Well, that was quick…
None of the concerns expressed at the public hearing dealt with the Portsmouth facility. The Dover-related concerns came primarily from Alder Lane abutters, as expressed by 21-year resident Theresa Proia.
She drew a contrast between state officials, who worked with the neighborhood when the facility was originally constructed in 2008, and with C&J, which operates the facility.
“They were very good to our neighborhood,” she said of state officials. “They were transparent. We talked about the plans for the whole parking lot, the lighting, the fencing, and the trees that would be placed on both sides of the fence to protect the aesthetics of the neighborhood.”
With C&J, she said, trees were removed and new parking spaces added without any consultation.
“Space have been paved and additional parking has been put in with no transparency whatsoever,” said Proia. “So you can understand that our neighborhood is very concerned about moving forward with this process, and whether privatization would be good for us.”
Most of these old-school display boards have been scrapped in recent years; Amtrak recently announced that it planned to replace this analog technology with a digital screen, just as it had done at stations in Boston, Baltimore, New York, and all the other cities it serves. But Philly residents and lawmakers objected so vehemently that the rail agency seems to have relented.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo powwowed with President Donald Trump in Washington last week to discuss the Gateway Program, a $30 billion project that would repair and replace Amtrak infrastructure along the Northeast Corridor. He returned with a radical revision: decoupling the biggest piece—the construction of a new conduit under the Hudson River to carry commuter trains between New York and New Jersey—from the larger enterprise, as well as booting Amtrak’s representative from overseeing the Gateway Program Development Corp. and inserting a Trump appointee.