Thursday, July 16, 2009

No parking for the new light rail, except in Tukwila

LImit use of your car? No. They intend you to never use it. Billions of dollars, but no park and ride, well, only one. If you live one mile from a station... this train is not for you. Has anyone checked lately if Mayor Greg Nickels is still putting 100 miles per day on his limo - seven days per week? Seattle Times
Jammie Hunter thought she had her new commute all figured out. Sound Transit's light-rail line, which opens Saturday and rumbles past her Columbia City home, would make getting to work downtown a breeze. Her train station is about a mile away — "little more than walking distance" — so Hunter decided to drive, park on a nearby street and get on board, she said. But new restricted-parking zones set up around stations in Southeast Seattle put an end to that plan. Enforcement starts Monday, and anyone who violates the two- or four-hour limit is subject to a $44 fine. The only park-and-ride on the 14-mile light-rail line is in Tukwila. "Why would you invest so much taxpayer money into public transit and take away parking?" Hunter asked. "If they want to maximize ridership, that's not the way to do it." City officials say the new restrictions — which stretch about a quarter-mile around each of the stations from Beacon Hill to Rainier Beach — are needed to protect residents and businesses from a surge of motorists who park their cars on neighborhood streets during the day then disappear. In fact, there's even a name for the so-called offenders: "hide and riders." "Light rail was meant to be fed by people taking the bus, walking or biking," said Rick Sheridan, spokesman for the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT). "It was not meant to be fed by cars."

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