Ken Larsen's web site - DOLRT posters

 

I define "DOLRT poster" as an image with text that can be printed on one page to highlight an issue with the Durham-Orange County Light Rail project.  I created them for use during the three minutes we each have at public forums.  Three minutes is way too short to properly articulate many of the issues.  Posters can help get the most out of our three minutes.

 

 

1 [details]

The only way to avert such calamities is for a light rail line to be "grade separated".  Unfortunately, that would dramatically raise construction costs. 
     
2 North Carolina State legislators have reduced their contribution for DOLRT from 25% to below 10%.  Durham and Orange counties must make up the difference.  GoTriangle declared that we would simply borrow the difference using TIFIA loans.  Unfortunately that will push out the end date for paying for DOLRT until 2062.  What hasn't been answered by GoTriangle is how much DOLRT will cost.  It was at $ 2.5B at the end of 2015. 

Also, local officials need to identify what other programs will have to be sacrificed to pay for DOLRT.
     
3 Note that the word "systems" is plural.  That's another reason why the 2012 voter approval of this measure cannot be construed as being for light rail only.

Durham's version of this ballot item was voted on in 2011.  Only 17% of registered voted bothered to vote in that election.  10% (16,754) voted "For", and 7% (11,104) voted "Against".

(Febuary 11, 2017 - after a Durham PAC-3 meeting) Durham Council member Charlie Reece disagreed with my interpretation of the ballot wording.  He said all the voters knew that the money would be spent on light rail. 
     
4 The DOLRT's length in Orange County is only 3 of the 17.7 miles. That's 17%, yet Orange County Commssioners committed to provide 23% of the DOLRT cost.  That wasn't a good deal.

Amusingly, DOLRT will only go through two neighborhoods (Meadowmont and Downing Creek) in Chapel Hill, and neither one of them want it.

If you don't live in the yellow area, you'll have to take your car or a bus to get to it.  If you take your car, the only Orange County station which will have parking is the Friday Center.

Click here to see a map of the entire DOLRT route.  You can zoom in on the map to see individual streets.
     
5  
     
6 This map shows how little DOLRT benefits the rural people in both counties.  They'll have to drive their cars or take buses to get to the route.
     
7 This is the image that GoTriangle wants you to have about DOLRT.
     
8 This is what GoTriangle doesn't want you to realize.  [details]
     
9
     
10 This map shows the location of the ROMF (Rail Operations and Maintenance Facility) and rail yard and its proximity to Creekside Elementary School.

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. 

-Lisa Brach

     
11 Contributed by Alex Cabanes
     
12 Summary of "Light Rail Myths" section of https://smarttransitfuture.org/
     
13 DOLRT walkability map
     
14 Side by side comparison

The picture on the right shows an at-grade crossing in Denver.  If you visit the GoTriangle website and try to do a search on "at grade crossing", you'll find nothing.  Yet, there are over 40 at-grade sections of the DOLRT.  GoTriangle wants you to believe that the entire route is like the picture on the left.

The red circles show how unsafe light rail is.  It's second only to motorcycles in fatality rate.

 


Ken Larsen's home page