Coppell Chronicle Vol. 2, No. 48
Silver Line Running Behind Schedule • Plans for Banquet Hall Get Derailed • Pickleballers Want to Go Inside and Play • Candidates Lining Up for Elections
Happy Lunar New Year to all who celebrate. Today marks the beginning of the Year of the Rabbit, so let’s hop right into a bit of breaking news that I haven’t seen reported anywhere else.
Silver Line Running Behind Schedule
DART officials said last week that revenue service on the Silver Line won’t begin until well into 2026. The previous estimate was late 2024.
During a community meeting in Cypress Waters on Wednesday evening, DART spokesman Ruben Landa attributed the delay to two factors: “major design changes” and COVID-19.
The latter reason is easy to understand; anybody who hasn’t been in a coma for the past three years knows that the pandemic has led to a variety of labor shortages and supply-chain issues. When I followed up for an explanation of the former reason, DART spokesman Gordon Shattles said the biggest design changes involved the rail crossings at Hillcrest and Coit roads in Far North Dallas.
As a refresher, here’s a map showing the Silver Line trains’ future path between DFW Airport and Plano. The second stop on that west-to-east line will be Cypress Waters Station, just outside Coppell.
It appeared that DART employees and contractors outnumbered the rest of us at Wednesday’s meeting, but the event was newsworthy for one Chronicle subscriber who asked me not to mention her name. She and her husband live in the Northlake Woodlands subdivision, specifically on Crestview Drive, which abuts the Silver Line’s future path. Wednesday was when she found out that the “Veloweb” hike and bike trail, which is being built in conjunction with the Silver Line, will sit between her property and the train tracks; she had assumed the trail would run between the tracks and East Belt Line Road.
Here’s a map showing the planned path of the Veloweb trail, which will include 3.75 miles within the City of Coppell.
Most neighborhoods that are next to the Silver Line tracks will be shielded by 15-foot sound walls. Landa assured my Crestview-residing subscriber that the sound walls near her home would be only 12 feet tall, a compromise that she and her neighbors agreed to in exchange for more decorative vegetation.
Speaking of noise, agreements were recently reached with freight operators along the existing tracks, so Silver Line construction activity should intensify soon. Sure enough, this sentence appears six times in the slides from Wednesday’s meeting: “Community members should anticipate an increase in construction noise around the operations.”
On a related note, all of the Silver Line crossings in Coppell have been designated as “quiet zones,” which means trains operators will blow their horns only when necessary. (The Federal Railroad Administration admits that “reduced train horn area” would be a more appropriate label.) DART project manager John Hoppie said Wednesday that the freight-only crossing of Denton Tap Road, just north of Dickie’s Barbecue Pit, has also been designated as a quiet zone.
Yuki Frey, who was a DART commuter before she moved to Coppell from Plano in 2020, stood up to ask what can be done to increase security at DART stations, given the large number of homeless people they attract.
“This is one of the reasons I chose Coppell: There is no DART,” Frey said. “And now DART’s coming.”
The aforementioned slide presentation says DART leadership and DART police are working with member cities’ police departments to address the homeless issue. Landa told Frey that the pandemic has made it hard to hire enough officers to patrol DART’s vehicles and stations, but Hoppie — who happens to be a Coppell resident — said DART wants to bring on a “homeless czar” to tackle the problem.
I have no idea what skills and experience qualify someone to be a homeless czar, so I wonder if finding the right person will be as difficult as hiring construction workers and police officers. The good news is, DART has plenty of time for the hiring process; it will be at least three years before anybody can catch a ride to Cypress Waters Station.
Plans for Banquet Hall Get Derailed
The meeting chronicled in the previous article happened at Town Hall, an event space within The Sound at Cypress Waters. This was my second visit to the second-story venue; last year, one of my neighbors rented it for a ceremony celebrating her husband’s military promotion.
I wanted to bring Town Hall to your attention because people have been lamenting the lack of event venues in and around Coppell. We were supposed to be getting another option as part of the Victory Shops at Coppell development, but those plans have changed.