Construction at the Park-and-Ride

Back to the mundane following the Tent City debate: today the road in front of the Park & Ride was repaved. I wonder why- it didn’t seem to be in poor shape.

In fact, the only thing that’s been a problem with the new Park & Ride- excluding the fact that it shouldn’t be as new as it is, given that it opened a year late– is that it’s starting to get full already. If it’s bad in the summer, when people are on vacation or bike-commuting to work, it’ll be worse in the winter.

Anyway, here are some more gratuitous big-truck pictures:


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9 responses to “Construction at the Park-and-Ride

  1. I don’t know why they’re doing the re-paving, but you’re so right about the P&R filling up. And it’s not just “starting to” fill up–it fills up every weekday.

    If you get there early, you’ll probably find a spot. But if you arrive after, say, 9:00am, you’re probably out of luck. This is particularly bad for MI commuters into Seattle–we don’t have the option to drive to another P&R lot. It’s a big disincentive to commuting.

    Why is the P&R lot full? It’s not because of MI commuters. It’s because people from further East (e.g. Bellevue, Issaquah, Plateau) drive as far as they can–to MI–before parking. In other words, these commuters use the MI lot as a way to avoid downtown parking fees.

    Some of the spots in the P&R lot should be reserved for MI residents.

  2. Hi Joe,

    You know, that was my thought too. But then I thought why would folks want to endure the hassle of dealing with the I-90 gridlock on the way home….if they parked at Eastgate or South Park and Ride, I figure they would sit on the bus through the worst part of it.

    When I get there early, I see a lot of construction workers parking. Not sure that is permitted…but I see a bunch of it happening.

  3. mercerislandblogger

    Good point, Joe. We really are screwed if we get to the P&R after the spots are gone. I wonder how we’d be able to enforce that though. Any ideas?

  4. Ken, many of those MI P&R users from points East aren’t commuting primarily to save time–they are commuting primarily to avoid downtown parking fees. Hence, they drive as far as they can, in the comfort/privacy/isolation of their own car. This is America! We like to be in our own car, even if it means traffic. And besides, the traffic going Eastbound in the afternoon on I-90 isn’t that bad at all.

    I’ve met many people at the MI P&R who have switched their primary P&R from Eastgate or South Bellevue to MI. If (after MI implements a parking plan) they didn’t find spots when they got to MI P&R, they would revert to their original P&R, making the commute better for everyone.

  5. Mercerislandblogger, I have an idea that would be effective and easy to implement.

    Signs could be installed on a portion of the parking spots at MI P&R saying, “Reserved for MI resident only”. MI already has a parking permit program (sticker in the rear window), which could permit MI residents to park in those reserved spots.

    Neither Sound Transit nor MI probably have the resources to actively monitor the reserved parking, but the signs alone would keep 95% of potential cheaters from using the spots, since they wouldn’t know the parking wouldn’t be actively enforced. If that doesn’t work, we could encourage MI residents to email or call MI when they saw a parker in a reserved spot without a MI sticker.

  6. mercerislandblogger

    Nice idea. I didn’t know we already have a permit program, and I don’t have a permit. If it gave me a much better chance of having a spot there, I’d get one- and I think other commuters using the P&R wouldn’t find that too hard a chore to be able to park there.

  7. Pssst, I wonder what would happen if a bunch of us paid to have a professional-looking sign at the front of the lot that said “This lot reserved for Mercer Island residents only. Violators will be towed”.

    Like you say, I bet it would keep 95% of cheaters away.

    Somebody (who?) would eventually take down the sign I suppose, but you’d only need to display it for a week or so, because the cheaters will only need to see it once before they give up (who can risk having your car towed?).

    (okay, it’s sneaky and probably illegal but I bet it would do wonders) 🙂

  8. mercerislandblogger

    Richard, sneaky but effective suggestions are welcome here.

    I’ve emailed this post and all the comments to Bruce Basset to get his thoughts on what we can do. I’ll let you all know how it goes.

  9. Pingback: Our Park and Ride: Why It’s a Little Screwed Up « Surrounded By Water: A Mercer Island Blog

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