Ken Larsen's web site - DOLRT Rail Operations and Maintenance Facility (ROMF)
This map shows the location of the ROMF (Rail Operations and
Maintenance Facility) and rail yard and its proximity to Creekside Elementary
ROMF will be a 3 story facility and Rail Yard where all the Light Rail cars will go every night around 12 midnight to be cleaned and have maintenance until 5 am when they will head out to begin their routes. The second and third floors will house all the computer systems and people who will be "driving" the system during the day. The rail yard has to be large enough to move the cars in and out of the maintenance area on the main level of the building. Once cleaned and maintained the cars will be parked on the tracks for one or two hours until they head out the next day at 5 am. This facility will be open 24/7 and is slated to have between 110 and 175 employees. The facility will have stadium lighting and an observation tower in order to move the train cars around the tracks and into and out of the maintenance building. It will have a security fence and parking capabilities for the employees. AND they plan on placing it on Farrington Rd with the entrance being at the stop light where you turn onto Ephesus Church Rd 400 yards from Creekside Elementary School. This area is currently zoned R-20 (Residential with the ability to go commercial around 2030 - according to Durham City plan).
Throughout the U.S. there are 25 other Light Rail systems currently up and running. Of those 25, 23 of the ROMFs were built in either Industrial Zones/Districts or Warehouse Zones/Districts. As to the other 2 - one sits behind a parking deck for a major mall and the other site sits across the interstate from the football stadium and baseball fields of a university. NONE sit in a residential area close to an elementary school!!!
My neighborhood (the Villas of Culp Arbor) will be just across the road from this facility. Next time you drive down Farrington, notice the banners and signs against the ROMF and Light Rail in the yards of 2 of the 5 families that will be displaced off of their land.
Note the at-grade crossings across Farrington Road. These will add to the congestion. The only sections of DOLRT that will not be at-grade are those that are thicker blue (e.g. across Route 54). -Ken
Based on the DEIS, the ROMF will support between 15 and 27 light rail cars. -Lisa Brach November 19, 2017
November 13, 2017 email from Lisa Brach:
Just a wee bit of info to share. Yes, research has shown that properties surrounding a Light Rail STATION do tend to increase in value. HOWEVER, a Station is totally different from a ROMF. STATIONS are planned with multifamily as well as single family dwellings and businesses (like a grocery store, restaurants, pharmacy, etc) at the immediate core - much like Meadowmont which was designed and planned for the Light Rail.
A ROMF has a Rail Yard, an Observation Tower (to guide the train cars around the tracks and into and out of the Maintenance Building), Stadium Lighting to illuminate the Rail Yard for safe movement of the train cars as well as for safety from intruders, Security fencing again against intruders, and lastly (according to GoTriangle's own admission and plans) a 3 story building to house the operations department as well as the maintenance "shop" for the nightly cleaning and maintenance of the train cars. This is truly an industrial site and facility and Durham Officials seem to have no problem with placing it in a Residential section with Durham's highest enrolled Elementary School. Durham Officials do not seem to be concerned about all the neighborhoods whose ONLY egress falls to Farrington Rd and will be placed at an exponential risk due to increased traffic to and from the ROMF as well as the backups from the at-grade crossing on Farrington Rd approximately 1/2 a mile away between the ROMF and Hwy 54.
GoTriangle in their ongoing shell games and misleading the public likes to extrapolate that if the values on properties near Light Rail STATIONS will go up, that it will be the same for properties neighboring a ROMF - an out right LIE!
I have Google mapped all the existing ROMFs throughout the US and only 2 are not located in either an Industrial zone or a Warehouse District. The 2 exceptions - one sits where it shares parking with a mall and the other sits in the middle of a city along a major interstate highway and across the highway are the football field, baseball field and soccer/lacrosse field of a major university.
I would LOVE to know what an unbiased (and "UN" GoTriangle bought and paid for) real estate appraiser would value the properties which will be the neighbors of this 25 acre Industrial scar in our R-20 residential zoned area. However, show them the aerial photo of the plans for this monster I still have my copy from a past GoTriangle presentation and would gladly share! Have them drive through some of the neighborhoods. Have them drive down Farrington and show them where the at-grade crossing will be located. Have them drive (or walk) from the proposed ROMF site's main entrance to Creekside Elementary school. And THEN ask them what they think will realistically happen to our property values as well as our "quality of life"!
We would love for Durham officials to take that same tour. It has been offered in more than one public hearing. We have plenty of retirees available who could conduct the "tour" during daylight hours when the true beauty of our neighborhood can be appreciated. Only one City Planner has bothered to take us up on this offer and agreed that the ROMF should be located somewhere more appropriate!
Maybe if this ROMF was planned to be located 500 feet from the home of one of our ELECTED officials they would view it for what it is, an out of place Industrial site.
- Lisa Brach