Local News

Proposed Commuter Train Route Raises Concerns In Morrisville

Posted July 19, 2001

— The Federal government is endorsing the Triangle Transit Authority's commuter rail plan. The U.S. Senate has approved $9 million to run trains through the Triangle. The TTA needs $755 million for the planned line from Duke University to North Raleigh. The money from the federal government could help get the trains running by 2007.

While the idea is picking up steam, people in Morrisville -- which is one of the stops on the line -- are not ready to hop aboard yet.

Just about every 20 seconds, the traffic lights change at a Morrisville intersection which crosses the tracks the commuter train would run on. The planned commuter system, which would come through about every 7 to 15 minutes, would further tie up traffic.

The

Triangle Transit Authority

plans to add a new track to an existing one, and put in a commuter stop a quarter-mile from the intersection of Highway 54 and Aviation Parkway.

"At this point, I can't speak for the board," said Morrisville Mayor Pro-tem Jan Faulkner.

But Faulkner does have an opinion about the rail system.

"My voice is don't build it at all through here. Phase II possibly, Phase I go ahead and build that through to the airport and skip Morrisville at this point in time," Faulkner said.

Faulkner said Morrisville had a Master Plan to revitalize downtown, and the rail system is not included. She also said that the proposed commuter line would run right by a lot of residential areas.

After a called meeting Wednesday, city commissioners are now on record in opposition of the rail system.

"I think we would be doing a disservice to the town if we closed out eyes and pretended this is not coming in," says Faulkner. "We have to get on this bandwagon and say if its coming in we want this and this and this and those are our absolute views."

Those absolute views include no maintenance yard and possibly moving the planned stop from where it is now.

Those suggestions and the commissions' position will be drafted in a letter that will be sent to TTA by this Friday.

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