“I can’t believe you aren’t marching in the streets with pitchforks,” AAF, SLR/IRL

Robert CrandallRobert Crandall, the chief executive of American Airlines from 1985 to 1998 and leading the fight against All Aboard Florida.
Mr. Robert Crandall, the chief executive of American Airlines from 1985 to 1998 and leading the fight against All Aboard Florida in Martin County.

“I can’t believe you are not marching in the streets with pitchforks; this is going to ruin your county.” Bob Crandall, 2016

There was something about him. Maybe it was the confidence that radiated, or the casual way he put his hands in his pockets while looking people straight in the eye…something about him let you know  that you were dealing a legend… the kind of person they don’t make anymore…

On February 24th, I attended the Stuart Chamber’s Government and Transportation Committee’s guest speaker series. On this day it was Robert “Bob” Crandall, former chief executive of American Airlines who lives in Palm City. Mr Crandall and C.A.R.E. are leaders in the fight against All Aboard Florida. (AAF)

Trying to understand All Aboard Florida is difficult. It is multi-layered and after a while its easy to glaze over. Acronyms like FDFC; EIS; ROD and the discussion of extensions and bonds can turn off even the most interested. So today I am just going to share “the simple” and “the why” of Mr Crandall’s presentation and  summarize why “we need to grab our pitchforks.”  I will end with a true quote form Martin Health System.

  1. AAF is a health and safety issue.
  2. There will be less business, period. Noise and vibration will all facilitate less business in Downtown Stuart, and cause structural harm to its businesses, and historic Lyric Theatre.
  3. Property values will decline.
  4. A train going 55 miles per hour takes one mile to stop. These trains will go faster.
  5. Pedestrians such as in Golden Gate, used to slower trains, will not correctly judge speeds. There will be accidents .
  6. The costs to Martin County is estimated to be $323,000 in 2016; $1,000,000 by 2020; and $3,000,00 by 2040. Taxes WILL be forced up.
  7. The Maritime industry will suffer greatly. Property values for marinas and homes on west side of bridge will decline. Boaters will be frustrated and leave the area.
  8. The Roosevelt Bridge is now closed 3 hours and  30 minutes a day; with AAF it will be closed 9 hours and 30 minutes a day.
  9. The 80-year-old bridge over the St Lucie River WILL get stuck…
  10. Dangerous substances will eventually be coming through. Freight is the long-term goal.
  11. We can’t win politically; we have to win legally.

For me things really set in my mind after Mr Crandall’s talk. During the question answer period the representative from Martin Health System said the following. I kid you not. He said the following: “If All Aboard Florida goes thorough, people will die.” He was speaking of ambulances stuck at tracks. Seconds count if you have a heart attack.

I thought to myself: “This is unbelievable. The most conservative of our community and the number one employer of our community just said ‘people will die.’ And the chamber has not taken a position. Why aren’t we out in the street with pitchforks?”

I think Mr Crandall is right.


Robert Crandall: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Crandall

C.A.R.E. Citizens Against the Train: https://www.citizensagainstthetrain.com

Martin Health System: https://www.martinhealth.org

13 thoughts on ““I can’t believe you aren’t marching in the streets with pitchforks,” AAF, SLR/IRL

  1. Amen! It’s time for non-violent demonstrations to Save the Lagoon and Oppose All Aboard Florida. Tx,Wayne

  2. Are you aware that Florida East Coast Railroad donated $20000 each of the last two years to the Everglades Foundation? And they took it! Collusion? A deal to keep it in your downtown and not out by the EAA’s perhaps?

  3. Thank you for sharing this info. It makes great sense and seems simplistically logical to me. Especially #11. I have 2 pitchforks at home and willing to get more!

  4. Jacqui, Can you make a correction to this blog? The website you included at the bottom of the post for CARE FL is incorrect.

    You used CATs website Citizens Against the Train instead of CARE FLs website.

    The acronym CARE stands for Citizens Against Rail Expansion. The correct website is: http://www.saveourfl.com

    The other two groups Citizens Against the Train (and also Florida Not All Aboard) have somewhat different stakeholders, communication methods, etc. As you know, K.C. Traylor is FNAA (www.floridanotallaboard.net)

    For purposes of this blog, though, it makes sense just to make the correction for the CARE FL website to http://www.saveourfl.com.

    I’m home sick today. Not even going to art this morning. But am trying to get caught up on some work things. Around if you need me.


    > Robert Crandall: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Crandall > > C.A.R.E. Citizens Against the Train: https://www.citizensagainstthetrain.com > > Martin health System: https://www.martinhealth.org >

    Stacy W. Ranieri president | founder | chief illuminator The Firefly Group public relations | marketing | digital media | strategic planning stacy@fireflyforyou.com http://www.fireflyforyou.com w. 772.287.5272 | m. 772.260.5483

    Sent from my iPad


  5. So glad you shared this! I’m sharing it too! I agree the train has to be stopped and/or moved WEST-INLAND to outside of I-95!

  6. American Airlines is in direct worldwide competition for mass transit with High Speed Rail. As a kid growing up I think our lagoon taught me things schools do not teach. This world is full of traps and snares designed to take your life or destroy you in the blink of an eye or over time.. I believe our constitution is a magnificent work of art. Designed with a lot of thought and prayer to keep us from being oppressed. The very reason it was written and the revolutionary war was fought was to keep US from giving all our tax money to a forign power. Look where we are today.

  7. Bravo, Jacqui! Another one hit out of the park. I wish I had been at the presentation.

    Please let everyone know that there is a huge protest rally on Saturday, March 19 at 11 a.m. in downtown Stuart. We are covering nearly 100 miles with rallies at the rails – from Micco to Palm Beach with six locations. I’m assisting with organizing the St. Lucie county rally in Fort Pierce on Indian River and Seaway Drives.

    Contact Susan Mehiel at susanm@ersmd.com.
    I’ll forward you the flyers.

  8. Link to: http://us5.campaign-archive2.com/?u=60513c945f602bad03e732c94&id=f42fbcf930&e=2d6d41c1af

    The “Move ‘em West – Rally at the Rails” will be held Saturday, March 19, 2016 at 11am at six railroad crossings simultaneously on the Treasure Coast and Palm Beach County.
    Rallies will be held near rail crossings in Micco, Vero Beach, Ft. Pierce, Stuart and two locations in Palm Beach. Protest signs will be available at the locations.
    Residents will protest on the sidewalks (100 feet from the crossings) and share their anger that profits are being put above safety with the dangers posed by AAF/Brightline’s 32 daily high-speed trains along with the transportation of hazardous chemicals on the freight line.
    Let your voices be heard!
    Join us by the rails on March 19 at 11am and tell the companies – move your trains west!

    CROSSING LOCATIONS: Click location for google map
    MIcco: Barefoot RR Crossing * Protest at 10am
    Vero Beach: Rt. 60 Crossings (on the Twin Pairs),11am
    Ft. Pierce: Indian River and Seaway Drives by the Yacht Club,11am
    Stuart: Indian Street and Federal Hwy,11am
    Palm Beach County: 2 locations,11am
    -Northlake Blvd & Alt. A1A , & Jupiter Indiantown Rd & Alt. A1A
    For More Information:
    Call 772-713-0909 or email susanm@ersmd.com
    Please Share this email with a neighbor by clicking below:

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