The timeline for the Ann Arbor Station Environmental Assessment project has stretched well beyond the original twelve months projected for it by city staff and consultants. Consultants were approved for the project in 2013, and public meetings were first held in January of 2014. According to the timeline for the Environmental Assessment posted on the city’s Ann Arbor Station project web site, a final concept plan which would include identification of a preferred alternative location was to be completed by December 2014. The project has extended. The last public meeting was held in mid-May of 2015. Since then, no updates have been provided. Requests for draft reports by the press, Council members, and the public have been denied. Email communications between agencies involved with the project were released by the city, with significant portions of information redacted. Explanations for denial of sharing information have been inadequate.
We decided to reach out to our public officials to communicate our view of the two alternative locations under consideration for the Ann Arbor Station Environmental Assessment. We wrote to the Federal Railroad Administration, MDOT, and Ann Arbor city staff, to provide them with our vision of the difference between the two alternatives under consideration.
Because we advocate transparency, we are providing our letter and the attachments that we sent, in this post. Read on to view the letter and three attachments.
Our letter to the FRA (Scroll to view the entire letter):
Attachment: Map Contrasting the Two Locations for an Ann Arbor Train Station (1 pg, click to enlarge):
Attachment, Alternative 1, Ann Arbor Amtrak Station and surrounding area (Scroll to view 4 pgs) is the site of the current Ann Arbor Amtrak Station, at 325 Depot Street. Travelers would see these sights when arriving and departing:
Attachment, Alternative 2, Fuller Park and surrounding area (Scroll to view 2 pgs). Travelers would see the following sights when arriving and departing:
In our opinion, Alternative 1, located on Depot Street will serve the community best. Commerce, governmental services, shopping, and transportation routes are easily accessed. Travelers with varying needs and interests can be served with modifications of the existing location, using creative engineering and design.
We look forward to communication from the FRA, MDOT and the city about the ongoing, extended project.