Woman Fights Passenger RR Because of Traffic




Fearful that a proposal to run more than 30 daily passenger trains on the Florida East Coast Railway would cause further traffic jams, a Fort Lauderdale woman is circulating a petition against the project.

Fort Lauderdale resident Mary Sessions has a point.

The private All Aboard Florida project has already identified station sites along the Gold Coast for its new Miami-to-Central Florida passenger trains.  There has also been considerable talk about running local commuter trains — possible the Tri-Rail — along the FEC corridor.

Adding all that rail traffic  — both local  and long distance trains — through the downtown of every eastern city in Broward definitely will have a negative impact on roads.  It will also tie up boats on the New River.

The All Aboard project representatives have told the city that it would divert many of the freight trains now running on the FEC tracks to the CSX tracks to the west, thus helping to ease the impact on roads.

The train officials also said they will speed the raising and lowering of the railroad bridge over the New River by installing an onsite operator.  The bridge is currently raised and lowered by remote control, which takes longer.

Sessions argues that the railroad should be required to elevate the tracks to allow for a free flow of vehicles and boats.  The alternative, she says, is longer commute times and impeded emergency services.

You might want to look at Session’s Facebook page, here.

22 Responses to “Woman Fights Passenger RR Because of Traffic”

  1. count lf chodkiewicz chudzikiewicz says:

    Every major city on the planet has used commuter rail to reduce traffic. As a native Florida who lives part of the year in resort areas with rails near shores n thru cities I find Mary sessions comments totally uninformed like the idiotic placement of trirail. For heavens sake why do people listen to reactionary old people who don’t know what they are talking about

  2. Chuck says:

    To paraphrase George Carlin, if you don’t like the traffic, move.

  3. Chuckie says:

    This lady is a right wing nut bag. One look at her Facebook profile likes says it all. I’m sure she rants and raves about all kinds of imbecilic things that would improve our community. Like she even has anywhere to go in the first place.

  4. Floridan says:

    A FEC commuter train would be the best transportation improvement that could happened to this area. Let’s not let a bunch of Luddites mess it up.


    Let me make it clear that I’m not against a commuter train running on the FEC tracks.

    However, has the FEC supporters posting here considered that the state already paid easily more than $1 billion for the Tri-Rail service to the west?

  5. Duke says:

    I don’t know why so many right wing nuts are against progress. We live in one of the top 5 most populated states in America. We have a tourist based economy. We are the Latin American hub of the nation. We have terribly designed roads and ill timed traffic lights. And we have no bullet train, and anyone wanting a decent commuter rail line has to overcome major obstacles. Will somebody please explain to these idiots that moving large masses of people from point a to point b is an intricate part of urban planning. How much longer are we going to be in the dark ages?

  6. Sam The Sham says:

    Some things to keep in mind:

    This is a private venture on private property, using private financing. The public should have only limited input into this.

    The Railroad was here before most anybody else. Before there were cities and roads crossing it, the FEC provided the first real impetus to the development of Florida.

  7. Abolish the BOCC says:

    I think the right wing nuts are against progress because they know that the left wing nuts will steal all the money and the progress will never happen.

  8. Floridan says:

    However, has the FEC supporters posting here considered that the state already paid easily more than $1 billion for the Tri-Rail service to the west?

    How many miles of Interstate do you think that one billion would buy? Probably about ten miles, at most, in South Florida.

  9. Ha Ha Ha says:

    10 miles of interstate highway would be very valuable in Broward County!!

    A major east-west corridor could be created from I-95 to University Blvd for far less than that. That distance along Sunrise Blvd is only 6 miles. Along Oakland Park Blvd would be another very good route. An elevated two-lane or four-lane highway at 65 mph would provide a very strong connection between I-95 and West Broward and it would relieve the congestion on the existing street-level east-west roadways.


    The days of building a new Interstate in Broward are gone. The reason is the price of the right-of-way. It would cost a fortune!

    It would be cheaper to widen existing Interstates, like the Sawgrass Expressway. It would also help to improve the connection between the Sawgrass and I-95.

    As far as a train goes, this will take very little burden off the roads. Many, many commuters can not use the train because it doesn’t go between their homes and where they work. As a result, many of the folks who use transit in Broward are either unable to buy cars or too old to drive them.

  10. Ha Ha Ha says:

    Buddy, re-read my post. Notice this part: elevated highway

    Maybe you just don’t know what an elevated highway is? Examples here:




    Key feature: NO need to purchase right-of-way!!

    An elevated highway could easily run ABOVE either Sunrise Blvd or Oakland Park Blvd, while the local traffic runs below.


    Constructing a bridge — that is essentially what you are writing — for a dozen miles or so would cost billions of dollars.
    I’m not saying it can’t be done. I’m saying it will probably never be done.
    Such a project would:
    (1) Be difficult to build, having to be constructed while allowing the flow of traffic on the existing road.
    (2) Require some right-of-way for the exits. And where would the bridge supports be placed?
    (3) Generate enormous opposition from houses and businesses along the route, who would complain loudly (and in court) about the added shadow and noise of an elevated highway. Your pictures are nothing like the east-west Broward roads, with businesses and houses abutting them.

    It would be easier and cheaper to put overpasses at key intersections, such as over the railroad. In fact, putting a few overpasses along east-west roads would do wonders for traffic.

    Current long-range transportation plans call for more transit and less emphasis on cars. Persuading taxpayers to pay billions for additional transit, which the majority will never use, is questionable. Remember that transit requires not only enormous upfront construction costs, but a continuing, never-ending expense to pay for employees to drive the vehicles, maintain them, protect the riders, etc. In this low tax state, it is unlikely that the money will be forthcoming for an elaborate transit system as contained in future transportation plans.

  11. 595 was supposed t be elevated says:

    The new 595 was supposed to be double stacked. That’s an interstate and it didn’t fly. Homes and businesses along the route went ballistic.

  12. Ha Ha Ha says:

    As I noted above, it would only be six (6) miles, not “dozens”. That’s the distance from I-95 to University along either Sunrise Blvd or Oakland Park Blvd. (But as noted below, going via Commercial Blvd would be an even better choice! And that’s also a six-mile route…)

    Also as noted above, 10 miles of interstate highway can be obtained for $1 billion. Six miles would cost even less – around $600,000. Certainly way less than the “billions” you are claiming.

    All interstate highways are difficult to build. Most of them are built while traffic flows around the construction. We just saw that with I-595. I personally drove under the new flyover crossing above University Blvd lots of times while it was under construction. Now that its construction has been completed I have driven ON that flyover over University Blvd plenty of times too. So not only can it be done, Broward just got through doing it. Both University Blvd traffic and I-595 traffic were flowing the whole time, in both directions, throughout the entire I-595 construction project, with only a few exceptions in literally the middle of the night (“Closed for construction from 1 AM to 3 AM”).

    As described, there would only be exits at I-95 and University Blvd. At I-95 there are already exits to both Sunrise Blvd and Oakland Park Blvd. Whichever route is chosen would simply have its existing exits expanded with additional lanes. As for University Blvd, that’s the one place where enough right-of-way would be needed for entrance and exit ramps. But the amount needed is trivial – entrance and exit ramps at only one location would cost very little.

    As for the question of where the bridge supports would be placed, see the links I provided above to photographs of existing elevated highways. Bridge supports can be very small and unobtrusive. The exact locations would be up to the highway design firm, but we already know that the “footprint” can be very small and located in places that will leave all existing structures fully capable of functioning as normal afterward.

    The shadow of an elevated highway is a positive benefit. One of Broward’s big problems is the lack of shade. As the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) points out, “In a place like Miami, shade is always required […] for outdoor comfort.”


    As to the noise, first of all these are highly congested roads with heavy traffic noise 24 / 7 right now. If anything, moving a substantial amount of the traffic 20 feet into the air will likely reduce the noise level. And on top of that, it’s certainly possible to design noise walls into the elevated highway, to direct noise upward and away from the businesses at ground level.

    The railroad is east of I-95, not west of it. Therefore it would have absolutely nothing to do with the traffic between I-95 and University Blvd.

    Broward already has lots of north-south corridors. I-595 provides east-west service for South Broward, and the only other east-west corridor is the Sawgrass Expressway, a toll road 14 miles away. Dropping an east-west corridor right between those two (and Commercial Blvd would actually be an even better fit than either Sunrise Blvd or Oakland Park Blvd, both of which are actually too far south to correctly divide the 14-mile gap between I-595 and Sawgrass) would be exactly what Broward County needs to complete its east-west connectivity.

    And the next big thing in transportation isn’t going to be mass transit – it’s the impending arrival of self-driving cars, which will cut the total vehicle population in half!


  13. Just Wondering says:

    Whatever happened with that woman that was stuck on the track bridge? The one that had to be rescued?

  14. Ha Ha Ha says:


    A woman rescued in Mid-October, after dangling from a Fort Lauderdale railroad bridge, won’t be charged with trespassing, NBC 6 reports. […]

    The woman, identified as Wanda McGowan, is legally blind, a spokesman for the railroad told NBC 6 South Florida.

    “Based on the recommendation of police who interviewed her Monday we won’t pursue charges,” Florida East Coast Railway Senior VP Bob LeDoux told NBC 6 South Florida.

    “Wanda, with her eyesight, was not able to move quickly, and found herself in the condition she found herself in,” LeDoux told the Sun Sentinel.

  15. Floridan says:

    As a good example of the problem getting a modicum of consensus on transportation issues, consider the logical (in my opinion) extension of the Sawgrass Expressway east to I-95. Beyond cost, the opposition of people living along the route, particularly Century Village, has squashed any serious discussion.

  16. Ha Ha Ha says:

    Looks like the last time the Sawgrass-95 completion was considered was back in 2007, when Deerfield Beach city commissioners Capellini, Propelsky and Gonot opposed the idea – but none of them are still city commissioners today. Maybe it’s about time to reconsider that proposal!

    Let’s all take a moment now to remember our good friend Chaz, who was kind enough to arrange the arrests of Capellini and Gonot!


  17. Floridan says:

    Capellini, Propelsky and Gonot were not the ones standing in the way of the Sawgrass extension — “Trinchy” Trichitella was the only one who had the clout to get the county commissioners to back off.

  18. Ha Ha Ha says:

    Former Deerfield Beach City Commissioner Amadeo Trinchitella died in early 2005, thus he couldn’t possibly have participated in the 2007 consideration of the Sawgrass-95 completion.

  19. Buddy says:


    This was in the Sun-Sentinel earlier this month written by their transportation Staff Writer Mike Turnbell:

    “Once again, debate is brewing over extending the Sawgrass Expressway in Deerfield Beach.

    Commuters want a quick connection to Interstate 95 via Southwest 10th Street, which was planned in the ’80s as the final leg of a beltway around Broward’s western suburbs. But Century Village residents didn’t want an elevated highway running past their condos north of the street near Military Trail.

    County officials pulled the plug on the idea in 1993 and did so again in 2008 when the idea was revived. At that time, the condo residents were joined by neighbors south of the street who feared increased traffic and possible loss of direct access to Southwest 10th Street.

    It will be back up for discussion next week when Broward’s Metropolitan Planning Organization holds its monthly meeting. The board, comprised of elected officials throughout the county, decides which transportation projects get prioritized and funded….In 2008, the Florida Department of Transportation came up with a range of options to unclog Southwest 10th Street, from re-timing traffic signals to building overpasses at Powerline Road and Military Trail and frontage roads to carry local traffic.

    A full interchange was proposed for Florida’s Turnpike, allowing access in all four directions.

    But officials took no action on the study and there’s been no discussion since.”

  20. Floridan says:

    Although Trinchitella was not with us in 2008, his adamant opposition earlier had set the stage for later discussions — the burden of proof was now on those favoring the extension rather than the other way around.

  21. Ha Ha Ha says:

    Here’s a link to the Broward Metropolitan Planning Organization’s documents about the Sawgrass-95 completion (see pages 126 through 130). No minutes of this March 13th meeting are currently available, but they are in the process of being prepared and will be posted online when completed.


  22. Ha Ha Ha says:


    … finally, after 30 years, change may be coming to the three-mile stretch of road that carries 45,000 motorists each day.

    The Broward Metropolitan Planning Organization, which prioritizes transportation projects, is forming two committees to find a workable solution. One committee will consist only of Deerfield Beach people, who will be asked to list everything they don’t want to see happen to the extension. The other committee will be made up of two representatives from each of the 11 or 12 cities most affected by the highway gap.

    “We’re going to try and find a middle ground that will help the traffic situation,” Coral Springs Vice Mayor Larry Vignola, a member of the MPO, told the Sun Sentinel Editorial Board.

    “It’s a nightmare over there. Something has to be done. Everyone at some time or another has complained about that road, as far back as I can remember.

    “I know there’s a large community (in Deerfield Beach) that doesn’t want any changes. They talk about the traffic, the pollution, the noise. But the traffic is there no matter what. Right now, you have the cars sitting there (on Southwest 10th Street,) idling, and that’s not any better than if the cars were going by faster.”

    Decades ago, when the Sawgrass Expressway existed only on the drawing board, the idea was to have it connect with I-95. Since then, the idea has resurfaced several times, but nothing has happened.

    Now, it appears there’s movement in the logjam — both traffic-wise and politically.

    Vignola says he and other members of the MPO obviously want a solution that will be aesthetically pleasing. It could mean keeping two lanes in each direction on Southwest 10th, and putting the highway down the middle of the median. It could mean something different. But solutions are finally being sought.

    And if it comes, the extension also should let west-bound drivers enter Florida’s Turnpike, which they can’t do now.

    It’s time to make our region move better, and that means creating a seamless connection between the Sawgrass Expressway and I-95.

    Vignola envisions having a viable plan within a year or two. If approved, the project could take eight years. …