March 18 meeting set to discuss Local Rail Service

According to this notice that I just received from our City Planner, things seem to be moving forward on the local rail front. An open house has been set for March 18 (4:00 – 7:00), during which members of the Ypsi community will be asked for their input on the much anticipated local stop on the Ann Arbor – Detroit line being planned by the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments (SEMCOG). This will then be followed at 7:00 by a formal SEMCOG presentation before the City’s Planning Commission, which is open to the public… It’s also worth noting that, according to this note, there will be 4 trains every day going in each direction between Ann Arbor and Detroit, all of which will stop in Ypsi. The last time we discussed this, I believe, we were under the impression that service would begin with just be 2 trains in each direction, each day… Here’s the announcement:

The Ann Arbor to Detroit commuter rail project is scheduled to begin its pilot service in late 2010. The City has been working with SEMCOG to provide for the Ypsilanti stop, and will be holding a drop-in open house session to discuss the needs and considerations for this stop. The stop is planned to be located in Depot Town, and SEMCOG currently expects to provide 4 trains daily in each direction at the beginning of the pilot service.

The City and SEMCOG are considering the needs for the initial startup of the service, as well as the ongoing development and maturation throughout the 3-year pilot program and beyond. Issues under discussion include access to and from the station, by bus, bike, car, and foot; circulation between the station, EMU’s campus, and downtown; anticipated parking needs; and ensuring that the train service supports and contributes to ongoing investment in the Depot Town business district and surrounding neighborhoods.

The open house will be held Wednesday, March 18, from 4-7pm, at the Haab Medical Building (111 N. Huron Street). The open house will be followed immediately at 7pm by the Planning Commission meeting, at the same location, which will include a formal presentation from SEMCOG staff. Questions and comments can be made during the open house, at the Planning Commission meeting, or to the City’s Planning and Development Department. All comments will be provided to City Council and SEMCOG as the project moves forward.

For those interested, the last formal SEMCOG update on this project can be found here.

[Tonight’s post is brought to you by John Stewart’s brilliant takedown of CNBC and Wall Street.]

This entry was posted in Economics, Michigan, Rail, Ypsilanti and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

7 Comments

  1. maryd
    Posted March 6, 2009 at 6:13 am | Permalink

    Hurray! The train will stop in Ypsi! Now that is some good news.

  2. Ol' E Cross
    Posted March 6, 2009 at 10:40 am | Permalink

    The airport stop is great and I’m glad to hear the whole thing will be running on weekends. One advantage for Ypsi is we’re about the only locations where you can step off the train and be a few steps from an event. We should use this to push things like summer festivals with some marketing further down the tracks. I also see some potential with The Henry Ford stop. Vacationers could take an easy trip to Ypsi to our little museums. Got to remember this is a pilot service. Use it or lose it and all.

  3. Long Island Red
    Posted March 6, 2009 at 10:41 am | Permalink

    The meeting should be a the Freight House, not the Haab building. It’s silly to keep people out of a building that’s perfectly safe. If you want to talk about local scandals, the Freighthouse puts Shovelgate to shame.

  4. Posted March 6, 2009 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

    Yes, OEC, take advantage of events in Riverside, and even the Thursday night auto shows.

    Anyone know how much a ticket will cost?

  5. Posted March 6, 2009 at 11:34 pm | Permalink

    I work in downtown Ann Arbor and live only a short walk from Depot town. Ann Arbor has already established a bus route that goes from the train station there to downtown. Most likely, it will be faster for me to take this train to work than to drive my car. I will probably use it every day.

  6. Ol' E Cross
    Posted March 7, 2009 at 12:17 am | Permalink

    Lynne. Hoorah! Hope it works out well for you.

    I’m sure many others have read the same historical accounts that in the olden days Ypsi’s stop was admired by all for its beautiful gardens. We’ve got a little time to organize, but I’d suggest some sort of community effort at train stop fancification.

    I tend to agree with Mark, that the east lot side of the tracks makes the most sense. But, that means visitors have to walk past Dahlman’s Depot and the Thompson Building to get to Depot Town. It also means the Freighthouse will be even more underutilized.

    These are three separate properties with their own unique challenges, but if there was ever a time to aggressively enhance that block…

    Whatever we can do to help those projects along or whitewash their exteriors should be done with fervor.

  7. Posted March 7, 2009 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

    I’m game to help out with any of that, OEC. I just don’t know where to begin. Should Ann and I watch this space for opportunities?

One Trackback

  1. By Where should we put the Ypsi train platform? on March 10, 2009 at 10:14 pm

    […] I mentioned a few days ago, there’s going to be a big community meeting on March 18 to discuss the proposed Ypsi train stop. Given the few conversations I’ve had with neighbors over […]

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