Tuesday, September 23, 2008
DCTA Denton and Lewisville public open house events prove successful
Residents were invited to attend any of the five "stations" that contained visual displays and to interact directly with the design team about the project.
LEWISVILLE On Sept. 15 and 22, DCTA hosted open houses in Denton and Lewisville to provide residents with updated information on the progress of the agency's 21-mile rail project. The agency, which typically held more formal public meetings with speakers and a presentation, opted to try a different approach to engage the community through more one-on-one interaction.
Residents were invited to attend any of the five "stations" that contained visual displays and to interact directly with the design team about the project. The "stations" included information about the design of the rail stations, the bicycle and pedestrian trail, rail safety education, and the overall design and construction of the project.
"The last time we came before the public was in March when we finalized our environmental documentation. Since that time, we have been working to further define our project to explain what it will look like, how it will operate and how it will be funded," stated Scott Neeley, Executive Vice President of Rail Development. "The open houses allowed us to better tell our story and provide answers to some of the key questions in the minds of our residents."
Some of the questions and comments the agency heard were related to sound mitigation along the corridor and how the potential noise impacts would be mitigated. The agency showed examples of mitigation measures which included
quiet zones, wayside horns and sound walls. Recognizing that there is a strong desire by residents for more information related to the agency's proposed measures to mitigate sound; DCTA will be hosting neighborhood forums later this year. People also were interested in the station designs, bicycle amenities at the station and on the train, the parking available at each station and the project's construction schedule. The information presented at the meeting will soon be available on the project website.
The open house events also allowed the agency to unveil the name of the rail service said Neeley. In August, the DCTA Board of Directors adopted the A-train as the name of the rail service. The "A" is intended to represent Denton's position as the apex of the Dallas/Fort Worth region. The two legs of the "A" represent DCTA's rail service goals. The first one being service into Dallas along Interstate 35E and the second, long-term goal being service along I-35W into Fort Worth. The golden swoosh is a stylized golden spike signifying the agency's connectivity with regional partners.
The open house format gave residents the freedom to ask questions, provide comments and get individualized answers. The agency had record attendance at both events with some residents attending for the first time. Over 160
people attended the events in Denton and Lewisville.
"As we make progress on our rail project and begin moving towards construction, we will continue to seek innovative ways to engage and inform our communities," stressed Neeley.
Over the next few months, the agency will be finalizing the design and anticipates beginning construction in late January or early February.
Source: Denton County Transportation Authority
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