Miami — No Community Consensus
The Miami Herald newspaper reported on August 20 that there is is no community consensus in Miami Beach about a proposal to build a South Beach light rail system.
As officials fast-track a $380 million modern streetcar project that would loop around South Beach, the plan is being attracting both supporters and opponents.
The City Commission moved quickly with its consideration of the proposal bypassing the option for federal funding to build the four mile long line. Planning for a link to Miami downtown is being done separately in Miami Dade county.
A vocal opponent is Beach resident Robert Lansburgh, who has started a Facebook group called “Stop the Train Miami Beach” on which frequent posts cover problems the project would bring.
According to Lansburgh, the key issue is that many residents don't understand project features such as the lack of the connection to Miami. Thus he considers it a "route to nowhere,” with insufficient riders to justify the elimination of general traffic lanes on area streets.
Others are concerned that the project is moving too quickly and that the APS surface power system proposed by Alstom (part of the city's negotiating partner Greater Miami Tramlink Partners consortium) would be problematic in the case of street flooding, a charge Alstom denies.
Some who favor the proposal point out its attractiveness to tourists and the benefit of improving Miami Beach's image and encourage incorporating community input into the plan.