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Agency Talks Parking Upgrades For Amtrak Station

Access improvements are also part of the project to be reviewed by the Martinez Shoreline Joint Planning Agency Wednesday.

Parking and access improvements in the waterfront-train station area are on the agenda of a Wednesday morning meeting.

The Martinez Shoreline Joint Planning Agency meets at 10 a.m. Wednesday in the council chambers of Martinez City Hall, 525 Henrietta St., Martinez. The agency includes members from the Martinez City Council and the East Bay Regional Park District.

The project envisions these improvements, according to the staff report prepared by Martinez City Engineer Tim Tucker:

  • A new parking facility north of the railroad tracks to provide an additional 300 parking spaces for the Amtrak station. Officials hope to discourage train patrons' use of existing Martinez Regional Shoreline Park parking.
  • A realigned entrance road from the Ferry Street-DiMaggio Drive intersection with new landscaping and trail improvements.
  • A pedestrian bridge across the railroad tracks from the new parking facility to the Amtrak station.
  • Preliminary design of a future vehicular bridge linking Berrellesa Street to the project site. Further regulatory agency approvals will be needed for that bridge.

The parking/access improvements are intended to dovetail with city plans to upgrade Waterfront Park. Schematic designs are just beginning. "It is anticipated this project will be under construction next year," Tucker reports.

The Berrellesa Street bridge is a less expensive alternative than other plans that envisioned a downtown bridge soaring over the railroad tracks to connect downtown with Waterfront Park, the Contra Costa Times reported.

Kayleen Parks February 13, 2013 at 02:44 PM
As a resident of Martinez I generally avoid downtown during weekdays due to the lack of parking - that and the fact that I'm working. I am wondering where the funding is coming from for this project?
Bill Wainwright February 13, 2013 at 04:09 PM
There are two motivating factors behind this project. The most immediate is the need to have additional parking available for users of the very successful Amtrak station. Parking improvements on the north side of the tracks directly across from the station, combined with a pedestrian bridge over the tracks tied to the station's elevator tower, will meet that need. The next is the long-term need to have an additional emergency access route across the tracks in case of momentary blockage of the Ferry Street at grade crossing. The re-siting further West of the new Amtrak station was intended to meet that need, keeping trains from sitting on the crossing as passengers were let on and off. That solution has considerably reduced, but not entirely, the number of occasions when the Ferry Street access to the facilities north of the tracks is blocked. Greater use of those facilities (park, indoor sports complex, bocci, marina, amphitheater) and eventual establishment of a waterfront restaurant and ferry service means that the added emergency access need becomes more important. The bridge across the creek north of the tracks at Berrellesa would not well serve those needs because of its inconvenient siting far from all those facilities, except the sports complex, and the fact access to it could still be blocked by sitting trains. The best solution is an underpass at Court Street. The Park District and City should work together to engineer and fund the project. should bring the .
Hope Savage February 13, 2013 at 05:19 PM
I don't understand why the Park District should fund additional Amtrack parking
MIKE ALFORD February 14, 2013 at 06:41 AM
YOU Know ---- Hope makes a very intresting statement --- Why did we pay --- 10.8 million dollars and all the dead - beat consulent fees --- all the pretty pictures that the city counsel for all the property that we got from the Zolciee property north of the tracks THAT WAS SUPPOSE TO TAKE CARE OF THESE PROBLEMS ?
Bill Wainwright February 14, 2013 at 07:10 AM
Hope, any Park District funding would be justified as access improvement for the Shoreline Park. Also, the Park District's interest is in avoiding having the Alhambra Creek bridge installed so close to the marsh area they have already invest large sums to protect.

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