This is Ken Larsen.
For Whom the Bell Tolls is an Ernest Hemingway novel about the Spanish Civil War. Beginning in the year 2029, people will think it’s about the Durham Orange Light Rail Project (DOLRT). 2029 is the year the DOLRT is supposed to be finished. With it will come lots of bell ringing, over two hours every day, on over 40 at-great crossings along the route.
At an at-grate or level crossing is where a train crosses a street at street level. When a train approaches such a street, it’s horn will blow, barriers will be lowered, and a bell will ring. This noisy interruption of traffic flow will persist for 50 seconds. This event will occur approximately 150 times per day at each at great crossings
On top of the noise and traffic issues, at great crossings increase the likelihood of collisions, as a train can’t stop as quickly as a bus. For details visit the smarttransitfuture.org website. We’re the folks pushing for a public transportation that really works for everyone—not just for a narrow sliver of the county.
We want frequent bus service and a bus route the transit system, BRT, that will get people out of their cars. Ask the county commissions to choose this more cost effective option. Or, you can wait twelve years, and in the year 2029 listen to the noise of the at great crossings. The bell tolls for thee.