should do with our property. So if they want to put a nuclear bullet train on that route would you still be okay with it? You can’t have it both ways either. how would you feel if I bought the house next to yours and started mining for gravel? I think if tax dollars help pay for it we have every damn right to give our stamp of approval.

          • Bright Light

            Your argument is faulty and can be summed up as “I like freedom but…” We live near a nuclear plant your fear mongering over nuclear has no effect here. But alas they are seeking private funding abd likely foregoing the RRIF loan making your agreement moot. Your point about high speed rail is pointless. People who own have the right to use it, including technological advances. Saying train property can’t be used for high speed trains because those previously didn’t have access to technology is absurd. Some of the original roads were designed for horse abd buggy but you have no problem driving a car. It’s not up to how you and Susan interpret what a property was intended for. Put the nuke on it. Doesn’t bother me having grown up near a FPL nuke plant.

  • dfrags

    I seem to be lost on this article because I thought The Liberty Caucus was against anything Seven50, including All Aboard Florida. In this article they apear to be complaining about the Overlord, who disagrees with the idea that Vero Beach Citizens should fork over money for a project that does not help them or the city in any way. I say that maybe the City should build an elaborate toll booth system that charges for the number of Railcars moving through the city. If they refuse to pay switch them to an off track. When I didn’t pay a toll they suspended my driving privledges. if Vero stacks Miami trains back to West Virginia, someone would listen.

    • Seven50 is a government plan which we differentiate from private property. Yes AAF may very well get crony benefits of the RRIF loan. But it is government that steals our money and gives it to others. AAF didn’t make govt do so. Without AAF government will continue to do so.
      We instead aim to place the failures of govt on govt rather than place it on AAF.
      That is the big contention. It is govt that is the enemy. It is govt that has set the field of cronycapitalism which companies have to live with.
      You are onto something with tolls as prices give signals. However we have socialized roads without tolls. If the roads were private they may have the signals to build an overpass or pay the trains to be elevated to solicit tolls from drivers. We have none of that thanks to socialism which again is a problem with govt not AAF,
      Also mind you that the railway is private property and taxing someone to use their private property on usage (going beyond the theft of pure property taxes based on value) is a very very dangerous slope that we will not support.