Grand Central Terminal — May 1, 2010 17:00 — 0 Comments
Rell announces plan to expand parking at train station
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On Thursday afternoon, Gov. M. Jodi Rell announced that plans are in the works to more than double the number of parking spaces at the city train station at South State Street and Washington Boulevard.
Currently 1,200 spaces are available in the parking structure south of the train platform — which serves Metropolitan Transit Authority and Amtrak routes — and the multi-phase project could increase that number to close to 3,200 spots.
“We are standing here in one the busiest commuter rail stations — outside of Grand Central Station (in New York City), along one of the busiest rail systems in the country,” Rell said. “We’re making great plans to get thousands of cars off the roads, produce less-crowded highways, and get pollutants out of the sky.”
The initial phase of the project will involve finding a temporary location for those 1,200 spaces while the current structure is torn down and re-built.
That temporary parking area — negotiations are ongoing to find a place near enough so as not to inconvenience commuters — will eventually be incorporated into the long-term permanent parking plan.
“Anywhere I go in the state it’s all about parking,” Rell said. “We’ve reviewed short-term and long-term solutions, and we sat down with Department of Transportation officials and municipalities. Our top goal was to boost overall parking spaces by at least a thousand spaces. now we have to find a place to do it.”
Jeff Parker, deputy commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Transportation, said state money is the likely source for the multi-year project.
“We hope to finalize an agreement on a temporary parking location by this summer,” Parker said. “We will maintain the current number of spaces during the process. what we want to do also is accommodate pedestrian drop-off and pedestrian access. We will come up with a design to accommodate all that.”
Mayor Michael Pavia was happy to be a part of the governor’s plan to increase use of mass transit.
“We’re advancing the cause of increased commuter train use in Stamford, but this agreement is much more than that,” Pavia said. “How we replace parking when the (current) garage is erased, and to have the garage in use along with a new garage to provide parking we really need are the key aspects. The governor has been a strong supporter of Stamford, and she recognized Stamford as the great city it is. this will help continue that.”
Parker said “two to four years” is a “rough estimate” for the project.