Local News

Regional Rail Plans To Change Local Landscape

Posted April 28, 2004

— Depending on who you ask, North Carolina's proposed regional rail system is still on track.

The

Triangle Transit Authority

says it will cost $800 million. So far, TTA has only received $50 million in funding, but planners are moving full-steam ahead.

The TTA meets Wednesday to discuss how proposed rail stops will impact your commute and your neighborhood.

One major issue to work out is parking.

"Parking is never free," said Juanita Shearer-Swink of the TTA.

You may not have to hand money to an attendant, but the cost will be part of the ticket price.

The size of parking lots also has to be worked out. The North Carolina State University station will not have any parking spaces, while 550 spaces are recommended for the stop near North Carolina Central University.

"Size is a factor because we do need to figure out ways to make sure people use our parking lots and don't spill over into an adjacent business or into an adjacent housing development," Swink said.

The TTA has scale models of every stop. The west Raleigh station is planned near Corporation Center and N.C. 54. A 300-space parking lot would go there. It will also bring major changes in the landscape.

The west Raleigh stop will take several acres from the Family Home and Garden Center.

Business owner Bruce Horme has mixed feelings.

"They are going to interrupt my business where we are standing right here and the next few feet over there will be rail tracks," he said.

The TTA is trying to reduce impact, but property owners like Horne know they will feel it.

The transportation bill pending before Congress holds the key to the bulk of the funds the TTA is looking for.

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