Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Amtrak parking plans revised to serve more cars

In response to an inquiry from NewsLanc, Chris Neumann of the Lancaster County Planning Commission revealed today that proposed plans for renovations to the Lancaster Amtrak Station now call for 255 parking spaces, 70 more than had been shown on a plan last year, and approximately 130 spaces more than are currently present.

The revised plans are under going final review by Amtrak.

As NewsLanc pointed out in our December editorial, most of the the proposed additional spaces were for employees of the Amtrak Britcher Communication and Signal Training Building, while the number of commuter spaces remained about the same. Furthermore, due to plans to eliminate the current short term parking, people were going to be made to walk almost a city block to and from the station!

Neumann also advised that officials from the City, County Planning Department, Manheim Township Planning Department, Amtrak, Red Rose Transit Authority, and James Street Improvement District recently met to discuss means for providing temporary parking during construction.

They agreed to estimate how much temporary parking is needed, to identify potential vacant lots, to contact the owners of these lots as to their availability, to ascertain how much it would cost to lease these lots, and to "find funding" to pay for the leases.

Officials have estimated that parking may be reduced by as much as a third during construction, which is scheduled to begin this summer and last well over a year.

NewsLanc had also criticized officials for not being aware of the impending closings, and thus failing to devise plans to provide alternate parking for travelers.