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Assessing Florida's HSR Plan

The proposed 84-mile high-speed rail line connecting Lakewood, Orlando and Tamps would be the first of its kind in the country. But is it smart planning? Edward Russell reports.
December 9, 2010, 5am PST | Lynn Vande Stouwe
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Proponents argue the new line will create a "central Florida megalopolis," spurring economic growth in the region, writes Russell. However, critics argue the project fails to create opportunities for transit-oriented development. All but one of the new stations will be located in suburban areas and surrounded by parking lots.

Russell says that despite this shortcoming, the project is a step in the right direction:

"HSR will undoubtedly redefine the cities of central Florida. While this may not initially be in a denser, more liveable way advocated by many urbanists, the simple fact that a new intercity train line is set to be built – possibly the first in the US since the early part of the past century – is good. And as people begin to get out of their cars and use the train, a new transit-oriented population will emerge."

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Published on Wednesday, December 8, 2010 in Next American City
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