1. Safety will be compromised – Our kids will be at risk walking to/from school and playing in our neighborhoods.
a. 15’ walls mandated by the City of Dallas Resolution are not being followed by DART. Instead, DART is proposing chain link fences in some areas (including 2 schools on the tracks).
2. Train speeds 45 MPH+ - This is faster than current road speed limits, over 2x the speed in school zones.
3. The proposed train schedule has 60-90 trains running a day. The trains are estimated to operate 19 hours per day but could run 23 hours per day (3:00am to 2:00am) like the Texrail.
a. Another cause for concern for the safety of our kids.
b. Traffic and congestion will be a nightmare.
4. Noise Pollution – DART will cause our neighborhood to be extremely noisy with the following:
a. Train horn
b. Crossing signals with bells. Crossing bells will go off every 10 minutes during peak times.
5. DART will be able to run FREIGHT on the entire Cotton Belt tracks except Far North Dallas but will not sign an interlocal agreement to stop freight FOREVER in Far North Dallas. Presents risk to our neighborhood if DART changes course and allows freight in the future. This will multiply our safety, noise, vibration, and traffic concerns.
6. DART is proposing 40’ walls at Coit Road – This is Non-compliant with at-grade or below grade in the City of Dallas Resolution.
7. Home prices will be negatively impacted.
DART is building a $1.2 billion diesel hybrid 26 mile dual track rail line.
--Ridership not support this $1.2 billion project.
--Freight will run on the project except Far North Dallas. This can change.
--Calculate $30+ operating cost per one-way ride. Looking at Texrail weak performance, likely way more.
--Implies DART will subsidize over $17,000 per year for worker to take during work week.
--Stations limited parking, Knoll Trail has NO parking.
--DART has never built a line in such a dense residential area, Far North Dallas
--Alternatives like UBER - less expensive per ride & over 2-3x quicker
--SAFETY MATERIAL RISK - 3,000 students within 0.5 mile. Children will have to walk across to tracks to school and when play in neighborhood.
--Bus system - Fix Bus System 1st!
DART Non-compliance Items:
- The DCC resolution requires infrastructure changes “at grade or below grade”, but the Cottonbelt plans include infrastructure changes that are above grade on COIT road (and now Hillcrest)
- The DCC requires a “Continuous 15-foot high concrete, sound-absorbing walls that meet the 3dBA Ldn limits at all residences on both sides of the rail line”, but the DART plans for the Cottonbelt do not provide for a continuous/consistent wall meeting these standards.
- The DCC requires “Enhanced landscaping to reduce visual impacts”, but the plans for the Cottonbelt project require that many residents choose between getting the wall required above and getting the enhanced landscaping (i.e. These residents cannot get both of the requirements, but that they can only have one or the other)
- The DCC resolution requires that “Train Noise shall not exceed current community noise levels by more than 3dBa Ldn at maximum headways,” and “Vibration levels – the standard of reference for human exposure to vibrations in buildings will be ANSI S2.7-1983 (R2006), or 65 vdB peak vibration level,”, but DART’s plans do not guarantee that these thresholds will be maintained.
- The DCC resolution requires that “DART will employallpractical measures to obscure sound intrusions from the bells into the residences”, but the DART plans for the Cottonbelt do not apply all practical measures to minimize sound intrusions into the adjacent residents. The plans specifically exclude any implementation outside the boundaries of the current Right-of-Way.
- The DCC resolution requires that “DART will enter into an Interlocal Agreement with the City of Dallas to assure that freight service will never be allowed on the Cotton Belt rail line between Waterview Parkway and the Dallas North Tollway”, but no such interlocal agreement has been entered into.
- The DCC resolution Section 3 requires “That the DART Board increases its $50 million commitment to provide betterments in residential areas of the Cotton Belt corridor, adjusts the funding amount to reflect inflation since their resolution was approved in 2006, and stipulate that these funds will be used to provide betterments that would be in addition to the mitigation measures required by the FTA.”
- Per Dart email, DART is providing $38 million for Cotton Belt Corridor Betterments which is significantly below the $50 million even without the adjustment for inflation.
- The DCC resolution Section 4requires “That the DART Board uses the funds budgeted for the eliminated Preston Road/Keller Springs and Coit Road stations on betterments for the Far North Dallas portion of the rail line”, but the plans for the Cottonbelt area in Far North Dallas does not provide a budget commensurate with the requirement to use the funds from the eliminated stations in Far North Dallas.
- Per DART email, DART is providing $15 million for Betterments in Far North Dallas which is significantly below the removal of the Coit and Preston Stations of $30.1 million. I think the stations are more than $15 million each.