Gerry Treadway and Mel Keen were just two of the many local residents working with PennDOT last week to develop ideas for the future of Parkesburg’s train station
By Council President Mel Keen
Last week PennDOT and Baker Engineering were in Parkesburg for two presentations and two workshops to gather facts, history, needs, wants and wishes of the community as it relates to our train station.
Many train riders and residents participated in the three meetings, providing lots of information about traffic and neighborhoods.
At the end of the three sessions, two locations for the train platform with a variety of parking scenarios seemed to stand out. The first location is the area of Chestnut Street and the second in the area of Gay Street.
PennDOT and Baker Engineering took all the info gathered back to Harrisburg to consider and crunch numbers and engineering data all in an effort to calculate which location best meets state and local requirements. When PennDOT reaches a conclusion it will be made public.
What is known at this point is several elements must be included in the plan. First, an ADA cross-over must be implemented giving all persons, even those with handicaps, access to both east- and west-bound trains. Second, train platforms must be raised to the level of a train’s door and be at least 500 foot long on both sides of the tracks. Third, at least 75 parking spots with improved lighting and a drop off area must be available with options for future parking spaces nearby. Finally, access to the platforms by pedestrians, bikes, autos, and buses is a must as train ridership grows.
Just for the record here are answers to questions I’ve heard:
SEPTA isn’t part of this project.
The W. Bridge demolition and reconstruction is a separate project.
Borough Council will not have a vote on the plan.
Borough money will not be used for the project.
PennDOT plans to announce their plans by the end of the year
Once plans are announced it will take a couple of years to complete
Last week was very much a work in progress. Its important to note nothing has been decided.
For more information on the initiative and to stay on top of developments residents are encouraged to check PennDot’s PlanThe Keystone website