Easing parking crunch in Irvine
Irvine City Council OKs a plan to build a structure at train station that would add 950 spaces.
By SONYA SMITH
THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER
Sunday, December 17, 2006
IRVINE – Since the Irvine Transportation Center opened in 1990, the train station has been known for not having enough parking.
But that might change.
The City Council last week approved the final plans to build a parking structure at the station. The 1,500-space garage will displace 550 of the 622 spaces on site – altogether adding 950 spaces. The $24.9 million in construction costs will be funded through the state and Orange County Transportation Authority.
"We have long needed additional parking there," said Mayor Beth Krom.
When the station opened on June 1, 1990, about 10,000 passengers used the station that year. In the most recent year, 675,000 people used the station – the most of any station in the county.
The revised 1,500-space garage is expected to open in 2008.
The garage plans include:
•About 20 spaces marked and wired for electric vehicles. Another 35 spots will be wired to allow for more electric vehicle spots in the future.
•Conduit will be built into the structure to allow for adding solar panels in the future.
•The structure will have five locations on the ground level facing Ada for commuter-related shops, such as a dry cleaner. A coffee shop is already inside the train station.
Cindy Krebs, the city's manager of transportation and transit, said the garage is expected to be at 85 percent capacity by 2011, with it being fully used during large events.
City staff is working with nearby landowners and agencies to build a monorail, street car, bus or personal rapid transit system serving the Great Park, Irvine Spectrum Center and the train station. A suggested plan for the type of transportation, route and funding sources will be presented to the council in June.
City staff members are also working on a new master plan for the station to be presented in 2007.
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