Less than 48-hours after receiving two-million dollars in state funds to redevelop 10 miles of land underneath the Metrorail into a linear park, Underline has almost nothing left to show for it. Sources close to the tract, which until recently was known by his street-name “M-Path”, say the 32-year-old parcel began spending the money on drugs and prostitutes almost immediately. “It was a spectacular scene,” reported Arthur T. Jones, a vagrant that has lived underneath the Metrorail since the early 1990s. “There were drugs everywhere. We kept telling M to slow down, but he just wouldn’t listen.”
“Underline’s behavior has put the project in permanent jeopardy,” said a visibly frustrated Meg Daly, the project’s coordinator. “Both the state and our community have shown a willingness to help rehabilitate the underutilized land into a vibrant community park, but ultimately nothing will get done until Underline decides to help himself.”
When reached for comment, an emotional Underline admitted to reporters that he has a substance abuse problem. “I’m so sorry to those I’ve disappointed and hope I am able to earn back the trust of my community.” He plans to check himself into a 90-day rehabilitation program near Ormond Beach in the coming weeks. Underline’s father, Miami-Dade County’s Transportation Trust, who himself suffered a similar scandal years earlier after it was discovered that he used funds from a 1/2 penny tax on residents intended for public transportation improvements to pay for an $8,000-a-day heroin addiction, could not be reached for comment.
“It’s such a shame,” said Mr. Jones of his friend’s recent troubles. “I was really looking forward to seeing M refurbished. The Underline seems like a really nice place to live. I hope the project can survive.”