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Parking, Accessibility of Sidewalks

-Better, closer parking (vertical, if need be) -More, better maintained sidewalks

Photo of Muriel Payan
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Michigan Central Station

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Having worked in the area for over a year, a few experiences/thoughts about how accessibility in the area can be improved.

-Parking. For as much as we want to explore non-motorized ways of getting around, realistically many might be going to/from places beyond the community and it's extremely difficult to do so without a car. As such, there needs to be better parking options. Currently the secured/sanctioned parking lot is a lengthy walk and takes up a huge footprint. This is a common theme in SE MI, and as density increases, we need to rethink this and investigate more vertical parking solutions, e.g. multi-level parking areas (garages), even 2-3 levels would help reduce the footprint without drastically transforming the landscape and could help alleviate the inconvenience and issues of needing to walk multiple blocks in inclement weather, walking additional blocks just to get to a proper crosswalk, or curbing illegal parking.

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Photo of Peter Dudley

There are several options for parking near Ford's Michigan Central Station (MCS).
During Ford's four-day MCS Open House (June 2018), the former - (long-trackless) MCS Coach Yard became a temporary parking lot for thousands of visitors. If this area becomes a permanent parking lot, an old tunnel running across West Vernor Highway could be adaptively-reused to connect the lot with the former - MCS Boiler Room, located under the station's Carriage Entrance (aka Cab Stand). The tunnel might provide a safer alternative for crossing busy West Vernor, especially during winter months.
I believe the long-vacant MCS Mail Room, located under MCS Tracks 1 through 10 (southeast of the Passenger Subway pedestrian corridor), provided parking for station employees after Railway Mail Service / Railway Post Office (RPO) operations ended in 1967. All of the space under the 1914 MCS Viaduct is currently-controlled by Canadian Pacific Railway (CP), I believe.
Another parking possibility: The Albert Kahn - designed 1933 Roosevelt Park Railway Mail Service Annex, more-notoriously-known today as the former - Detroit Public Schools Roosevelt Warehouse, was included in Ford's $90 million MCS purchase. This view (included in the attached link below) looks southeast from MCS's East Entrance.
Ford has cleaned-up the interior of this structure, which was gutted during a 1987 fire. The building's outer walls are intact -- I hope they will eventually house a new enclosed parking structure.
The bridge (foreground) connects MCS's East Entrance to the station's former - (inadequate) parking lot, where DEPOT LOOP streetcars arrived and departed until 1938 (there's an idea for M-1 RAIL!)
The bridge crosses a depressed-descending driveway leading to the station's former - Mail Room, located under ten of the station's parallel passenger platform tracks (out-of-frame, right).
Just inside the East Entrance, the Elevator Lobby features six elevators leading to the office floors above. The Arcade (a vaulted corridor lined with long-empty storefronts) connects the Elevator Lobby with the station's centrally-located Ticket Lobby.
Conveyor belts, running through tunnels crossing under 15th Street, once connected the MCS Mail Room to the Annex (moving sidewalks, anyone?)

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