Changes are coming for the light rail plans

Perhaps you’ve seen a video flyover which demonstrated the path of the proposed TTA light rail system. If so, you should forget all about that now, because there are major changes coming.

The tl;dr version of events is that the NC Railroad Company isn’t playing ball with its corridor, so the maps are being drawn to work around the problem. From Indy Week:

“You’ve been nimble to move out of the North Carolina Railroad corridor,” Councilman Steve Schewel told Triangle Transit officials. “But we shouldn’t sugarcoat the pill. We’re doing this because of the recalcitrance of the North Carolina Railroad.”

The changes represent mostly shifting the new line slightly to the south of the current tracks, closer aligning with Pettigrew (and indeed sharing the current route Pettigrew takes in places).

The Herald-Sun has posted a link to a new map (in PDF form (on dropbox), (sigh)). The original flyover has been removed from the official TTA web site and a new one is supposedly forthcoming. The official maps on that site still show the old route as of the time of this writing, FWIW.

Based on my reading, the new route will necessitate the loss of a few buildings. Notably is the historic Cary Lumber Company building, which is owned by Duke and sits south of Buchanan (across from the Smith Warehouse). It also looks like this plan would nuke the Thompson Howard building just south of the current Amtrack platform.

Sam’s Quik Shop, though, appears to escape unscathed.

All of this stuff is obviously pie in the sky at this point, at least a decade out, but it’s worth thinking about it sooner rather than later. It’s already getting a lot of attention due to concerns over gentrification and affordable housing in the path of the project as well.

1 thought on “Changes are coming for the light rail plans”

  1. What a boondoggle. So the owner of the primary rail corridor in the state wants nothing to do with it? Thus, more eminent domain and more lost buildings. And more streets lost = MORE, not LESS congestion. There is no way the rail plan on Erwin, already the most congested in Durham, will make things better. Sure it wont work, but at least its expensive.

    $1.5b (and rising) for a train that will take twice as long to get to Chapel Hill as a bus. Great. And it wont go near Franklin St, anyway. Even if it did, the RSX and TTA 405 would still get there faster.

    $1.5b could buy 15,000 units of affordable housing. Fifteen THOUSAND. If the regional group-thinkers are really committed to affordable housing, they’d say kill the train and put the money in residential units.

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