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Planning Committee analyzes Lewistown Train Station study

LEWISTOWN — Deputy Secretary of Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, Jennie Granger, spoke on the Lewistown Train Station improvement study at Thursday afternoon’s Mifflin County Planning Commission Meeting.

In the past few years, rail travel has been on the rise as a means of travel for many Americans. Granger wants to help expand train service in Mifflin County.

The study is meant to discover what improvements need to be made in order for the station to function. The main concern at the moment is Americans With Disabilities Act accessibility. The study will focus on these accessibility improvements, and the station owners agreed to have the study done.

There are two phases of the study. The first is the step described above: The eye test to identify necessary improvements. Phase two involves the traffic and transportation flow in the area. Granger spoke of an open area near the station which could be used for passenger parking as well as a drop off/pick up for buses or taxis.

The borough and township both seemed onboard with the idea after Granger had met with them.

One of the other major benefits highlighted at the meeting was the impact rail improvements could have on university students traveling to and from State College. Lewistown is the closest rail hub to Penn State, which could provide college students an easy mode of transportation to go home to visit family, among other reasons they might travel to and from the campus town.

Following Granger’s presentation, Jim Lettiere shared the Subdivision and Land Development Review Committee Report with the commission. Six plans were presented: four municipal and two county ordinances. The commission approved all six.

To conclude the meeting, Chairman Kay Semler spoke about Bill Gomes, who was serving at his last planning commission meeting before retirement. Semler thanked Gomes for his 22 years of service to the commission and everything he has done for them.

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