Some Ask Where Ypsi Amtrak Riders Will Park

A proposed Amtrak stop in Ypsilanti, Michigan, has some Depot Town business owners asking where Amtrak patrons would park.

The business owners said they are not opposed to Amtrak serving their community, but just want to know how the city is going to handle parking and planning for a station platform.

“My concerns are if we have this process that [has] already moved so far along that we have an announcement in a couple weeks . . . then some site planning could be done, and there are some long-term parking issues that have to be worked through,” said business owner Andy French said. “To be honest with you, maybe there already have been some conversations and it hasn’t been communicated. There are a lot of unanswered questions and a lack of information for a process that seems to be moving along.”

The issue arose last week after city officials learned that the Michigan Department of Transportation and Amtrak are working on establishing a Ypsilanti stop for the Chicago-Detroit (Pontiac) Wolverine Service trains.

Although Ypsilanti City Manager Ralph Lange said no announcement about Amtrak serving the city is imminent, he can be heard on a recording of a city council meeting saying there would be some discussion about it in two weeks.

“I’m not at liberty to talk about rail now, but I will be in two weeks,” Lange said.

Council Member Pete Murdock said parking is an obvious problem that the city would address.

“Clearly there are issues related to parking and the train,” he said. “Parking needs to be regulated and dealt with, but I don’t think it’s an insurmountable problem. It’s not like anyone is ignoring it.”

Murdock suggested the Maple Street lot at Maple and River as one possibility for long-term parking, saying that rail commuters would mostly use parking during weekdays.

Depot Town’s parking lots are most crowded on weekends and in the evening.

Murdock said he hasn’t heard which side of the tracks the city is considering to establish the station platform.

Rex Richie owns the building at 42 E. Cross St. in Depot Town and R2 Construction. He also is concerned about the parking and planning issues.

“I’m just concerned about the way it’s going down and want to make sure that we have proper stuff in place as far as parking. I just don’t want to jump into it too quickly. There are a lot of details that haven’t been spelled out,” he said.

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