Committee says no to bus center
By Chris Green
ROCKFORD REGISTER STAR
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ROCKFORD — Before the Rockford Mass Transit District can pick up any passengers to take to its proposed east-side transfer center, it’s going to have to pick up some support from aldermen in the form of votes.
The Code and Regulation Committee voted 3-2 Monday to overturn the Zoning Board of Appeals’ recommendation in February for approval.
The $3 million center would be built on a parcel of farmland just east of Interstate 90 across from the ******* Barrel restaurant on Lyford Road.
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RMTD spokesman Lisa Brown said buses in fiscal year 2005-2006 toted nearly 1.4 million passengers, a five-year high. Brown said the center is needed to serve the city’s expanding east side.
Establishments such as the ******* Barrel restaurant and the Baymont Inn and Suites are opposed to the location of the project, fearing transients milling about their respective businesses.
Some city aldermen also are opposed to the proposed location, expressing sentiments that the eight-acre site is better suited for retail or office space or perhaps a hotel.
Code and Regulation Committee Chairman Ald. Doug Mark, R-3, along with Ald. Patrick Curran, R-2, favor the development as well as its proposed location.
“RMTD, in my opinion, has done a pretty good job in trying to serve the needs of the people,” Mark said. “If they feel a transfer station is needed, I think we should work with them.
“This is not something they threw together in the past two or three months.”
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Also the large indoor mall is a 2 mile walk from where the bus line ends. The city has been trying for many years to get bus service to the mall and a new "lifestyle center" that is being built now. The mall refuses to allow bus service. This to me is economic class discrimination that demands you be a member of the car culture. There are no sidewalks in this area of town-the shopping district-either. Access by bicycle to this area is literally taking your life into your own hands as the speeds limits are 45 MPH or greater and there are little or no road shoulders on the arterial streets. The busses have no bike racks as well.
In short,if you don't drive you are not welcome. This is a midsize town of 150,000 population in a county of 250,000. The east side is the regional shopping district which has replaced the old downtown shopping district which is 7 miles west where the "transients" are now wharehoused.
littledog who lives in the old Downtown