IMPORTANT PUBLIC HEARING ON STAMFORD GARAGE
Thurs. Sept. 20th, 7 pm @ Stamford High School
Last Chance for Public Comment on Controversial Project
(Stamford, CT - Sept. 7, 2012): The thousands of commuters who use the Stamford CT Metro-North and Amtrak station on a daily basis will have one last chance to comment on the Dept. of Transportation’s controversial plan to replace the station’s 700+ space parking garage with private development and move commuter parking up to a quarter mile from the station.
“There has been zero commuter input sought or accepted by the CDOT on this plan so far,” says CT Rail Commuter Council Chairman Jim Cameron. “We do not understand how such a major project affecting so many riders can be undertaken in a closed-door process by the CDOT without asking commuters what they would like.”
A final environmental hearing on the plan will finally afford the public a chance to comment on Thursday Sept. 20th, 7 pm at Stamford High School, 55 Strawberry Hill Ave., Stamford CT
Bids for the TOD (Transit Oriented Development) project are due September 24th after which the CDOT will enter into confidential negotiations with developers and will issue a final decision before the end of the year.
The CDOT’s environmental review has already eliminated the possibility of replacing the existing parking lot in place, which means a new 1000-car commuter garage will be built up to one quarter mile from the station. The existing garage to be demolished is approx. 100 feet from the train station.
“The CDOT refuses to keep parking where it is today, close to the station,” says Cameron. “So our concern now is that, wherever it is sited, the new garage must have safe, sheltered, easy access to the rail station without subjecting commuters to traffic and New England weather.”
Also of concern is what developers will build on the site of the old commuter garage. The CDOT environmental assessment predicts up to a one million square foot, mixed use tower with housing, offices and stores. The CDOT’s own estimates are that such a building would need parking for 2000+ cars.
“That means that the current five storey garage could be replaced with a 20+ storey building built on top of a parking lot that’s three times as big as the existing commuter garage. Is this the best use of public land?,” asks Cameron.
Because it is being built on state owned land, the new project would not be subject to any zoning review by the City of Stamford. It is estimated that the demolition of the old garage and construction of new development would take at least three years.
For more information on the project, visit the Commuter Council’s website: www.trainweb.org/CT
Created by the Connecticut legislature, the CT Rail Commuter Council’s members are Metro-North or Shore Line East commuters who serve, without compensation, as advocates of their fellow riders’ interests. The CT Rail Commuter Council meets monthly with Metro-North and Connecticut Dept of Transportation and testifies before state and regional boards and commissions in favor of affordable, reliable rail service in the state.
More information is available at the Council’s website: www.trainweb.org/ct
For More Information Contact:
JIM CAMERON (Chairman)
Cell: 203-952-5758 E-Mail: CTRailCommuterCouncil@gmail.com