Ypsilanti officials met with Depot Town residents to hear concerns over a plan to close two streets in the neighborhood to build the city's first passenger rail stop in decades.
Residents packed into Maiz Cantina in Depot Town to voice opinions on closing North Park and North Grove to through traffic. The closures are part of a plan to build the first passenger rail stop in Ypsilanti in decades.
Hans Prebys has been living in the neighborhood for 36 years. He says the meeting drifted into a discussion about more than the road closures. "Unfortunately, it gets combined with the interest in the new train stop," he says. "And this, as I understand it, was a meeting just to talk about the closing of the roads. Which is something I’m in favor of just to help control traffic.”
Andrea Gruber owns Massage Mechanics in Depot Town. Gruber says she wants to see the city do a traffic study in the area before closing the streets. “I am willing to get over the inconvenience of what these road closures would cause for my life if I can be shown that this is for the greater good," she says.
Mayor Amanda Edmonds says meetings like this are the first of many chances for residents to talk to city officials about the rail stop.
“That’s why at the original meeting, we announced that this is a step along the way. And there’s lots of other steps and there are things that could happen... I think those steps could extend along a good period of time. It’s not going to be for a few years that we see a train stop. And we don’t know that exact date yet.”
A date for a public hearing on closing North Park and North Grove will be announced for a future city council meeting. Residents can email the city’s planning department about the plan until that’s announced.