If you've driven down University Boulevard from campus to Cottondale over the past several years, the difference is undeniable. The beautification projects have been so successful that many businesses have considered establishing or relocating to that area.

One such company is Amtrak. However, unfortunately, that relocation is not likely to happen.

According to our daily, there is a safety concern that is almost impossible to remedy, even if the expenses were available, which they are not.

So, here's the bigger question: If the money isn't available to address the safety concerns for relocation, is it available to improve the conditions in another area along the rail lines?

Other suitable areas include the lot between Hooters and Baymont by Wyndham, or the lot across the tracks from those businesses (if it's truly unoccupied). The space off Oscar Baxter would even be convenient for travelers who have to stay over for some reason.

Google Maps

 

It's certainly worth looking into.

Let's face it, the current Amtrak station is in a very industrial zone. While it would be nice to beautify the area, it wouldn't be a wise financial decision, as industrial areas don't have a welcoming appearance.  They look like work, which is what visitors to our city aren't coming to do... Well, not the whole time anyway.

While elected officials have a responsibility to do what's best for their districts and know a good bit about the lay of the land, no knowledge is quite like that of individuals who live, work, and travel area streets on a daily basis. Are there any other areas or vacant buildings which would be suitable for a new train station?