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updated: 8/23/2011 8:29 AM

Metra needs to clean up lots faster

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Dear Metra:

I am writing to follow up again on the issues I had written about previously. To my great surprise and disappointment, after being off the train for a few weeks, I arrived recently to see that it is still the case that the branches have not been cleared from the Big Timber lot in Elgin and the lights have not been fixed in Car 7467.

I also had a new experience related to the fact that there are not lines separating parking spaces in the back of the lot. They have worn away and have not been repainted. A woman who was new to riding the train came over to me very confused and anxious because she had tried to pay for the space she thought she was parked in but the machine already said "paid," likely because it is quite hard to tell which spot a car is parked in with no lines on the lot.

She was worried her car would be towed and couldn't figure out what to do.

I also spoke with the train conductor who said he would talk to the mechanics about the lights on the train. Of course, he has no ability to do anything about the parking lot.

As I have written in the past when I cc'd the city about the lot, the train station is an important part of the community in Elgin, and its quality is vital to current and potential new residents who commute in to the city.

I know that Metra contracts out to Impark to maintain the lot. However, better oversight is needed of that contractor because the lot has been consistently poorly maintained since I moved to the area several years ago such as inadequate plowing in the winter, sporadic mowing in the summer and failure to keep tree branches trimmed, which leads to safety hazards, etc.

This is in stark contrast to the Palatine lot, which I used to use, and was well maintained.

Rachel Gordon


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