Abandoned rail line ignites development battle

A piece of the Ludlam Trail
A piece of the Ludlam Trail

An old rail line running 6.2 miles from Dadeland to Miami International Airport has become the center of fierce development debate.

Neighborhood activists and county planners hope to transform the vacant site — most of the tracks were pulled up a decade ago — into a cycling and walking trail. And until recently, the corridor’s owner decided to embrace the Ludlam Trail vision, according to the Miami Herald.

However, the owner’s development arm, Flagler, wants to build homes and commercial buildings along the edges of the corridor, resulting in local opposition.

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Skeptical residents argue that Flagler has not explained how the trail would fit in the space, nor who would own and maintain it.

“I am not against development,” said resident Lisa Vale, who owns multiple properties near the trail. “But we’re talking about an area that, just common sense will tell you, it can’t be done in a nice way.”

Flagler officials say they’re still in the early stages planning, but they claim a quarter of the land within the corridor would be used for the trail. [Miami Herald]Christopher Cameron