Eastside Mayors Criticize Bus Restructure Proposal

University Of Washington Link Light Rail Station Image: Lizz Giordano

Eastside mayors want Metro and Sound Transit to relocate bus stops to improve bus-rail transfers before implementing service changes. The proposed restructuring would funnel Eastside bus commuters heading downtown to light rail at the University of Washington Station. That transfer requires riders to cross the busy streets of Montlake Boulevard and/or Pacific Street or use an out of the way walkway to switch between modes of transportation.

“Increasing commute times by 20 minutes while creating more mobility downtown will only incentivize single occupancy vehicles to drive to downtown Seattle rather than stick with public transportation,” wrote the seven Eastside Mayors in a letter to Metro and Sound Transit.

The Mayors want bus stops relocated to be adjacent to the light rail station and mobility improvements through the Montlake Hub. STB’s own Adam Parast showed one way to accomplish this in 2015 (pictured below).

“Sound Transit is supportive of improvements to the transfer environment at UW. King County Metro owns the bus shelters, and they are in active conversations about this with the City of Seattle and UW,” wrote Rachelle Cunningham, a spokesperson for Sound Transit in an email.

Metro estimates transfers currently take anywhere from 6-11 minutes, depending on direction and time of travel.

“The service concepts we’ve introduced would increase frequency on many Eastside routes, which would help reduce the time that riders would have to wait at the stop,” wrote Scott Gutierrez, a spokesperson for Metro in an email.

He said Metro is considering a range of changes, including relocation of stops, extending bus shelters, providing off-board payment and improving signage.

Continue reading “Eastside Mayors Criticize Bus Restructure Proposal”

Learning from Pronto’s Failure

Unlocking a Spin bike Image: Lizz Giordano

Two new bike shares will soon be rolling into town, participating in a pilot program with the city. Trying to succeed where Pronto failed, Spin and LimeBike have adopted a dockless system allowing riders to park just about anywhere. Bikes with the dockless system are self-locking: not even a bike rack or pole is necessary to secure bikes.

Both companies pointed to the limitations of bike share programs that rely on docking stations to secure bikes when asked why they think their bike share will succeed where Pronto failed.

“Spin is a lot more accessible and affordable than previous bike share programs,” said Randy Tovar, a market launcher with Spin.

Dockless models can serve a larger portion of the city and scale up much faster than systems that use docking stations, he added.

Image: Lizz Giordano LimeBike

“Pronto never got as broad as it should have,” said Gabriel Scheer, a bike commuter and director of strategic partnerships for LimeBike. He said many neighborhoods lacking Pronto docking stations made it inconvenient for riders to use the system.

With the dockless system, riders will no longer have to search for a nearby station at the end of rides to lock bikes, eliminating the geographical limitations Pronto faced.

“I’d love to see someone ride to Portland,” Scheer said. Spin was more cautious when asked how far riders could take the bikes, saying the bike share program was permitted by only the City of Seattle. But nothing will stop riders from leaving the city, except maybe cost. 

Both companies charge $1 for a thirty-minute ride.

Setting itself apart, LimeBike, designed for specifically for Seattle, will give riders eight speeds to tackle the city’s hilly terrain, rather than Spin’s three.

“We had to go bigger,”  Scheer said, “The bike was built for Seattle’s hills.”

Continue reading “Learning from Pronto’s Failure”

News Roundup: Ready to Go

Rich Passage 1 controls

This is an open thread.

August 2017 Primary Endorsements Beyond Seattle

These are Seattle Transit Blog’s endorsements for the August 1, 2017 primary elections outside Seattle. The primary is only relevant in races with more than two candidates, so we restrict our attention to those. As always, we choose candidates entirely based on their positions and record on transit and land use.

Manka Dhingra

45th Legislative District, Senate: Manka Dhingra supports the continued expansion of the regional transit network. Her main opponent, Republican party operative Jinyoung Lee Englund, is focused on “skyrocketing car tabs” and familiar but ill-defined promises to reduce traffic congestion. Lee Englund is likely to continue the current Senate majority’s attacks on Sound Transit if elected.

King County Executive: Dow Constantine.

Dow Constantine

It would take several pages to list all of Constantine’s accomplishments, and we would still have missed most of them. But just to be brief: ST3, ORCA LIFT, the multi-agency U-Link restructure, the end of Metro’s 40/40/20 rule that kept it from rolling out new service in Seattle, getting ST into the transit-oriented development and affordable housing business, … and the list goes on.

Constantine has no serious opposition, but we would be remiss in not honoring one of the most effective public servants King County has ever had.

Nancy Backus

Auburn Mayor: Nancy Backus is running for re-election. Sound Transit, Burlington Northern & Santa Fe, and the City of Auburn have been working together to build a third track in the BN&SF right-of-way (on which Sounder runs) through Auburn. Auburn and other regional commuters should be grateful Auburn has a leader at the helm who rolled out the red carpet for a third track instead of blocking it with red tape. Her main opponent is opposed to ST3.

Kirkland City Council, Position 7: Jon Pascal.

Pascal, having been appointed to the Council one year ago, is now running for a full-term. Pascal previously served a total of fourteen years on the city’s Transportation and Planning Commission. In private life, Pascal is a principal of a transportation planning company. He has been a leader on transit issues while on Council. Among his opponents, the more credible is Uzma Butte, who laudably advocates for more affordable housing and transit-oriented development. That’s welcome in increasingly unaffordable Kirkland, but we’re not sure any of the candidates would materially accelerate market-rate development. With complex transportation and transit implementations ahead, Pascal’s knowledge and experience will serve the city better.

Jeralee Anderson

Redmond City Council, Position 7: Jeralee Anderson emphasizes making Redmond safer and more accessible for pedestrians, bicycles and transit. Andersen is the co-founder of a company that works with government and private industry on green transportation projects. In sharp contrast, Jason Antonelli, her main opponent, has focused on auto traffic issues, viewing bike and pedestrian improvements as a distraction from faster car commute times. Predictably, he also opposed ST3 and has complained Downtown Redmond’s bike lanes and street grid repairs are not moving cars more quickly through city streets. Roy Captain, while less adamant than Antonelli, also puts too high a priority on “protecting” neighborhoods outside downtown and moving auto traffic.

2017 Legislative Session Recap

by REP. JOE FITZGIBBON

Rep. Joe Fitzgibbon

The 2017 legislative session was a difficult, defensive session for transit. None of the Legislature’s transit advocates expected this after the unequivocal mandate for Sound Transit 3 in November 2016, but the combination of MVET sticker shock and inaccurate vehicle valuations forced us into difficult positions as we fought to fulfill the promise of a regional transit system. The battles often felt like losses at the time. But thanks to the intransigence of Senate Republicans dead-set on damaging Sound Transit, and the end of wasteful sales tax exemptions, we ended the session with more funding for core transit services, not less.

MVET

The debate over Sound Transit’s Motor Vehicle Excise Tax (MVET) authority was one of the most challenging parts of the session. Our exceptionally difficult vote disappointed many transit advocates back home. But by constraining that inevitable debate to a rational but hard bottom line, we managed to end the session with more wins for transit than losses.

The House passed HB 2201, which required that Sound Transit revise its MVET collections to reflect the vehicle values adopted by the 2006 Legislature (RCW 82.44.035), instead of the earlier valuation table from the 2015 transportation package. HB 2201 passed the House twice in a bipartisan 64-33 vote, including a “yes” vote from every legislator who represents the Sound Transit district.

The Republican Senate passed SB 5839. Rather than use RCW 82.44.035, it required the lower of either Kelley Blue Book values or the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) values. The catch is that a government agency cannot issue bonds against a revenue stream that is determined by a private party. The House bill used RCW 82.44.035 so it could still be bonded against – and the Senate used proprietary valuation schedules because Sound Transit couldn’t bond against these streams, impairing project delivery. Their bill also cut Sound Transit’s MVET authority from 1.1% (up from 0.3% before ST3) to 0.5%. This expressly sought to overturn the will of 717,000 voters in central Puget Sound, 54% of the total, by forcing drastically lower revenues and making the completion of the regional transit system impossible. This bill passed three times in a strictly partisan 25-24 vote. It only passed because of overwhelming support from eastern Washington Republicans whose constituents were unaffected by the ST3 MVET.

We supported the House Bill for these reasons:

1. Even representing a district that overwhelmingly supported ST3 (59%) and will enjoy one of ST3’s marquee projects, I heard from a huge number of constituents alarmed by their new car tab fees. Some of this was sticker shock, but many had legitimate concerns when they received a car tab bill and saw that their car’s assessed value was unambiguously more than they knew it to be worth. Many House Democrats were concerned about this as a fairness issue. It is not accurate that legislators were unaware of the different valuation tables (indeed, even the Republican Senate defeated Sen. Ericksen’s amendment to the 2015 transportation package to reject the valuation table that Sound Transit ended up using). However, I was surprised by the vehemence with which my constituents rebelled against the higher valuation table in the law.

2. The lost revenue for Sound Transit from HB 2201 was estimated at about $78m per year. The lost revenue from SB 5839 would have been roughly ten times that. It was clear to pro-transit House Democrats that a bill without our support had the potential to contain a greater revenue loss than HB 2201. We made sure, in supporting the bill, that HB 2201 was a take-it- or-leave- it offer. The House would reject any bill that lowered the MVET rate below the voter-approved rate, required a valuation table that precluded selling bonds, or that cut revenue below what HB 2201 did. The House adhered to that promise, which wasn’t enough for the Senate.

3. The other condition of our support was to prioritize the completion of the regional light rail system. Legislators from end-of- the-line districts like me, including members from Tacoma, Everett, Ballard, and Kirkland, wanted to do everything possible to ensure that the MVET bill did not impede the completion of light rail promised to our districts in ST3. So we included a provision requiring that if Sound Transit had to cut any projects as a result of their decreased MVET authority, light rail projects would be cut last, and parking projects would be cut first. None of us were thrilled with this prioritization, because there are worthwhile parking projects in the package. However, the priority for us is the completion of the regional light rail system.

Continue reading “2017 Legislative Session Recap”

JOB: Transportation Planner at Seattle Children’s

This is a sponsored post

Seattle Children’s nationally-renowned Transportation & Sustainability Department is seeking a Transportation Planner who specializes in data analysis, shuttle system design, and strategic planning. In conjunction with colleagues, this position is responsible for designing, planning, and implementing TDM strategies and programs that support the organization’s goal of reducing drive alone commute trips to Seattle Children’s main hospital campus and other CTR-affected worksites.

The ideal candidate is proficient with ArcGIS, has knowledge of TDM principals and strategies, has experience designing and implementing shuttle service, experience managing data and preparing data for decision-makers. We are looking for an individual who is able to work independently and as a member of a team, who is improvement- and performance-oriented. Proficiency with Tableau data visualization software and Stata or comparable data analysis software is a plus.

Read the full job description and apply online. The position will remain open until filled. More information below.

Continue reading “JOB: Transportation Planner at Seattle Children’s”

Community Transit Breaks Ground on Swift Green Line

On a cloudless Thursday morning, Community Transit was joined by U.S. Senator Patty Murray, Boeing Vice President Elizabeth Lund, State Senator Marko Liias, representatives from WSDOT, and members of the press at a corner of the Boeing Everett assembly plant to break ground on the Swift Green Line. The groundbreaking happened at the future site of Seaway Transit Center, which will serve the Boeing plant and has been under construction for several weeks.

Continue reading “Community Transit Breaks Ground on Swift Green Line”

Mosqueda, González for City Council

Teresa Mosqueda

Thanks to a districting initiative from 2013, both city council at-large positions are up again this year after 2-year terms, with the winners getting full four-year terms. The district positions are in the middle of four-year terms, and all come up at once again in 2019. Some voters will not see a competitive city election on the ballot again until 2021.

The open-seat race for Position 8 on the Seattle City Council has drawn several talented candidates. In this wide field, Teresa Mosqueda stands out as uniquely prepared to deal with the details around getting more housing, and more affordable housing, built.

Mosqueda is known as a union leader and lobbyist, so it was a refreshing surprise to see her push back against ideological and cynical anti-development calls to require 25% mandatory “affordable housing” set-asides in new developments. She knows where to find the balance. She will neither give away too much to neighborhood associations that have been historically adversarial toward renters (of which she happens to be one), nor to developers. This skill set is what is desperately needed on the council right now, while the City tackles the ever-worsening housing crisis brought on by draconian land use regulations.

While Mosqueda supports the recommendations of the Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda (HALA) advisory committee, she wants to go further, and allow ADUs and DADUs in single-family-zoned neighborhoods.

On transportation, Mosqueda supports more connected sidewalks, more protected bike lanes, using the city’s bonding authority to speed up light rail planning and construction, and getting more cars off the road. She correctly views this as a public health issue. Her emphasis on the public health aspects of transportation and land use is a wonderful way to transcend purely economic trade-offs regarding, for example, the cost of driving.

An honorable mention goes to Hisam Goueli. He accurately articulates the tradeoff between developer mandates and new construction. Understanding this tension is the key to making good policy going forward. At the forum, his initial statement on transportation read like a summary of Human Transit. He is not a joke candidate, having raised $30,000. However, our sense is Mosqueda is better positioned in this competitive primary, and somewhat more likely to be effective on the Council.

Lorena González

Lorena González is running for re-election to Position 9. While she has several opponents on the ballot, she has little real competition. González waltzed into office by backing HALA while her previous opponent attacked HALA on NIMBY grounds that the electorate apparently found distasteful. Traces of that debate may still flare up this time around, but hopefully we can move forward. González has moved forward, approving long-awaited upzones around light rail stations, with more to come. Throwing her off the council in favor of a neighborhood activist would put these desperately-needed upzones in jeopardy.

And, oh yeah, she supports promoting alternatives to the automobile, including sidewalks, bikes, and ST3.

The STB Editorial Board currently consists of Martin H. Duke, Dan Ryan, and Brent White.

4th/5th Ave Bus Slowdowns Temporary; 4th/5th Ave Bike Lanes Forever

2nd Avenue’s Protected Bike Line – SDOT – flickr

One of the pieces of infrastructure on the bubble for being part of One Center City is a protected bike lane (PBL) on 4th or 5th Ave downtown. Unfortunately, it is being played off against bus travel time along those corridors. A 4th Ave PBL is expected to cost buses trying to transit 4th Ave an extra five minutes during rush hour, for at least a portion of OCC’s period of maximum constraint.

Ideally, we should be able to have both improved transit speed and the bike lanes. However, no engineering solutions have been brought forth to enable both simultaneously in time for the constraint period.

A “final list” of near-term multi-modal projects to be part of One Center City is expected to be unveiled at the project’s Advisory Group on Wednesday. The list is expected to have several PBLs, including:

* a couplet on Pike and Pine
* a couplet on 7th and 8th Avenues
* an extension of the 2nd Ave PBL

There is one element to the competing goals that should provide some moral clarity: Most of the bus routes on 4th and 5th Ave will be there only a few more years. The PBLs would be there forever.

The vast majority of buses on 4th and 5th are express bus routes, with most under consideration to be replaced with Link connections as the transit spine gets built out. Some of the routes will leave downtown forever when the buses get kicked out of the transit tunnel, assuming an SR 520 route restructure is approved. Several more routes will disappear when Northgate Link opens in 2021. An overwhelming majority of the bus routes on 4th and 5th will be gone by the end of 2023, when Lynnwood Link and East Link are scheduled to open.

As time goes on thereafter, more buses will be added, as downtown is expected to keep adding jobs, can’t add cars, and the buses tend to run full during peak. Hopefully the engineering and political will will come along to optimize bus throughput. And hopefully, a well-used PBL grid will absorb a non-trivial chunk of the new trips. A countervailing force, as Scott Kubly pointed out in last week’s podcast, is that density leads to walkability, and walkability converts former bus and car trips into walking and bike trips. Since there is only so much we can do to get more people in and out of downtown, it behooves the City to double down on allowing thousands more people to live stacked on top of each other downtown.

Of course, we still want every available tactic to be deployed to speed up transit. A grid of protected bike lanes is one of those tactics for which we can’t wait any longer.

Kitsap Transit Launching Fast Ferry Service on July 10

Rich Passage 1, the research ferry that will enter regular service on Monday

Kitsap Transit is about to launch their passenger-only “fast ferry” service between Bremerton and Pier 50 in Seattle on Monday, after a decade-long saga of lawsuits, studies, funding crises, and ballot measures. The Rich Passage 1, built in 2010 in Bellingham, will make six daily round-trips between the two cities on weekdays (during peak periods), and ten daily round-trips on Saturdays (mostly in the afternoons). Kitsap Transit will continue to not offer Sunday service, including onboard the new ferry.

Currently, the state-operated car-and-passenger ferry takes 60 minutes to make the trip across Puget Sound, running roughly every 60 to 90 minutes. The new fast ferry will take just 28 minutes, with 7 minutes for loading and unloading at each terminal before turning around. The stark difference in travel time come in part due to a lightweight composite body, as well as being able to run at upwards of 37 knots (43 mph) and cruise at 29 knots (33.4 mph); the newest state ferry, the MV Chimacum, only has a top speed of 17 knots (20 mph), about the same as the average surface-level light rail system.

Continue reading “Kitsap Transit Launching Fast Ferry Service on July 10”

Jessyn Farrell for Mayor

[UPDATE: Mike McGinn says we misunderstood his position on neighborhood involvement. We’ve corrected the paragraph by eliminating the reference.]

The STB Editorial Board, as always, evaluates its candidates solely on their ability to deliver its agenda of improved transit service and density. To explain our endorsement of former Rep. Jessyn Farrell, it is probably easiest to use the process of elimination.

Sen. Bob Hasegawa has poor instincts on transportation. In spite of being a former Metro driver, he puts a relatively high priority on cars. Although he eventually clarified that he supports ST3, he is better known for criticizing the agency’s governance, taxes, and impacts on the community in strident terms. Moreover, he views Seattle’s displacement crisis as created by taxes, including both regressive sales taxes and relatively progressive ones like MVET and property tax. This attitude is unlikely to lead to new and renewed funding for transit and housing given the available tools.

Nikkita Oliver shares Sen. Hasegawa’s skepticism of existing transit taxes as a net good. While we applaud her passion for public housing, she is unconcerned that her policies might discourage the private development that is also necessary for a sustainable and inclusive future. Finally, while she is a magnetic and effective organizer, her lack of public-sector political experience increases the risk she will fail to effectively form and implement policy in the departments.

Jenny Durkan has positioned herself as the continuity candidate from Mayor Ed Murray. We believe Mayor Murray has been historically effective in passing significant transit and land use policy changes, and a continuation of his policy machine is attractive. However, Ms. Durkan does not have a long record on transportation and land use, and does not appear to be the vehicle for a fundamental rethink of the centrality of cars in our city’s planning.

Continue reading “Jessyn Farrell for Mayor”

News Roundup: With the Pontoons

South Lake Union Park and the Museum of History and Industry (MOHAI), Seattle WA

This is an open thread.

Something’s Different Here: Seattle Companies Note Job Growth Requires Great Transit

by Jonathan Hopkins

As readers of the blog are likely aware, transit usage in the Seattle area is booming. The greater Seattle metropolitan area had the highest transit ridership growth in the country last year, and is one of just six major U.S. urban areas where transit ridership increased in 2016. Some of this growth can be attributed to voter-approved service and infrastructure expansions. Others, to be sure, will point to our breakneck population and jobs growth. But these two facts alone probably don’t fully explain how, since 2010, downtown Seattle has added 45,000 new jobs but only 2,255 new solo car commuters. Overall, seventy percent of our job growth (over 31,000 trips) was absorbed by transit.

When Zach Shaner wrote that transit is saving downtown, he was right, and our business community knows it. Therefore, to thank riders and celebrate June as Ride Transit month, nine Challenge Seattle member companies donated over $22,000 in prizes to our first-ever Puget Sound Prize Patrol. Challenge Seattle’s CEO, former governor Christine Gregoire, noted that “Challenge Seattle companies are proud to support this effort to highlight how critical high transit ridership is to easing congestion and improving our region’s quality of life.”

These gratis prizes compliments of Alaska Airlines, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (in partnership with Bike Works), Boeing, Chateau Ste Michelle, Costco, Nordstrom, Puget Sound Energy, Starbucks, and Zillow Group allowed us to do something groundbreaking aboard transit. Instead of riders having their heads down, focused on their phones, they instead had their “best transit ride ever.” They weren’t riding in isolation, using transit as a utility. They were part of community, and shared together a sense of ownership over their daily choices to protect our environment and its economy. We hope it’s a meaningful message that lasts.

Most Employers Get It

Continue reading “Something’s Different Here: Seattle Companies Note Job Growth Requires Great Transit”

Takeaways from the MHA DEIS

The Mandatory Housing Affordability (MHA) program’s Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS), as Lizz reported, was properly focused on the main issue in a housing shortage: the number of units produced. The punch line is that the zoning changes and affordable housing requirements, taken together, will create about 19,000 new housing units over the next 20 years. Astonishingly, it would create almost 6,000 units formally defined as affordable, up from 200 under the status quo.

The results punch back against both anti-growth and pro-growth critiques of HALA. The argument against upzones us that we already have “enough” zoned capacity to reach our growth targets. This result predicts that an upzone will allow substantially more households to live in a city very worried about displacement and inclusion.

The pro-growth critique is that the affordability requirements deter the construction of new housing. The HALA grand bargain might do that compared to some abstract ideal, but it is clearly an improvement on the status quo, even setting aside that reduced price units let us skip the process where old housing becomes “naturally” affordable.

Another key finding compares an upzone in all the transit-accessible places with one that shifts more of the new capacity to “low displacement risk” (rich) areas. By definition, this doesn’t substantially affect the overall units built. However, for a strategy intended to combat displacement, it’s disconcerting that “throughout the city as a whole, there is little difference between Alternative 2 and Alternative 3 in the amount of total expected physical displacement of low-income households” (p. 1.14). The question is whether this displacement happens in richer neighborhoods (Alternative 2) or poorer ones (Alternative 3). It inevitably trades off deepened economic and racial segregation against preserving the unique cultures of communities of color.

There’s an added risk in counting on growth in richer neighborhoods: because the system is unfair, those neighborhoods have more procedural tools to resist upzones. If the outcome of a well-intentioned effort to shield vulnerable communities from change is to aggravate the housing shortage, that would be a tragedy for everyone.

Finally, a word about methodology: the first move against any study that jolts a partisan is to find something to dislike about the study techniques.  Perhaps we’ll see a convincing critique of this one. Until then, I much prefer a systematic study of the impact to anyone’s hunch.

Somehow, Transit Wins in Olympia

Gov. Jay Inslee

All session, legislators threatened to repeal voter-approved transit taxes, throw Sound Transit into organizational chaos, or at best ignore transit as they focused on education. Miraculously, as the session is ending all threats have retreated. Instead, transit agencies statewide gained a small amount of revenue as a side effect of wider tax reform.

There were three bills relevant to transit in late action.

HB 2163 passed the legislature and is on the way to the governor’s desk. This bill finds funding for education by, in part, extending sales taxes to more online purchases and repealing the exemption for bottled water. This increases the revenue base for all Washington governments and agencies that collect sales tax. This spreadsheet shows the annual impact of the bill for everyone in the state.

Jurisdiction FY 2018 FY 2019 FY 2020 FY 2021 FY 2022 FY 2023
Estimated Remote Sales Revenue Estimated Remote Sales Revenue Estimated Remote Sales Revenue Estimated Remote Sales Revenue Estimated Remote Sales Revenue Estimated Remote Sales Revenue
SOUND TRANSIT  9,629,000   29,577,000   36,830,000   39,945,000   43,349,000   47,039,000 
EVERETT TRANSIT SYSTEM  153,000   469,000   584,000   633,000   687,000   746,000 
KITSAP COUNTY PTBA  269,000   826,000   1,028,000   1,115,000   1,210,000   1,313,000 
KING COUNTY METRO TRANSIT  4,390,000   13,484,000   16,790,000   18,210,000   19,762,000   21,444,000 
COMMUNITY TRANSIT  788,000   2,421,000   3,015,000   3,269,000   3,548,000   3,850,000 
PIERCE TRANSIT  594,000   1,825,000   2,273,000   2,465,000   2,675,000   2,903,000 

In the first full year of collections, Fiscal Year 2019, Sound Transit nets another $30m in sales tax revenue and Metro yields $13m. This money is not transformative*, but $13m per year is 100,000 annual service hours — about what it took for Metro to upgrade five conventional bus lines to RapidRide A through E.

Sound Transit’s 2017 budget projects over a billion dollars in sales tax revenue, out of $1.6 billion in total revenue (p. 14).

Continue reading “Somehow, Transit Wins in Olympia”

Mountlake Terrace Residents Want More Parking

Aerial view of the future Mountlake Terrace Station Credit: Sound Transit

Most Mountlake Terrace residents had only one suggestion after reviewing the latest plans for Mountlake Terrace Station, which will be located on 236th Street Southwest just east of Interstate 5: build more parking.

Residents reported that, during the week, all 880 parking spaces are taken by 8 am at the transit station currently on the site. This forces commuters to park on nearby neighborhood streets or simply drive to work.

On the comment board one resident had written, “Plan for parking with a private developer. Quit passing the buck, Sound Transit.” 

Site plan of the future Mountlake Terrace Station
Credit: Sound Transit

Rod Kempkes, the Lynnwood Link Executive Project Director, said that though Sound Transit can’t legally add parking to the package after voters approved the Sound Transit 2 ballot measure, the agency is looking for other ways additional parking can be provided.  Continue reading “Mountlake Terrace Residents Want More Parking”