Ken Larsen's web site - March 7, 2017 DOLRT speech to BOCC by Ken Larsen 


I’m Ken Larsen.

I want to talk about an issue with this DOLRT that nobody has discussed yet.  It wasn’t discussed by anybody on December 5th.  I was going to talk about it but then with 3 minutes I couldn’t get around to it.  It has to do with at-grade crossings.  I see this as a huge problem … almost as bad as the financial aspects of it.

This chart explains why.  On the left is a drawing that you can find on the GoTriangle website, and it’s the kind of image of the DOLRT project that I think everybody would fall in love with.  If this were reality, everybody including me, of all people … would love it, and I’d want you to vote for it.  This image shows the train safely separated away from car traffic.  A lot of people think that’s the way it is across the whole line, but that’s false.

On the right … There are over 40 sections of the DOLRT that are “at-grade”, and about half of those are “crossings”.  So, for a crossing … this is a screen shot from Denver.  It shows a train going across, and what happens when a train goes across, you’ve got beeping going on, and you’ve got these barriers that are dropped, and the train goes by, and the barriers go up.  You’re interrupting traffic for 50 seconds.  For the DOLRT this will occur 150 times per day for each of these at-grade crossings.  That totals up to two hours a day of interrupting traffic.  Because of this, I assert that this DOLRT projection will exacerbate traffic.

[audio of bell ringing]

This is what it's going to sound like at an at-grade crossing.  So, you’re going to have this noise two hours a day.  I can’t take it for more than a few seconds.

This is blocking traffic.  So, I think it’s going to exacerbate the traffic, so I’d like to hear at the end of the meeting … your comments on that.

Because of all these grade crossings and the fact that a train weighs 100 tons, this bottom chart shows you “fatalities per 100 million miles of traffic”, and light rail is second only to motorcycles from the safety aspect.

So, I can’t believe anybody didn’t talk about this in December.

You ought to think about this, because we’re not use to train crossings here in Chapel Hill and Orange County.

Thank you very much.


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