DART recently held another meeting to discuss the Silver Line Regional Rail Project, the construction of which has residents up in arms.
Since construction on the project began last month, traffic has been greatly affected, with Hillcrest Road restricted to one lane in each direction and even completely closed at times.
Tensions have been building since March, when the community first voiced its safety concerns. For example, members of the community told CBS about their concerns regarding DART’s apparent lack of transparency.
Resident Ann Gross stated that the neighborhood was under the impression that the line would use the smaller DART trains. Instead, the line will run bigger trains, like those of the Trinity Railway Express.
“They’re going to be rumbling through our neighborhoods. I’m going to hear it if they’re blowing their whistles in the middle of the night,” complained Gross.
For resident Dawn Coates, “The main concern is safety,” and she feels that DART is “not going to live up to” the assurances it made in this regard.
Coates worries that since the construction is near police and fire stations, there could be a “35 to 45-second delay” in response times for emergencies in which every second counts.
DART’s goal was to “improve transit travel times by providing an alternative to congested roadway networks” between Plano and DFW Airport.
Dallas City Councilmember Cara Mendelsohn is also skeptical of the project and DART’s commitment to communicating with the neighborhood.
“The community is not happy with the level of communication,” Mendelsohn said. “Most importantly, the feedback and input that the community has given have not been received in a manner that means they’ve made adjustments to the plan.”
DART Director of External Relations Gordon Shattles disagrees.
“We’re working very closely with the Dallas Fire Department, Dallas Police Department, and local residents to make sure anything we do as construction moves forward mitigates concerns for them,” he claimed.
DART will continue to hold monthly meetings regarding this project to update the community and respond to their concerns, Shattles explained. He said in March that safety was their primary concern, and DART would meet the standards set forth by the Federal Railroad Administration and the City of Dallas.
The community is invited to the next Silver Line Regional Rail meeting, which will be held Tuesday, October 25, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Texas A&M AgriLife Water and Land Resource Building on Coit Road.