Why not use the Fuller Park South parking lot for a train station?
UM employee parking at FPS was initiated in 1993 via a temporary lease that has been repeatedly renewed. After-work-hours parking is provided for parks users for the 50% of hours that parks are open. The repeated extension of the lease does not change park land into permanent non-park use as would the building of a train station/transportation hub/highrise garage in the park.
Fuller Park is one of Ann Arbor’s earliest parks. It is central to the string of parks along the Huron that are Ann Arbor’s outstanding green space. The parks include: Gallup, The Arb, Riverside, Broadway, Argo and Bandemer, among others.
Parks need parking, and the current leased spaces serve public recreation users of Fuller Pool and seven soccer fields during weekends, evenings and holidays (50% of the time).
How much will a new Ann Arbor Amtrak train station cost?
Costs are yet to be provided in detail to the public, and are dependent on the scope of the project. We assume that the range may be between $40 million to $60 million.
We will get to vote on the train station, right?
Yes, but we do not know whether the question to be posed to voters will address design, location, funding, management, or some combination of these areas of concern. The resolution that was passed by Ann Arbor City Council in October 2012, to hold a vote on the train station, lacked speci!c information on the content of the much-discussed ballot question. We are concerned that the ballot language for a referendum on the Ann Arbor Station would be confusing, superfluous, or designed to be “advisory” to Council and potentially easy to ignore. Members of Protect A2 Parks will closely follow up on the content of ballot language for the public vote.
Why not re-purpose the historic Michigan Central Station?
We love the historic train station on Depot Street. It has served the community since 1886. As members of the public, we do not know what has been discussed among the project team members, regarding returning the historic station to its original purpose. We assume that factors of station design and traffic pattern are under consideration, but we do not know the details. From the small amount of information provided to the public to date, we understand that the FRA has asked the Ann Arbor Station Environmental Assessment team of city staff and consultants to evaluate the potential for re-use of the Michigan Central Station (Gandy Dancer building) as a station for passenger rail service. City staff have stated that they have tried at least once to contact the current owners of the building, but did not indicate whether they attempted more than perfunctory discussion.
The location on Depot Street has served the community well for 182 years, ever since the Michigan Central Railroad first arrived in 1839. The location has provided passengers and businesses with access to downtown businesses, and easy access to streets that connect to neighborhoods, highways, and cross-town travel. The current Depot Street location, surrounded by private property that could be developed, remains a great place to support Transit Oriented Development.
How will parking and access to the station be managed?
Regardless of where a new train station may be placed, elevator access to an over-the-tracks walkway will be required. That is because of the need to comply with The American’s with Disabilities Act (ADA) regulations for access for boarding and de-boarding for those with mobility issues. We agree that current access to the train station from the parking lot and stairway over the Broadway Bridge is awkward, but it can be improved even if the current station is retained.
MDOT is in the process of installation of double tracks on the Wolverine line between Kalamazoo and Dearborn. The double tracks mean that elevators will be required of the Ann Arbor Station. We look forward to improved access, which could be installed as an incremental improvement of the existing station. We will all bene!t from improved access to the train station.