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Commuter Rail in Maitland?

Councilman, Bob Miller
City of Maitland
In 2003, the City of Maitland unanimously endorsed Congressman John Mica’s Central Florida Rail Project noting the valid rationale behind mitigating I-4 and other highly congested traffic areas. Congressman Mica has asked for the “support of interested citizens and leadership of local elected officials to move forward to meet our future transportation needs.” It is with this charge and my commitment to the citizens of Maitland that I proposed a potential site for a Commuter Rail Station in Maitland to the Council on September 12, 2005.

Selecting a site for a highly developed area like Maitland is difficult but not impossible. Site location options must address the people that the rail station will serve, the commuters. Servicing Maitland Center’s approximately 30,000 employees is key to any proposed station’s location success. In addition, a station along the existing CSX rail line can provide development opportunities and a unique activity center to further the desired “residential downtown character” of Maitland.

In 2001, the City of Maitland addressed our overburdened roadways with the Westside Transportation Study, a report with eight objectives proposed for improving traffic. The second strategy noted was “…to provide for non-automobile transportation.” A considerable amount of time has passed with no significant progress on the determination of a commuter rail site in Maitland. Those opposed to the very concept of commuter rail speak of increased pollution and fatalities, traffic jams caused by hundreds of daily train trips and they refer to questionable statistics to claim financial infeasibility.

The fact remains that 43,000 new vehicles are registered in Central Florida every year and the demand on our roadways is significant. With the year 2035 as the estimated time of completion for the six lane expansion of I-4 from the St. Johns River Bridge to the BeeLine Expressway we need to investigate other opportunities to mitigate traffic now.

As appointed liaison to the City Council of Maitland and as your elected Councilman, I plan to work alongside our City staff, Florida Department of Transportation, consultants, and volunteer groups to assist in evaluating various sites currently being proposed in Maitland. I invite your comments and thoughts as the council seeks to be proactive in meeting our eminent future traffic needs. Bob Miller can be reached at Bob_Miller@RMillerArchitecture.com.

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