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the Cotton Belt line

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electricron
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Re: the Cotton Belt line

Postby electricron » 18 May 2018 08:38

jeffbrown2002 wrote:That's absolutely true but I would imagine that hurdle could be overcome (if there were any political will for it) with a cooperative agreement between DART and DCTA for trains between Dallas and Denton, similar to how the Trinity Railway Express operates between Dallas and Fort Worth and is funded by both DART and FWTA.

Again it's highly unlikely, for a number of different reasons, but not completely impossible either.


The DCTA, DART, and FWTA are different agencies financed to deliver tranist services by different cities. While it is true the TRE is half owned by FWTA and DART, and that they basically share the expenses to operate the trains 50-50 ..............it's important to remember how it originated.
Step 1, the Rock Island RR built and ran the line well over 50 years.
Step 2, the Rock Island RR entered bankruptcy
Step 3 and 4, the City of Fort Worth and the City of Dallas purchased the ROW within Dallas and Tarrant Counties respectively.
Step 5, both cities demanded the transit agencies servicing them to make the TRE happen or else. ;)
Step 6, the TRE became a reality as the transit agencies negotiated the 50-50 ratio of all responsibilities.

I don't think DART or the FWTA would have created TRE without the proactive steps taken and later demands from both cities. It was something both cities wanted to happen, and with the full political power of civic leaders from both cities behind it, the transit agencies couldn't delay it or prolong its implementation. Golly, the cities even purchased the ROW for them.

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Haretip
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Re: the Cotton Belt line

Postby Haretip » 18 May 2018 12:28

Ah, but you make them sound so altruistic. Don't forget that they make money by charging the TRE (and the other railroads) for use of the tracks. It'd help the transit agencies' bottom line if the Cities of D and FW would sell or donate the line to them.
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The_Overdog
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Re: the Cotton Belt line

Postby The_Overdog » 23 Jul 2018 12:24

https://www.cor.net/home/showdocument?id=23137

This link has some pictures of the Cotton Belt rail line bridge that will cross over US75. It'll be slightly north of Renner Road, maybe 100 yards from the white parking garage on the east side of US75 that was recently constructed and adjacent to the new hotel under construction. I'm not around to see exactly where things are being built, but I kind of think the moved the hotel a bit in the rendering. :) It will also have some swoopy curved decorative arches.

If I'm looking at it correctly, it'll be too tall to add any pedestrian infrastructure to it - so just a rail bridge.

But for the rest of the Richardson portions, they will be adding a 10ft wide sidewalk and pedestrian bridge crossings parallel to the rail line.

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Hannibal Lecter
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Re: the Cotton Belt line

Postby Hannibal Lecter » 23 Jul 2018 12:51

Wonderful. Another bridge with unnecessary arches. Probably not even functional.

Won't these idiots ever learn?

Oh, I'm sorry, I forgot. It's just the taxpayer's money.

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TNWE
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Re: the Cotton Belt line

Postby TNWE » 23 Jul 2018 16:28

Hannibal Lecter wrote:Wonderful. Another bridge with unnecessary arches. Probably not even functional.

Won't these idiots ever learn?

Oh, I'm sorry, I forgot. It's just the taxpayer's money.


I don't see anything in the document specifying arches (functional or otherwise) beyond a couple of thumbnail concept renderings, just an agreement to reimburse DART for corridor design changes that Richardson wanted.

I'm curious, when will we see a City of Dallas resolution agreeing to reimburse DART for the $500M in additional costs they demanded with their desired D2 alignment?

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Hannibal Lecter
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Re: the Cotton Belt line

Postby Hannibal Lecter » 24 Jul 2018 12:11

TNWE wrote:I'm curious, when will we see a City of Dallas resolution agreeing to reimburse DART for the $500M in additional costs they demanded with their desired D2 alignment?


I'd love to see that. Teach the Morons on Marilla a lesson.

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Re: the Cotton Belt line

Postby cowboyeagle05 » 24 Jul 2018 12:33

The DART board works at the convenience of the cities that have representatives. If the Dallas city council wants it to be underground because of a unified policy agreement between them I see no problem with them directing their representatives to vote that way.

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The_Overdog
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Re: the Cotton Belt line

Postby The_Overdog » 15 Aug 2018 15:10

I guess the final Cotton Belt line vote was supposed to be sometime soon; it's held up over the idea of scrapping versus delaying the Preston and Coit Stations. The fate of Adventure Landing hangs in the balance.

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electricron
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Re: the Cotton Belt line

Postby electricron » 01 Sep 2018 12:04

Both Preston and Coit stations have been “deferred”, sort of a mix between delayed and cancelled. Which means DART has no intentions to build these stations anytime soon, but like Lake Highlands they could be built later without much ado because the EIS has already been performed on them. So the only Cotton Belt station to be built within the city limits of Dallas will be Knoll Trail in the Galleria area. Therefore few Dallas citizens will live within walking distance to a Cotton Belt station, so DART should insure there will be plenty of parking available for them.

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Tivo_Kenevil
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Re: the Cotton Belt line

Postby Tivo_Kenevil » 01 Sep 2018 12:47

Why did the residents not want the stations? Were they scared people would ride it, break into their homes and steal their TVs?

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itsjrd1964
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Re: the Cotton Belt line

Postby itsjrd1964 » 02 Sep 2018 16:05

Tivo_Kenevil wrote:Why did the residents not want the stations? Were they scared people would ride it, break into their homes and steal their TVs?


Probably a combo-meal of that, and also that neighborhood thinks there is a loud-noise factor with the train operation as well.

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electricron
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Re: the Cotton Belt line

Postby electricron » 02 Sep 2018 16:38

itsjrd1964 wrote:
Tivo_Kenevil wrote:Why did the residents not want the stations? Were they scared people would ride it, break into their homes and steal their TVs?


Probably a combo-meal of that, and also that neighborhood thinks there is a loud-noise factor with the train operation as well.


Maybe both suggestions are correct somewhat, but it could be the following as well, real estate evaluations. Train stations usually brings zoning changes where higher density buildings spring up. These neighborhoods in north Dallas like single family homes in their neighborhoods, and want their homes maintain their values.
Where the stations will be built will see zoning changes and higher density TODs built around them. Not every mile along the corridor needs to change, imho. Those near stations should, but maybe not elsewhere.

Can you imagine TODs springing up in the Hollywood neighborhood with mansion after mansion after mansion along the street? Maybe along major streets with high density commercial and residential properties, but not along streets, major or minor, with low density residential homes. Likewise, treat far north Dallas the same. Even major streets like Preston, Hillcrest, and Marsh are full of low density residential homes.

Even in London the underground and overground have placed train stations in terrible locations, with the resulting very low ridership. I keep suggesting that not every major street is a great place to put a station. Check out Geoff Marshall’s “”Least used stations” YouTube videos. Neighborhoods change, and what may have been a great place for a station in the past may not be now. I suggest a low density residential neighborhood without businesses nearby or within walking distance is not a great place to place a train station.

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muncien
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Re: the Cotton Belt line

Postby muncien » 04 Sep 2018 09:53

electricron wrote:Both Preston and Coit stations have been “deferred”, sort of a mix between delayed and cancelled. Which means DART has no intentions to build these stations anytime soon, but like Lake Highlands they could be built later without much ado because the EIS has already been performed on them. So the only Cotton Belt station to be built within the city limits of Dallas will be Knoll Trail in the Galleria area. Therefore few Dallas citizens will live within walking distance to a Cotton Belt station, so DART should insure there will be plenty of parking available for them.


I assume the Cypress Waters station is still in the mix, right? Did they every confirm that the realignment of the tracks through Cypress Waters will be the final alternative? I know it's a bit of a stretch, but 'technically' that will be a 'Dallas' station and walkable (eventually), even if my postal address and school district is 'Coppell'.
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TNWE
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Re: the Cotton Belt line

Postby TNWE » 04 Sep 2018 13:23

itsjrd1964 wrote:
Tivo_Kenevil wrote:Why did the residents not want the stations? Were they scared people would ride it, break into their homes and steal their TVs?


Probably a combo-meal of that, and also that neighborhood thinks there is a loud-noise factor with the train operation as well.


If these people ever rode DART, they'd know how terrible it would be as a getaway vehicle for would-be thieves. I'm imagining a guy standing on a platform struggling to hold a flatscreen tv, waiting an hour for the next train to arrive...

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Hannibal Lecter
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Re: the Cotton Belt line

Postby Hannibal Lecter » 04 Sep 2018 16:07

^ I know you're trying to be funny, but it's not. Perhaps you should meet some of the folks who've been assaulted, raped and robbed in Deep Ellum. It's no joke...every other news story about these incidents ends with practically the same last sentence:

"The suspects were last seen headed towards the DART rail station."

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northsouth
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Re: the Cotton Belt line

Postby northsouth » 04 Sep 2018 20:15

muncien wrote:I assume the Cypress Waters station is still in the mix, right? Did they every confirm that the realignment of the tracks through Cypress Waters will be the final alternative? I know it's a bit of a stretch, but 'technically' that will be a 'Dallas' station and walkable (eventually), even if my postal address and school district is 'Coppell'.


As far as I can tell, it's still happening. Doesn't seem like there was ever much of a debate about it, everyone's cool with it.

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TNWE
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Re: the Cotton Belt line

Postby TNWE » 05 Sep 2018 09:16

Hannibal Lecter wrote:^ I know you're trying to be funny, but it's not. Perhaps you should meet some of the folks who've been assaulted, raped and robbed in Deep Ellum. It's no joke...every other news story about these incidents ends with practically the same last sentence:

"The suspects were last seen headed towards the DART rail station."


Take your faux outrage elsewhere- Deep Ellum didn't suddenly have a crime problem when the Green Line opened in 2010. That "element" was always there, but with all the gentrification happening in Deep Ellum, crime is now more visible to the upper-middle class demographics that have moved in and now frequent the area. North Dallas won't turn into a haven of crime if it gets a Cotton Belt station.

If witnesses/victims get a good enough look at criminals to say they're running straight for the DART station, the arrest/conviction rate should be pretty high since these people are headed straight for a well-lit area festooned with security cameras. It's far more likely that people say "they were last seen headed for the DART Station" because it's a notable landmark in the area. They might as well say "they were last seen headed towards Baylor Hospital" and you could make baseless speculation about how hospitals attract a criminal element :roll:

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tanzoak
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Re: the Cotton Belt line

Postby tanzoak » 05 Sep 2018 10:13

TNWE wrote:
Hannibal Lecter wrote:^ I know you're trying to be funny, but it's not. Perhaps you should meet some of the folks who've been assaulted, raped and robbed in Deep Ellum. It's no joke...every other news story about these incidents ends with practically the same last sentence:

"The suspects were last seen headed towards the DART rail station."


Take your faux outrage elsewhere- Deep Ellum didn't suddenly have a crime problem when the Green Line opened in 2010. That "element" was always there, but with all the gentrification happening in Deep Ellum, crime is now more visible to the upper-middle class demographics that have moved in and now frequent the area. North Dallas won't turn into a haven of crime if it gets a Cotton Belt station.

If witnesses/victims get a good enough look at criminals to say they're running straight for the DART station, the arrest/conviction rate should be pretty high since these people are headed straight for a well-lit area festooned with security cameras. It's far more likely that people say "they were last seen headed for the DART Station" because it's a notable landmark in the area. They might as well say "they were last seen headed towards Baylor Hospital" and you could make baseless speculation about how hospitals attract a criminal element :roll:


Yeah, where's all the footage of these criminals using transit as a getaway vehicle? If that was a real thing, we'd have tons of it.

It's also funny because if this was actually true, it would be a Dallas-only problem that transit service is used as a criminal pathway. And this in a city where almost everyone has access to a car (including, yes, the "criminal element"). Apparently DART is so convenient during off-peak hours that it's the preferred mode of people who need quick escapes (though basically no one else.. huh).

And then on top of all this, the idea that the "criminal element" is basically commuting to unleash their mayhem.. is there not enough assaulting, raping, and robbing opportunities to go around in their local neighborhoods? Is it like an overfishing thing, where once you do all the assaults in one area, there become fewer assaults you can do, so you have to go somewhere new while the first area replenishes itself with available assaults? And now they've so over-assaulted the close-in areas that they have to go far away to find more assaulting opportunities?

Or are they just very diligent "criminal element"ers who wouldn't want to sully the reputation of their local neighborhood with their assaulting, raping, and robbing, and instead choose to commute to far-off locales. Maybe they don't have a car, but of course they wouldn't want to be a burden on their friends, so they just ask to be dropped off at DART and then patiently take the train to their place of business.

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Re: the Cotton Belt line

Postby cowboyeagle05 » 05 Sep 2018 10:45

Also, I would like to point out when I worked in Deep Ellum after the 90's crime wave that turned into a police state then everyone left the area and bars closed there was almost no crime because there was no one to rob/mame etc. Crime has increased because of the demographics and the number of things to steal from has increased. The sheer number of drunk individuals wandering around stupidly at 2am-4am, lots of new businesses with lackluster security are what attract crime.

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electricron
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Re: the Cotton Belt line

Postby electricron » 05 Sep 2018 21:45

What a terrible thing to suggest, having more victims to prey upon doesn’t increase crime. Having more greedy criminals is the major reason for increasing crime rates, imho.

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Re: the Cotton Belt line

Postby cowboyeagle05 » 06 Sep 2018 08:44

Back to the Cotton Belt Batman...

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itsjrd1964
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Re: the Cotton Belt line

Postby itsjrd1964 » 06 Sep 2018 16:31

Yes, we are the Thread Drift Metropolis ;)

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Re: the Cotton Belt line

Postby joshua.dodd » 12 Sep 2018 08:49

cowboyeagle05 wrote:Also, I would like to point out when I worked in Deep Ellum after the 90's crime wave that turned into a police state then everyone left the area and bars closed there was almost no crime because there was no one to rob/mame etc. Crime has increased because of the demographics and the number of things to steal from has increased. The sheer number of drunk individuals wandering around stupidly at 2am-4am, lots of new businesses with lackluster security are what attract crime.


What attracts the crime are the idiots that enable the beggars. People keep giving beggars change and that's what makes things worse. It's a slippery slope. But all these dumbasses from California don't seem to have an ounce of common sense.

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Re: the Cotton Belt line

Postby joshua.dodd » 12 Sep 2018 08:59

joshua.dodd wrote:
cowboyeagle05 wrote:Also, I would like to point out when I worked in Deep Ellum after the 90's crime wave that turned into a police state then everyone left the area and bars closed there was almost no crime because there was no one to rob/mame etc. Crime has increased because of the demographics and the number of things to steal from has increased. The sheer number of drunk individuals wandering around stupidly at 2am-4am, lots of new businesses with lackluster security are what attract crime.


What attracts the crime are the idiots that enable the beggars. People keep giving beggars change and that's what makes things worse. It's a slippery slope.

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Re: the Cotton Belt line

Postby cowboyeagle05 » 12 Sep 2018 09:15

Damn Californians they ruin everything...

Last I was told it was all the conservative churchgoers that keep giving out handouts in Downtown that were the problem. Now it's liberal Californians in Deep Ellum? Well, the blame certainly keeps shifting just like peoples desire to pretend the problem doesn't exist.

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Re: the Cotton Belt line

Postby Tivo_Kenevil » 12 Sep 2018 11:02

joshua.dodd wrote:But all these dumbasses from California don't seem to have an ounce of common sense.

-___-

really...

Leave it to a Texan to blame Californians for homelessness in Texas.

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Re: the Cotton Belt line

Postby joshua.dodd » 12 Sep 2018 13:22

Tivo_Kenevil wrote:
joshua.dodd wrote:But all these dumbasses from California don't seem to have an ounce of common sense.

-___-

really...

Leave it to a Texan to blame Californians for homelessness in Texas.


Who is the majority of people moving to Dallas? Californians. Btw, San Francisco sure is looking great these days with all the human feces pilled up on the city streets. The fact is, Deep Ellum has turned to shit and something needs to be done about the homeless situation. Otherwise, well end up like San Francisco with feces on the streets.

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Re: the Cotton Belt line

Postby DPatel304 » 12 Sep 2018 13:45

C'mon, Dallas. We're better than that. Yes, there is an influx of residents coming in from California (as there is coming from other parts of the country as well), but, either way, it's nobody's fault but our own.

Also, I think the number of Californians coming to DFW has been exaggerated a bit. I'm guessing it's because Toyota was one of the bigger and earlier corporate relocations that happened to be towards the earlier stages of this big boom. I did a quick search and found this link which shows where people are moving from:
https://woodcreekfate.com/which-cities- ... orth-area/

I know the link isn't really that credible and I have no idea what year it is from, but, according to the link, people are moving here from all over (including other parts of Texas). I'm sure there is a better source out there, but I can't be bothered to search for one. Let's not be petty and trash incoming residents from California.

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TNWE
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Re: the Cotton Belt line

Postby TNWE » 12 Sep 2018 16:10

Getting back to the topic at hand....

I passed through Addison Circle the other day, and was surprised at just how much open, undeveloped land there is surrounding the Addison Transit center (which would become a rail stop with the Cotton Belt). I can't imagine they'd stay vacant once the NTP is issued for the Cotton Belt. People have been focusing on the low ridership stations (that will no doubt get deferred), but it seems like there's a real opportunity to fill in the blanks here. It's already a pretty easy walk from the transit center to the Addison Circle development, and extending that feel to the other side of the tracks would make it almost seamless.

Additionally, the Transit center already has a huge number of bus routes meeting there, which I didn't realize. Maybe getting rail service will help shake the "bus stigma" that hinders DART in so many parts of the service area. Offering more N/S express bus trips to Legacy and DT to compliment the E/W Cotton Belt service would make it a much more compelling location for someone seeking to go car-free.

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Re: the Cotton Belt line

Postby muncien » 14 Sep 2018 08:38

I really wish the stretch of Addison along Belt Line rd were more walkable. Addison is kinda the 'anti-urban' suburb. It seems that they are built around the automobile and have little interest in getting away from that. I know some may say that its because they don't have rail, but I don't buy that (although, I do believe they SHOULD have rail). There is a bit of rebellious mentality in Addison. They have no issue allowing smoking in their restaurants, and they are perfectly content being a car oriented destination. I wouldn't be surprised if Addison was the inebriated driver capital of Texas.
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electricron
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Re: the Cotton Belt line

Postby electricron » 14 Sep 2018 12:26

muncien wrote:I really wish the stretch of Addison along Belt Line rd were more walkable. Addison is kinda the 'anti-urban' suburb. It seems that they are built around the automobile and have little interest in getting away from that. I know some may say that its because they don't have rail, but I don't buy that (although, I do believe they SHOULD have rail). There is a bit of rebellious mentality in Addison. They have no issue allowing smoking in their restaurants, and they are perfectly content being a car oriented destination. I wouldn't be surprised if Addison was the inebriated driver capital of Texas.

No one should expect a walkable neighborhood prior to great transit, either bus or rail. Expecting private enterprise to build TOD communities without Transit is like expecting private enterprise to build homes with garages before their were cars, it’s not going to happen. Contractors are going to build homes in neighborhoods that they can sell for a profit, and in the car era that includes including cars.

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Re: the Cotton Belt line

Postby DPatel304 » 14 Sep 2018 12:52

We have a couple examples of walkable neighborhoods where there is little to no transit. Shops at Legacy, Legacy West, and Watters Creek are good examples. Sure, they are not urban heaven, but they are decent, and significantly better than most of Addison.

With that said, I do like Addison Circle, and I'm hoping the Cotton Belt station results in the expansion of Addison Circle. I hope it becomes such a success, that it eventually transforms most of this stretch of Belt Line. I'm hoping the DART line also creates some synergy between UTD and Addison as well, as I imagine it will be a pretty quick ride for students.

Does anyone know if UTD students get to ride the DART for free? I'm pretty sure I have heard that students in Dallas proper get free DART access, but I wasn't sure if this applied to UTD.

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The_Overdog
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Re: the Cotton Belt line

Postby The_Overdog » 14 Sep 2018 14:10

I really wish the stretch of Addison along Belt Line rd were more walkable.


That would be nice, but if you check the residential growth in Addison, it's obvious that Beltline is a divider and most of it is on the north side of Beltline. Beltline is such a strong dividing line that residential growth is towards an airport!

It's also another place where a deck park over the DNT would unlock tons of value. A deck park or getting rid of the stupid service roads and building a legit pedestrian crossing.

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muncien
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Re: the Cotton Belt line

Postby muncien » 14 Sep 2018 14:29

When you look at the density of employers, residents, and retail (mostly restaurants) in this area, a transit line like the Cotton Belt and it's station location seem like a slam dunk. But in reality, the are is all disjointed and there is very little connectivity. While this place is 'mostly' automobile oriented, even that isn't all that convenient.
With the eventual construction of the Cotton Belt Line, there will have to be some significant sidewalk expansion, and likely a low/free cost circulator bus (rubber tire trolley?) that serves the primary corridors. Otherwise, the station alone won't be of much use to the area.
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TNWE
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Re: the Cotton Belt line

Postby TNWE » 17 Sep 2018 11:34

DPatel304 wrote:We have a couple examples of walkable neighborhoods where there is little to no transit. Shops at Legacy, Legacy West, and Watters Creek are good examples. Sure, they are not urban heaven, but they are decent, and significantly better than most of Addison.

With that said, I do like Addison Circle, and I'm hoping the Cotton Belt station results in the expansion of Addison Circle. I hope it becomes such a success, that it eventually transforms most of this stretch of Belt Line. I'm hoping the DART line also creates some synergy between UTD and Addison as well, as I imagine it will be a pretty quick ride for students.

Does anyone know if UTD students get to ride the DART for free? I'm pretty sure I have heard that students in Dallas proper get free DART access, but I wasn't sure if this applied to UTD.


UTD and SMU are under a different program than the DART Student program, but it's effectively the same. You just have to go to student union to request a pass instead of the DART store. TCU and I think UNT have a similar program with their respective transit authorities (at TCU, they handed one out with each student parking pass, but if you didn't buy a parking pass, it took an act of congress to get one, which is bas-ackwards)

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Cbdallas
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Re: the Cotton Belt line

Postby Cbdallas » 18 Sep 2018 15:57

Will this actually be called the Cotton Belt line or will it be given a color based name as other DART lines.

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TNWE
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Re: the Cotton Belt line

Postby TNWE » 18 Sep 2018 17:49

Cbdallas wrote:Will this actually be called the Cotton Belt line or will it be given a color based name as other DART lines.


Good question- the name "Cotton Belt" is a holdover from its freight railway days, but I always assumed it was just shorthand for the planning discussions. Fort Worth elected to rebrand their section as Tex Rail, and of course the A-Train and TRE aren't color-based names. My guess is that they won't give it a color because it's a commuter-style service, not a rapid transit service.

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jeffbrown2002
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Re: the Cotton Belt line

Postby jeffbrown2002 » 18 Sep 2018 17:50

Cbdallas wrote:Will this actually be called the Cotton Belt line or will it be given a color based name as other DART lines.


DART has consistently displayed it as a dotted purple line on their recent expansion maps so that might be a hint. Interestingly Washington D.C. is also building an east-west rail line across their northern suburbs designated as the Purple Line.

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TNWE
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Re: the Cotton Belt line

Postby TNWE » 19 Sep 2018 10:42

jeffbrown2002 wrote:
Cbdallas wrote:Will this actually be called the Cotton Belt line or will it be given a color based name as other DART lines.


DART has consistently displayed it as a dotted purple line on their recent expansion maps so that might be a hint. Interestingly Washington D.C. is also building an east-west rail line across their northern suburbs designated as the Purple Line.


Years ago, the TRE was depicted as a green line, and switched to dark blue once the Green Line project kicked off. They may depict it in purple on the map, but I doubt it will be called the Purple Line. It would create the expectation that it's like the other LRT lines, even though Cotton Belt peak headways (30 mins) are as long as the LRT weekend/off-offpeak headways.

Reading through the DEIS, sections 4 & 5 of https://www.dart.org/ShareRoot/about/ex ... enance.pdf talk a lot about timing and coordinating CB trains to create reliable connections, with CB headway times being divisible by LRT headway times. This means passengers have a consistent connection time between modes, regardless of which train they take. The TRE used to have an issue where one train would be well-timed for connections, but the next one was scheduled to leave Union/Victory 1 minute before a LRT train was scheduled to arrive, resulting in wildly different overall trip times depending on when you started your journey. It's one thing if delays result in extra waiting, but the shortest valid scheduled connection shouldn't be much more than 5 minutes between modes.

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Re: the Cotton Belt line

Postby cowboyeagle05 » 19 Sep 2018 10:46

DART once had one of the Green or the Orange lines listed as Purple in their planning documents before they built the lines. Eventually, it was phased out and last I was told is Purple is not a traditional transit line color for some reason. I don't know if it has to do with readability for the color blind maybe?


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