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Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Montgomery, Ill., Metra, downtown plan in place

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The Village of Montgomery now has a plan in place in the event Metra commuter rail service is one day extended from downtown Aurora along the BNSF tracks into the village, according to the Oswego Ledge Sentinel. In a split, 5-1 ballot Monday evening, the village board adopted an ordinance to amend the village's comprehensive plan to include the new Transit Oriented Development Plan and Park-n-Ride Location Study.

The vote on the ordinance came moments after the board voted 5-1 to accept the village plan commission's recommendation in support of the plan and study. The board votes capped more than a year's worth of work on the study by a team of consultants and village staffers. The plan anticipates the village first securing a Park-n-Ride facility and then a full-fledged Metra station.

The study proposes the Park-n-Ride be sited on a downtown block bounded by Webster, Clinton, Main and Railroad streets. The Park-n-Ride would be located just north of commercial businesses that now front Webster Street. The Park-n-Ride would serve as an auxiliary lot to the Metra station at the downtown Aurora Transportation Center. Pace buses would transport Metra riders to and from the Park-n-Ride to the ATC.

The study proposes the eventual siting of a full-fledged Metra station and a large parking lot on the current site of the Lyon Workspace Products, Inc. plant on Main Street. The property adjoins the BNSF tracks.

In addition to the Park-n-Ride and Metra station, the plan includes recommendations and strategies for the future re-development of much of the village's downtown area. The plan "focuses on the opportunity to create a transit hub that would provide Montgomery with local access to commuter rail and/or Pace bus service.