Something else debuted this month alongside three new Link stations. Can you guess what it was? No? Surprise: it was Sound Transit’s first parking garage inside the Seattle city limits.
Now, the official position of Seattle Transit Blog is that building parking garages near train stations is generally not the best use of taxpayer money (sometime obscenely wasteful, in fact). But of course Sound Transit, the board, and probably a healthy chunk of the electorate disagrees with us here, so ST continues to build parking garages, making gradual steps to even charge for their usage.
So ideally you should walk, bike, bus or roll to the station. But let’s say you’ve decided to take a car, because, say, an unscrupulous real estate agent sold you a house with “close to light rail” in the description when in fact the nearest station was 40 minutes away via an infrequent bus line.
Whatever your reasons, you’ll find several parking garages and lots in the immediate vicinity of the station.
- The Metro Park & Ride (one corner of which is slated to become affordable housing, after much back and forth)
- Thornton Place (the movie theater)
- Northgate Mall (first two levels)
- And a brand new Sound Transit-built garage, which we have written about going back nearly a decade.
Most of the lots are free to park. Just don’t park in mall parking. The exception is Sound Transit’s, which charges $15 but only on the top floor, attempting to ensure at least some weekday availability for commuters.
Speaking of which, there’s something humorous (to me, at least) about the signage, which refers to all riders as “commuters.” Sound Transit’s singular focus on work trips as the main reason one might ride public transit trickles all the way down to the wayfinding department, apparently.
When I visited, during a Husky game, one of the Northgate lots was selling Husky game parking. Maybe car-storage next to a train station is worth paying for after all?