DART unveils next steps for Silver Line Project

Some North Texas residents who could be impacted by DART's new Silver Line rail got a chance to bring their concerns to DART.

DART is proposing some new design options to overcome concerns with the project. The Silver Line would connect several Northern Dallas suburbs to DFW Airport.

Tuesday was the first of four community meetings being held in the service area over the next month. Dozens of people showed up for the presentation. Many had questions and concerns.

It's a transportation plan that's got many North Texans talking.

DART is hosting a series of community meetings to answer questions about its controversial Silver Belt Line train project. The 26-mile corridor will connect seven Northern Dallas suburbs, from Plano to DFW Airport, using diesel trains.

Many homes back up to the proposed track alignment. DART says sound walls and quiet zones should reduce noise. But some residents say the trains will negatively impact their quality of life.

“It is not safe to 60 to 90 trains,” said Maura Schreier-Fleming, with the Highlands of McKamy HOA. “These are diesel-electric trains running through a dense residential neighborhood. And we have a walking path which is actively used.”

Earlier in the day, DART’s executive director gave an update to the city's transportation and infrastructure committee.

“We need to do our best to protect the interests of those neighbors to live along the alignment,” said Chairman Lee Kleinman.

Kleinman believes the project, slated to be complete by late 2022, would help ease congestion on the east-west corridor. But he and another committee member expressed concerns with any significant grade changes, particularly at both the Hillcrest and Coit Road crossings.

“What I'm telling is these are destructive solutions and the community is quite unhappy,” said Councilwoman Cara Mendelsohn.

DART Executive Director Gary Thomas says he hears the concerns and says his team will work on options.

“We're at the very, very beginning of the project. So you have the opportunity to look and see if there's better ways to do it. Better way to fix things,” he said. “I do think it's something that can get worked out.”

Trains could run from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. DART expects some 11,000 daily riders come 2040.