In this week’s edition of Transit Thursday we’re talking about… LIGHT RAIL!
That’s right. We have an exciting announcement this week for all you light rail fans out there. Don’t know much about light rail? You’re still in the right spot.
Our friends over at Our Transit Future are working hard to make light rail between Durham and Orange counties a reality. This week, they crossed a giant item off their to-do list: The Draft Environmental Impact Statement(DEIS). Below you’ll find a description of this piece of the D-O LRT Project, locations where you can access the document, public meetings about the project, and information on submitting your comments on the DEIS.
The DEIS evaluates the environmental, transportation, social, and economic impacts associated with the transportation improvements in the Durham-Orange (D-O) Corridor serving the cities of Chapel Hill and Durham in the Research Triangle region of North Carolina. The DEIS documents the evaluation of the No Build Alternative and the NEPA Preferred and Project Element Alternatives. The No Build Alternative is defined and analyzed to provide the base against which the NEPA Preferred and Project Element Alternatives can be compared.
Planning for high-capacity transit in the Research Triangle region began more than 20 years ago, and a number of studies have been conducted to advance major transit investments in the area. The proposed D-O LRT Project consists of a 17-mile light rail project from southwest Chapel Hill to eastern Durham and includes several educational, medical, and other key activity centers which generate a large number of trips each day. The D-O LRT Project would include 17 stations and has Project Element Alternatives including two sections with alignment alternatives (i.e., Little Creek with four alignment options and New Hope Creek with three alignment options). Additionally, there are five Rail Operations and Maintenance Facility (ROMF) options under consideration. The NEPA Preferred Alternative contains the preferred alignment options, one ROMF option, and station selections in each area where alignment and station alternatives exist.
COMMENT PERIOD: August 28, 2015 – October 13, 2015
HOW TO COMMENT ON THE DEIS: There are several ways to comment on the information in the DEIS:
- By email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
- By postal mail to: D-O LRT Project – DEIS, c/o Triangle Transit, P.O. Box 530, Morrisville, NC 27560
- By comment card at two public information sessions and two public hearings
- Through the D-O LRT Project’s website: http://ourtransitfuture.com/deis/
- In person during public hearings in Chapel Hill and Durham
PUBLIC HEARINGS: Two formal public hearings on the DEIS will be held. Each speaker will be allowed two (2) minutes to comment. The dates for the public hearings are:
- Tuesday, September 29, from 4-7 P.M. at Grumman Auditorium in the Friday Center, 100 Friday Center Drive, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-1020
- Thursday, October 1, from 4-7 P.M. at the Durham County Commission Chamber, 200 East Main Street, Old Courthouse – Second Floor, Durham, NC 27701
There will be a formal presentation at 4:15 P.M. at each hearing location. The hearings are being held to solicit comments regarding the proposed D-O LRT Project. Hearing participants will have the opportunity to provide verbal comments on the DEIS (limited to 2 minutes per participant). A court reporter will be present to record verbal comments made by participants. Hearing participants will also have the opportunity to submit comments in writing during the hearings. Comments received verbally and in writing will receive equal weight. All comments submitted for the record will be reviewed and considered as part of the development of the combined Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS)/Record of Decision (ROD).
DEIS LOCATIONS: The DEIS is available for public review in the following formats:
▫ D-O LRT Project website at ourtransitfuture.com
▫ GoTriangle website at gotriangle.org
- Hard Copies are available for review at:
▫ GoTriangle Administrative Office, 4600 Emperor Blvd., Suite 100, Durham, NC 27703
▫ Duke University, Perkins Library, 411 Chapel Dr., Durham, NC 27708
▫ Durham City Hall, 101 City Hall Plaza, Durham, NC 27701
▫ Durham County Government Office, 200 E. Main St., Durham, NC 27701
▫ Durham Technical Community College Library, 1637 E. Lawson St., Durham, NC 27703
▫ North Carolina Central University, James E. Shepherd Memorial Library,
1801 Fayetteville St., Durham, NC 27701
▫ Orange County Government Services Center, 200 S. Cameron St., Hillsborough, NC 27278
▫ Town of Chapel Hill Town Hall, 405 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd., Chapel Hill, NC 27517
▫ University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Davis Library, 208 Raleigh St., Chapel Hill, NC 27517
▫ All Public Libraries in Durham County:
- Bragtown Library Family Literacy Center, 3200 Dearborn Dr., Durham, NC 277704
- Durham Public Library – East Regional Library, 211 Lick Creek Ln., Durham, NC 27703
- Durham Public Library – Main Branch, 300 N. Roxboro St., Durham, NC
- Durham Public Library – North Regional Library, 221 Milton Rd., Durham, NC 27712
- Durham Public Library – South Regional Library, 4505 S. Alston Ave., Durham, NC 27713
- Durham Public Library – Southwest Regional Library, 3605 Shannon Rd., Durham, NC 27707
- Durham Public Library – Stanford L. Warren Branch Library, 1201 Fayetteville Rd., Durham, NC 27707
▫ All Public Libraries in Durham County:
- Orange County Public Library – Main Library, 137 W. Margaret Ln., Hillsborough, NC 27278
- Orange County Public Library – Carrboro Branch (McDougle Middle School), 900 Old Fayetteville Rd., Chapel Hill, NC 27516
PUBLIC INFORMATION SESSIONS: Triangle Transit will hold two Public Information Sessions on the DEIS in advance of the public hearings.
- Tuesday, September 15, from 4-7 P.M. at the Friday Center in Chapel Hill, NC
- Saturday, September 19, from 2-5 P.M. at the Durham Station Transportation Center at 515 W. Pettigrew Street, Durham, NC
Anyone desiring additional information may contact Natalie Murdock, Triangle Transit – Interim Manager for Communications and Public Affairs, Triangle Transit, Post Office Box 13787 RTP, NC 27709, by phone (919) 485-7569, or by email: email@example.com.