Metro-North officials announced Tuesday that work to build a 500-car garage at the North White Plains Train Station will begin soon.
The facility, which is being built at the corner of Bond Street and Haarlem Ave., is expected to take 20 months to complete and is being funded by a $41.8 million federal Congestion Mitigation / Air Quality grant. Prismatic Development Corp., which is based in Fairfield, NJ., was awarded a $26.5 million contract to design and build the garage earlier this year.
The garage will include a bicycle and scooter parking spaces, six electric car charging stations and a small retail space along Haarlem Avenue. Once completed, the garage will increase the total supply of parking spaces at the station by about 400, or 29 percent, for a total of about 1,750 spaces.
“Metro-North Railroad has been expanding its parking inventory for years in a strategic effort to improve access to our trains,” Howard Permut, president of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, said in a statement. “Not everyone has the good fortune to live in a village within walking distance of one of our stations. So parking is a necessity. Hopefully this project will attract even more people to mass transit.”
More than 2,200 people used the North White Plains Train Station each weekday, according to Metro-North officials.
Studies on the need for more parking spaces at the station began in 2003 as officials began to look for ways to better handle the increasing demand.
In 2005, Metro-North proposed a 1,300 space multi-level parking garage on the west side of the station. The proposal was altered since there were too many issues regarding the neighboring cemetery and the Bronx River Parkway.
The current proposal has come under scrutiny by some residents who live near the train station, who worry that the extra parking will draw more traffic and overwhelm the narrow roads that exist in the neighborhood.
The 109-space parking garage that exists on Haarlem Ave. will be demolished in January along with an existing maintenance building, a small surface lot and several utility sheds, railroad officials said.
Officials said the entrance and exit to the new garage will be located on Haarlem Avenue. Haarlem Avenue will become a two-way street from the garage entrance to Bond Street to increase access and a traffic light will be installed at the intersection of Bond Street and North Broadway.
There will also be a circular drive with a canopy at the base of the northeast staircase for a “kiss & ride” drop –off area and a taxi queue.Other community improvements from the project include new crosswalks, sidewalk replacements and landscaping.