The days are numbered for people taking shortcuts across the FEC train tracks in downtown Delray Beach. The city plans to install pedestrian barriers by the end of the summer.
In mid-January, the City Commission approved a pedestrian barrier of aluminum rail fencing with occasional landscaping along both sides of the track for one block — from Atlantic Avenue north to Northeast First Street.
The trespassing problem became a focus last August when a Boca Raton woman was killed by a passing freight train. She was taking a well-used shortcut across the tracks after leaving Johnny Brown’s on Atlantic Avenue when she was struck by a southbound freight train.
“I think someone else is going to get killed. We have to do something,” Mayor Cary Glickstein said at the workshop.
Citing mature bougainvillea as a good deterrent along the Florida East Coast tracks in West Palm Beach, Glickstein said later, “it is both colorful and thrives in harsh conditions and has an added feature of thorns, which in this context is useful to keep people from jumping over the fence.”
Later this year, Brightline passenger rail service will start on the FEC tracks, offering express travel between Miami and West Palm Beach. The estimated 32 daily trains will have only one stop per county — Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach. By 2019, plans call for extending the service to Orlando.
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