Community Meetings Planned for Cotton Belt Corridor

There is renewed pushback about plans to build a new Dallas Area Rapid Transit rail line in North Texas.

The Cotton Belt Corridor runs east and west between Plano and Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport.

The railroad hasn't been used in years, but new talk of building a DART rail line on it has some taking sides.

"It’s somewhat concerning,” said Jan Demeulder.

Demeulder's home is walking distance from the Cotton Belt Corridor. He says concerns of building a DART rail line have come up before.

Now, the city of Plano is prompting the discussion again.

In July, city leaders announced they’re onboard with plans to build the DART line sooner than later.

Homeowners in the Prestonwood neighborhood of North Dallas are saying, not so fast.

“We’re afraid that they might just try to make this happen much quicker without taking into account what our people we need in the neighborhood here,” Demeulder said.

Concerns include the noise that could come with the rail, and crossings that could stop foot traffic in its tracks.

But all others see are benefits that could come from having a DART rail run so close to home.

“It'll help people get around that doesn't have cars, and so it'll be much help,” said DART rider Byron Johnson.

Soon, both sides will have a chance to voice their opinions.

Six public meetings are planned for later this month. Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings, DART President Gary Thomas and Dallas City Councilwoman Sandy Greyson are expected to attend.

Cotton Belt Regional Rail Corridor Upcoming Community Meetings:

Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2016 - 6:30 p.m.
Richardson Civic Center
411 West Arapaho Road, Richardson, TX 75080

Thursday, Aug. 25, 2016 - 6:30 p.m.
Addison Conference Centre
15650 Addison Road, Addison, TX 75001

Monday, Aug. 29, 2016 - 7 p.m.
Parkhill Junior High School Cafeteria
16500 Shadybank Drive, Dallas, TX 75248

Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2016 - 6:30 p.m.
Event 1013
1013 East 15th Street, Plano, TX 75074

Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2016 - 6:30 p.m.
Dallas/Fort Worth Airport Marriott North
8440 Freeport Parkway, Irving TX 75063

Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2016 - 6:30 p.m.
Plaza Arts Center
1115 Fourth Avenue, Carrollton, TX 75006

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