Monday, January 7, 2008

EDITORIAL: What Should Be Done for Amtrak Parking

Visitors to Amtrak's 30th Street Station in Philadelphia will note the following:

Short term, meter parking is immediately available on two sides of the station. This parking is designed to serve the needs of car drivers seeing off or picking up passengers.

A parking garage has recently been built with a bridge to the station, enabling commuters to pull their luggage from car to elevator, cross over an enclosed bridge linking parking to the station, and take an escalator or elevator down to the main station floor.

NewsLanc suspects that Amtrak passenger traffic would double if sufficient parking were available. Much money is being spent to build parking garages downtown. There is an even greater need for one at the Amtrak station.

The main purpose of the Amtrak Station and its parking should be to properly serve our community. That requires an abundance of nearby parking spaces and safe, convenient, and sheltered access to the train station proper.

So let's retain short term meter parking in front of the station and substitute it for the current daily parking lot to the east of the station.

And let's build a parking garage on the west side of the station and connect it by elevators to a bridge to the station's ticket and concourse levels. This is precisely what has been done to serve Lancaster General Hospital.

The concept is simple, the cost is not great, and by doing so we will have truly accomplished something for our region and posterity.