My concern in all this is what do those of us who just don't quite live close enough to the LR but in CC do for parking?
Date: 21 Sep 2010 16:06
Number of posts: 22
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Thanks for your question. SDOT has been encouraging people to walk, bike, or take transit to the light rail stations (rather than driving to the station area). Recognizing the down economy and realizing this might not be an option for everyone, Mayor McGinn's asked the Department of Planning and Development to put together a proposal to temporarily allow the use of existing off-street facilities near the station areas for long-term parking. Check out the DPD website for more info - http://www.seattle.gov/dpd/Planning/LightRailInterimParking/Overview/default.asp.
Here's a suggestion - instead of worrying about times in different parking zones, why don't we get some actual parking enforcement in South Seattle?
In South Seattle, people routinely block drive ways, park by fire hydrants, park in red no parking zones without any fear of getting a ticket. Once, I had someone block me in on Ferdinand. They were parked in a red zone. We called the parking folks - 5 hours later the person moved their illegally parked vehicle without getting a ticket.
I live near Brandon and Rainer - (CC) and routinely see illegal parking. In the 6 years I have lived there - I saw a parking enforcement vehicle once.
I guess parking enforcement is only for the more affluent neighborhoods in the north part of the city.
I would love to ride lightrail everytime I go into downtown. Usually I go for the day or at least 4 hours. Currently there is no where for me to park my car near the closest station and I live just far enough that it doesn't work to walk (especially in the rain). Are there any plans to put in Park and Ride type lots near the stations? I have talked to several neighbors and no one rides lightrail because of this issue. It seriously hampers the usability of lightrail for those of us who live outside the 'walk' zone.
Hi there - I replied to a similar comment above. The City isn't generally in the business of putting up or building park and rides, as they don't make good neighbors (often create a lot of cut through traffic and congestion) and don't support goals of creating vibrant and livable communities.
That said, the City is looking into allowing temporary uses of existing parking lots in the station areas. Check out the Department of Planning and Development's website for more info - http://www.seattle.gov/dpd/Planning/LightRailInterimParking/Overview/default.asp.
If you live just too far from the station to walk, have you considered using a bicycle? I think the two-wheeled option in your case is more sustainable than Sound Transit installing a Park and Ride lot.
Biking to the station is great, and very fast, though a bit nervewracking jockying with busses and speeding cars on Rainier. However, when it starts to rain I will be in a pickle. I can't arrive at work all drippy and a mess, and no, I can't get a wind-proof haircut just so I can bike to light rail. Also, I can't see through my glasses when they're wet.
You're not asking, but if I were you I'd take this route instead & avoid biking Rainier entirely.
Last winter I biked to light rail, pretty much all the time. Whereas I've sometimes had trouble scoring a bike hook on a sunny day, I've never had that problem on a rainy day.
For a mile-long ride, I've found it's almost never raining enough to get you wet. It is important to have fenders, because otherwise your wheels can spray up water & grit from the road. If you ride slowly, even that's not such a problem.
I don't wear glasses, yet. So I'm not much help in that regard — contacts?
Ultimately, there's all-day parking at the Columbia Plaza lot, and other lots near the stations have jumped into the game too. Ironically, in spite of so much debate & deliberation about how we need park & rides, the private lots I've seen are almost entirely empty.
Sure, I could take that route, but have you ever ridden it? There's a *huge* hill on Orcas in that section. Not that I mind hills in general, but when I'm trying to get to work making myself all sweaty riding up a hill is not preferred. Rainier is much faster, so I'm willing to share the road with the cars and busses.
Got it. I don't think too much about hills… until I'm about 1/2-way up. For a regular commute, I do tend to find the flattest route.
That's partly why I'll often choose Rainier Ave from downtown. Ironically, when it's full of cars, I find the traffic to be more manageable. Drivers are just so much more predictable when they're backed way up at stoplights. And a lesser-known biking reality is that Rainier at rush hour is actually mostly empty & calm, once the pulse of green-light traffic has passed.
There's ongoing discussion about how to tame Rainier, particularly in the area around Mount Baker station. I'm heartened by the possibilities, which could narrow the roadway, open it up for other users, and make it easier to traverse two otherwise daunting arterials.
We live opposite the school on Ferdinand, folks regularly park in front of our house from 4PM until late at night to visit the business district. When we return home from work there is little space to park in front of our homes on this block, since there is only parking on one side of the street. I'd like to see the parking restrictions extended so those who come home from work have room to park. Many folks use Ferdinand, Edmonds and Hudson to park in the evenings to visit the restaurants/bars with no regards to the home owners that are affected by the business district. It seems that rarely do the business owners recognize that there are home owners a block away and we would like some respect for the neighborhood that we actually LIVE in. We walk to your businesses regularly and are regular patrons. And don't even try to park in front of your own house or move your car after 5 on a First Friday, Beat Walk. Why won't folks just pay the $2 and park at lots in town.
As far as Light Rail parking, wouldn't it be nice if there were a south end Park and Ride. Folks park on our streets in the evenings to catch the light rail down to Mariners games as well as park on the weekends to take the train to downtown. The only saving grace on the weekdays has been that the school is no longer occupied by so many families and there has actually been some room to move without the buses and parents blocking the streets and cross walks.
As far as parking enforcement… I have not seen anyone ticketed for not having a zoned parking permit, except for on Market Day. I am sure as soon as the market season is over, the enforcement will disappear as it does every day of the week except for Wednesday. There has been an un-permitted RV and Boat trailer on our block for 5 weeks. Many times blocking the crosswalk… no enforcement in sight.
Thanks for your comments - I appreciate your feedback on extending the zone hours. As is generally the case, given the choice between free and paid parking…most people gravitate toward free parking (even though it may be slightly farther away and will inconvenience residents).
Please see the link to the DPD website for more info on off-street parking near the light rail stations. I'm also checking in with Parking Enforcement, as a couple people have commented on low levels/lack of enforcement. Folks should call the Police Department's non-emergency line - (206) 625-5011 - to report issues like trailers parking on-street.
I am very concerned about the request for more angled parking. Driving on the streets that currently have angled parking is nearly impossible. The street basically narrows to one lane on those streets. There have been instances when I've had to sit through an entire light cycle because cars were lined up the other direction leaving no room for the other direction to pass. I am opposed to adding more angled parking and would, in a perfect world, get rid of the angled parking already in place.
Angled parking is often used as a traffic calming measure that slows vehicles down, but it sounds like you are concerned it's slowing people down too much and creating unsafe conditions. I appreciate your comments - thanks!
Definitely it creates a funnel that is too restrictive during certain traffic conditions. If there was more clearly room for 2 way traffic it would be a big help. For example: what if all the angled parking was for compact cars only and clearly marked for 2 way traffic and small cars? Although given the amount of illegal parking outside Starbuck's next to the sign that says "no parking west of here" and lack of enforcement, I'm not sure a compact cars only policy would work in our neighborhood.
I love light rail and invested in this community in part because of it's presence. Nevertheless without adequate parking in the area the light rail will remain underutilized. For example I'd love to take light rail to the airport, but carrying luggage in the rain is not practical. I'd also like to take my visiting folks downtown, utilizing light rail, but they are not strong enough for the trek to the station. I have also heard of a number of people who choose not to partronize CC farmer's market due to parking challenges. If we are to continue to grow smartly we need to recognize that bicycling/walking is not always an option and plan accordingly.
"without adequate parking in the area the light rail will remain underutilized."
Actually, it's *people* that make light rail or any other transit system successful. Development around stations will bring more people and they won't need to park. If we were going to spend money to build parking, why not just build parking where people are going and skip the transit all together? There must be other goals for transit…
Also, every transit option is not for everyone. You not being close to a station? Well, that's unfortunate for you, but what does that have to do with anything? Take a bus. Drive. You have other options. Your parents are too old to walk far? Again, this has nothing to do with the usefulness of transit for those who are near it. There's "a number" of people who have told you that they don't go to the farmers market because they can't easily park there? I don't go to the University District farmers market because it's too far away. They should move it closer to me. I mean, sure, there are hundreds of people who go every week - 52 weeks a year - but me! It's too far from me! That means it serves no purpose! There's always going to be someone who doesn't do something for some particular reason…
Putting parking everywhere is counterproductive.
I live four blocks from the light rail and never said I wasn't close to a station so your assumption about my residence being "unfortunate" is way off base. I did say that carrying luggage (often in the rain) for that distance or walking with my disabled father to the station is not practical. You are so busy misinterpreting with outlandish hyperboles's like "putting parking everywhere" that you missed the point that sometimes walking/biking or affording a home next door to a station is not an option. We know that people will live in the houses that are not near the station. Shouldn't we encourage them to use light rail making it accessible to them or should we live in the warped fantasy world that those not near light rail will abandon their homes and live in tent highrises near the light rail station to make our world a better place. I stand by my assertion that station parking would increase light rail utilization and therefore
*without adequate parking in the area the light rail will remain underutilized*
BART, DC Metro, and Boston Subway are just a few examples of heavily utilized public transportation systems that take thousands of cars off the road by providing accessible, driver- friendly stations.
Sorry to jump in here and pile on, but let's get this straight: You can't carry luggage four blocks but can carry it the loooong way to the terminal from the airport light rail station? (If you think four blocks of typical WA rain will do any harm to your luggage, get new luggage.) And your disabled father can't walk those four blocks, either, but it would be practical for him to ride the train downtown, where he'd presumably have to stay within a two-block radius of Westlake Station?
All that said, I certainly don't have a problem with parking in a spot that's presently unused. Like the $3/day lot between Columbia Park and Rainier Ave, which is two (albeit long) blocks away…and almost entirely empty all day, every day. Or, as you might say, "underutilized."
Perhaps this will be of use to folks: http://seattletransitblog.com/2009/10/01/getting-to-light-rail/
"BART, DC Metro, and Boston Subway are just a few examples of heavily utilized public transportation systems that take thousands of cars off the road by providing accessible, driver- friendly stations"
Not true at all. Let's make a distinction between commuting within the city and commuting into the city. For example, you'd be hard pressed to find a parking lot in Boston next to a subway station. You have to *leave* the city and go to the outskirts to find a "driver friendly station". And, hello, there is nothing "driver friendly" about Boston. If there were parking lots at the subway stations in Boston, or anywhere, then people would drive to their destination station and park. Why take the train? It's counterproductive.
You can stand by your statement that "without adequate parking in the area the light rail will remain underutilized" all you want. Places with successful public transit are successful because these places acknowledge that a transportation system needs to move people, not cars. Roads are for moving cars.
There will be lots of utilization of the light rail from and to Capitol Hill - it will be wildly successful. Why? Not because there are lots of places to PARK, but because there are lots of PEOPLE. And it will be successful in spite of the fact that old people in Madrona don't have waterproof luggage.
Light rail goes hand in hand with transit oriented development. People will move closer to access light rail. Neighborhoods will grow up around light rail. If you are complaining about the lack of parking YOU ARE MISSING THE POINT.
Sorry for yelling!
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