Lincoln to hold public hearing on possible closing of Pekin Street
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[June 14, 2014]
LINCOLN – The City of Lincoln
will hold a public hearing Monday, June 16, 2014, at 6:00 p.m.
to discuss the design plans for the Lincoln Depot grounds and the
possible closing of the Pekin Street railroad crossing downtown.
Architects and planners engaged by the Illinois Department of
Transportation (IDOT) will be on hand to explain conceptual designs
for the grounds and the process that would be followed if the City
determines it is interested in closing the crossing.
The City of Lincoln has been cooperating with
IDOT in their implementation of the high speed rail project along
the Chicago to St. Louis Union Pacific/Amtrak line. In the interest
of providing the best possible travel experience for Amtrak riders,
the City recently acquired the Lincoln Depot from private owners for
the purpose of restoring it to its 1911 glory and using a portion of
the building as a waiting station for high speed rail travelers.
Federal high speed rail funds will be used to finance the project.
IDOT has engaged architects, engineers, and consultants to assist
Lincoln in the planning of the Depot restoration.
At the City Council workshop meeting this past
Tuesday, Mayor Keith Snyder recommended that the City initiate the
process of closing the crossing for four primary reasons:
- Fewer blocked crossings – with Pekin
Street closed IDOT plans to install a 500’ platform that should
allow the longer high speed rail trains to not block any
crossings during Amtrak stops;
- Better traffic flow into and around the
- More parking – the proposed design plan
incorporating a closed Pekin Street provides 13 more parking
spots at and around the Depot;
- Better impression for visitors – Over
443,500 people travel through Lincoln each year on the train.
Landscaped green space will be much more impressive to visitors
than will another street crossing.
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“According to the Illinois Commerce
Commission,” Snyder said, “Pekin Street has the smallest number
of daily vehicle crossings of any of the seven Amtrak crossings
in Lincoln. We don’t want to impede anyone’s ability to cross
the tracks, but Pekin Street seems to be a logical candidate for
closure. The closing will benefit the restored Depot and access
to it. We will also continue to have four crossings in each of
the four blocks immediately to the south as well as a crossing
two blocks to the north.”
The public is invited to attend the hearing
Monday evening to voice comments, pose questions, or simply gather
[BY ORDER OF MAYOR KEITH SNYDER AND
THE LINCOLN CITY COUNCIL]