New Light Rail and No Parking, What a Concept!


Columbia City station on Seattle's Link light rail from rutlo on Flickr

Sound Transit is launching it’s starter light-rail line from Westlake Center to Tukwila tomorrow.

Today’s Seattle Times reports that some would-be light rail riders are upset by the lack of parking around the light rail stations. According to Rick Sheridan, SDOT spokesman, this was done on purpose.

“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.”

Sounds like a great opportunity to promote cycling. One mile is a doable bike ride for most people. Let’s hope people get inspired to give cycling a try since they won’t have any place to park their cars. Go ahead,  buy a beater bike and ride it to the light rail station.

Does anyone know if they put in adequate bike parking?

I’d love to hear from some South end readers about what you think of this topic.  The Times has 329 comments at this time, so it looks like a hot one.

– Anne

10 responses to “New Light Rail and No Parking, What a Concept!

  1. I think this is lovely, though it would be unfortunate if the lack of parking kept people from switching from cars to light-rail for the majority of their daily commute. It seems like a small parking lot with at least some parking for light-rail passengers with disabilities would be appropriate.

  2. In Los Angeles, our Metro line have several light rail stations that don’t have dedicated parking lots so this isn’t a new concept.

  3. Hi Anne…

    The kids & I took a fun ride on the train yesterday. I noticed 2 bike hooks on each car…4 per train. Pretty cool.

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  5. Andy in Germany

    Hopefully that will have an effect, although it can be difficult for people who live out on the sprawl to get to the transit. Making it hard to drive the same route will also make a difference.

    The case study in the Times seems to be a bit cherry picked to make it seem a bad idea: if it really is the fluid situation described than I don’t see why they can’t have permits issued. And don’t you have disabled stickers for people who can’t walk far?

  6. Wouldn’t disabled parking be allowed anyway? On the streets I mean.

    Surely a mile is walkable, let alone cyclable.

  7. I was thinking of the situation here where disabled badge holders can park in ‘restricted parking’ areas. Isn’t there an equivalent?

  8. @Andy, yes agreed, that’s what I was thinking. My comment was really a response to the first comment, but don’t know how the US does disabled parking/badges.

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  10. I think the whole thing is pie in the sky. Surely what is important is to get people to use the system. Lack of parking makes the light rail just too impractical for so many people – not everyone is a biker and not everyones job is conducive to such. The transferablility between rail and buses is a farce because it requires people to pay two fares to go the same distance as one fare would take them with a few transfers using the bus system alone. I think this approach comes from an elitist mindset that does not truly marry with the reality of Seattle life.

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