Monday, March 16, 2015

Parsons Brinckerhoff Making Millions From Taxpayers in FL For Decades

We have a guest post from Charlotte Greenbarg in Lutz, Florida.  She previously resided in Miami-Dade and Broward Counties.

Parsons Brinckerhoff Making Millions From Taxpayers in FL For Decades

If anyone doubts that money’s driving the GoHillsborough train, just  look at this information from the Tampa Bay Times, October 21, 2014 by Caitlin Johnson. She writes ‘While Walton (firm senior vice-president) said Parsons Brinckerhoff has not done work specifically for Greenlight Pinellas, the firm has donated $50,000 to the cause. It has also donated $500 apiece to some Hillsborough commissioners, including Crist and Al Higginbotham.’

So here we are, once again being asked to pay for a grand plan coordinated by Parsons Brinckerhoff, the consultant Hillsborough County hired. The company is being paid $900,000 tax dollars, on a NO-BID contract. What a stunningly transparent first step.

And, this is the same firm that was involved in the 70s in Dade County’s barely-successful effort to create MetroRail, or MetroFail as we called it. The estimates of ridership were wildly exaggerated, as admitted by the late Commissioner Sherman Winn. The multi-millions per mile pale when you look at the bleeding that operating costs cause.

Then Parsons Brinckerhoff went to Broward County in the early 90s to try to sell fixed rail there. There were so many expats from Dade who had moved to Broward that they didn’t get past first base, and the County dropped the effort.

Now they’re here, setting up community meetings with lots of graphics and poster board, but not allowing citizens to gather in one group and hear all opinions and information. This is how you get the results you’re looking for, not the results that the people are looking for.

The euphemisms they’re using for fixed rail include “corridor fixed guideway” and “new express service.” Forbidden are the words “fixed rail” when in fact that’s what they really want, because that’s what’s most profitable for the donors to political campaigns.

You weren’t fooled in 2010. Pinellas wasn’t fooled in 2014. Remember, and don’t let them fool you in 2016.”

1 comment:

  1. Checked out the Ft. Lauderdale streetcar project called the "Wave" and surprise Parsons Brinckerhoff is the consultant for this boondoggle too: and the Wave is already falling off the tracks with "cost overruns and no money to cover it".