Parking problems intensify around light rail stations as more riders hop on

Mar 30, 2016, 5:55 PM | Updated: 6:26 pm
Sound Transit riders report that since new stations opened this month, there is more difficulty fin...
Sound Transit riders report that since new stations opened this month, there is more difficulty finding parking near light rail stations, such as this overflow lot at the Tukwila light rail station. (KIRO 7)
(KIRO 7)

Sound Transit riders told KIRO 7 that since two new stations opened this month, they have had more difficulty finding parking near light rail stations.

Deborah Johnson, who typically parks her car on the street near Stadium Station &#8212 near Safeco Field and CenturyLink Field – said she had to pay $8 to park in a &#8212private lot Tuesday morning.

“I guess people are coming in earlier, because now I come in about 7:30-ish &#8212 nowhere to park,” Johnson said.
Michelle Burge said she always parks in a private, paid lot near Mt. Baker Station. While her experience hasn’t changed much, she has noticed a difference on the streets.

“I’ve noticed a lot more cars parked around Mt. Baker Station,” Burge said.

But perhaps the most noticeable difference is at the Tukwila light rail station, where both the regular and overflow lots are filling up by 6:30 a.m.

Molly West, a relative of a KIRO employee, said she typically gets one of 10 or 15 spaces left in the overflow lot at 6:30 a.m. But Tuesday morning, she found zero.

Other drivers were in the same position.

“It was a bunch of ants in an anthill,” West said.

To avoid being late for work, she drove to another location and took the bus downtown.

Bruce Gray, a spokesperson for Sound Transit, said there have been 10,000 to 20,000 new riders in the first week since the Capitol Hill and University of Washington stations opened. Numbers are expected to rise now that university students are back from spring break.

He said the Tukwila parking lots have always filled up early. But the situation may improve when the new Angle Lake Station opens at South 200th Street in SeaTac this September. That station will come with more than 1,000 parking spots.

There are also plans to build a garage of 1,500 spaces when East Link opens. When the Northgate station comes online, riders will share the existing park-and-ride of 1,200 parking spots.

“You’re never going to build enough parking for everybody who wants to ride the system. Like I said, we’re adding a million new riders a year. Are we going to spend the money to build a million new parking spots a year? That’s not the most effective way to spend the money,” Gray said.

There are no plans to build any parking lots or garages near the Seattle core. Instead, Gray suggests riders get dropped off, ride a bike, or find other public transportation to get to the stations.

Local News

(Photo from KIRO 7)...
Theresa Robinson, KIRO 7 News

Hundreds participate in Seattle Big Climb to raise money for blood cancer research

1,300 people climbed up Columbia Center’s 69 stories on Sunday to raise money for cancer research.
1 day ago
(Photo from KIRO 7)...
Lauren Donovan, KIRO 7 News

‘They don’t care about our safety:’ Kentucky Amazon workers fly to Seattle to protest

Kentucky Amazon workers determined to unionize flew into Seattle for a protest outside The Spheres in South Lake Union.
1 day ago
Lakewood Police...
Lisa Brooks

Suspect arrested after infant grazed by bullet in Lakewood

An infant was grazed by a bullet and hit by broken glass after a shooting Friday night in Lakewood. There is no information on a suspect.
1 day ago
Dan Rocha...
Gwen Baumgardner, KIRO 7 News

Community honors fallen Everett police officer Dan Rocha one year after line-of-duty death

Online tributes continue to pour in on the one-year anniversary after the death of Everett police officer Dan Rocha.
2 days ago
Tacoma homicide...
KIRO Newsradio Newsdesk

Homicide detectives investigating after man found dead in Tacoma

Homicide detectives are investigating after a man's body was found dead Saturday morning along South Tacoma Way.
2 days ago
March Madness...
Nate Connors

Weekend Traffic Report: NCAA March Madness comes to town

NCAA Women's Basketball is heading to Climate Pledge Arena Friday through Monday. Friday's game starts at 4:30 p.m.
3 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Emergency Preparedness...

Prepare for the next disaster at the Emergency Preparedness Conference

Being prepared before the next emergency arrives is key to preserving businesses and organizations of many kinds.
SHIBA volunteer...

Volunteer to help people understand their Medicare options!

If you’re retired or getting ready to retire and looking for new ways to stay active, becoming a SHIBA volunteer could be for you!
safety from crime...

As crime increases, our safety measures must too

It's easy to be accused of fearmongering regarding crime, but Seattle residents might have good reason to be concerned for their safety.
Comcast Ready for Business Fund...
Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Parking problems intensify around light rail stations as more riders hop on