By Megan Mann/SCVNEWS.com
Finding a parking space just got a little easier for commuters who board the train in Newhall.
With the help of a $950,000 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act grant, 96 parking spaces have been added to the parking lot behind the Metrolink station on the corner of Market Street and Railroad Avenue.
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“It’s so important as gas prices continue to rise that our city does everything in its power to provide commuters with an alternative transportation opportunity,” said Santa Clarita Mayor Laurie Ender during a ribbon cutting ceremony Tuesday in Newhall.
The original 225-space, asphalt-paved lot was often packed on weekdays as commuters and Newhall Community Center patrons – who share the parking lot – circled the aisles looking for a place to park.
Today the lot has been expanded by 42 percent to 321 available parking spaces.
The city of Santa Clarita and the federal transit administration worked together on the 38,000-square-foot expansion project.
“The Recovery Act under the Obama administration intended to bring funds quickly and to have them spent quickly to boost the economy and create jobs,” said Ray Tellis, team leader with the Federal Transit Administration’s Los Angeles Metropolitan office. “This project has done all of that.”
The project also includes a new half-acre passive recreation area behind the community center. New landscaping, walkways, benches and picnic tables were paid for with developer fees for parks, aka Quimby fees.