Central Terminal is ideal for a transportation hub
Lately, I have been reading articles relating to the possible replacement of the downtown Amtrak station. The primary idea is to locate the new station at Canalside. I am an avid Amtrak rider. While the politicians may want to locate the new train station at Canalside, I feel this is a move that is designed more for chest-thumping than for practical reasons.
The rapid growth happening downtown from the Medical Campus, HarborCenter, Canalside and the possible rehabilitation of One Seneca Tower mean that downtown real estate is prime real estate. With the explosion of events happening at Canalside, and the lack of traffic flow and available parking, why would anybody want to put an active rail station with the required clearances and parking in such a congested area?
Would it make more sense to create a transportation hub that is not downtown, but connected with downtown? Rehab the Central Terminal not just for trains but for transportation. Yes, build the new Amtrak station inside the Central Terminal, but also move the bus station and the NFTA offices to the Central Terminal, thus freeing up more than a block of prime real estate downtown. Move the NFTA Metro Rail garage from the old DL&W Terminal to the Central Terminal and rehab that building to fit into Canalside. This could have shops, history exhibits and food courts that would not compete with the other things happening, but complement them.
By moving all the transportation to the Central Terminal, we could create a transportation hub with plenty of parking. This transportation hub could have dedicated rail shuttles to Canalside to help with parking during events. This could be the catalyst that brings this part of the East Side back to life while not strangling Canalside.
Michael A. Kless