North Dallas Homeowners Oppose Cotton Belt Rail Line

DART holds fourth of four community meetings

Hundreds of North Dallas residents packed a community meeting Thursday night to register their opposition to a new rail line that will add up to 90 trains a day through their neighborhood.

The "Cotton Belt" will stretch 26 miles from DFW Airport to Shiloh Road in Plano and plans to start in December 2022.

"It's created a lot of upset neighbors," said Maura Schreier-Fleming, president of the Highlands of McKamy IV & V neighborhood near Hillcrest Road and McCallum Boulevard. "How would you like to have 60 to 90 trains barreling through your back yard every day?"

At the fourth of four community meetings, Dallas Area Rapid Transit officials got an earful.

DART officials said they'll follow every possible safety procedure, put up sound barriers between the tracks and homes, and not sound horns in "quiet zones" to minimize noise.

But DART's answers didn't seem to satisfy many of the homeowners.

Or even city leaders.

"You think it's hard to fight City Hall? It's really hard to fight a railroad," said city council member Cara Mendelsohn.

She accused DART of failing to follow a city council resolution aimed at setting some ground rules.

"So use your collective voice and make this happen," she told homeowners in front of the DART representatives. "I'm with you. This is not a great thing for the neighborhood."

The meeting was held at the Shelton School & Evaluation Center.

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