Fix Flagler! founders Robert and Carol Garvy penned the following letter on the status of Flagler Shore –
Rarely in my experience have I encountered someone as resistant to the wishes of their constituents as Mayor Muoio demonstrated in her March 3rd letter to the editor in the Palm Beach Post.
Mayor Muoio has apparently doubled down on her determination to force Flagler Shore on the citizenry no matter what they think. She has apparently dismissed the nearly 1,000 petitions presented to the city demanding the end of Flagler Shore and the overwhelming voice of the people against this initiative. There are so many glaring misstatements, inaccuracies and flights of fantasy in her letter, it defies comprehension.
The future of a city is not dependent on “try[ing] new things and embracing new ways of thinking.” The future of cities is dependent on the quality of decision making. We already have large open spaces along Flagler Drive. Millions have been spent creating it. We have a beautiful biking and walking promenade, a great lawn, and an amphitheater. What is the legitimate need for Flagler Shore? We have hundreds of millions of dollars of deferred maintenance in the city and she wants to jackhammer two lanes of Flagler Drive to satisfy what, exactly? Her legacy? Her vision developed through a single visit to Northern Europe and the urgings of biased consultants on which she has spent over $600,000?
The glaring reality is Flagler Shore failed to draw large crowds of walkers, bikers, or food truck patrons. It’s primary success was in mobilizing thousands of people in opposition and angering the vast majority when they were essentially told to sit down and be quiet.
To assert we do not need four lanes for traffic on Flagler Drive is simply untrue. We all know how congested traffic already is downtown. Anyone who has driven this area during the “test” knows the danger of the two lane version. Traffic often comes to a crawl.
The mayor is supporting the building of a 25 story office building adjacent to Flagler Drive. 1,500 employees would arrive and leave each day, along with perhaps hundreds of business visitors. The new north bridge is now open with a four way intersection that did not previously exist. A new 200 room hotel is under construction on Flagler Drive. Anyone who thinks it is a good idea to destroy the two eastern-most lanes of Flagler Drive is ignoring the need to accommodate obvious future growth.
We have spoken with all of the city council members as well as three of the candidates in the upcoming election. All but one have voiced their opposition to Flagler Shore. More than a thousand people have joined the FixFlagler! grassroots opposition movement. The Palm Beach Post has called for an end to Flagler Shore. The residents and businesses along Flagler Drive do not want it changed into a carnival space with a street fair atmosphere. They do not want Key West North! Is it going to take marches in the street to stop this?
Robert & Carol Garvy
Founders – Fix Flagler!
West Palm Beach