Sound Transit Says There Is High Demand for Park and Rides

Sound Transit explains high number of new parking stalls on ST3 project list.

By Josh Feit December 18, 2015

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Sound Transit responded to my report on the number of parking stalls included in their candidate projects; again: I did not double count competing alternatives for a similar corridor, though, absent those repeats, I did tally up the number of stalls from all the candidate projects.

I came up with close to 18,000 new parking stalls for nearly $1 billion.

Sound Transit isn't likely to build all all 46 projects on the wish list. But these are the projects currently on the table, and the percentage of parking dollars assumed in that comprehensive list gives a spot check on ST's vision.

Specifically, I had asked ST to explain the formula they used to determine the future parking need. I also asked, more generally, if $1 billion in parking out of around $27 billion in potential projects—3.7 percent from the outset—fits the agency's transit mission.

Sound Transit spokesman Geoff Patrick told PubliCola:

"Parking assumptions for stations are based on their specific areas and surrounding land uses. In some cases the other access options (including transit, walking and bicycling) may not be offer good accessibility and ridership based on the surrounding land uses and supporting infrastructure. The parking assumptions are not based on formulas but judgment in applying transit planning and land use principles. There is very high demand for park-and-ride capacity in many areas. How to respond to that demand is ultimately a policy question for the Board.
"Please note  that not all of the candidate projects can be built, and the study results are to inform further narrowing of priorities to shape a ballot measure of as-yet undetermined scale. Therefore, your headline is not really accurate in saying “Sound Transit Three Assumes Nearly $1 Billion for New Parking Stalls.” Once the Board identifies a draft plan you will be able to analyze how much parking is assumed.
"Please note that all of the current assumptions documented for each project are representative in nature. That means the amount of parking along with all other assumed scope elements are not set in stone. The projects that will be built are subject to future environmental review and Board choices about project designs and scope. The numbers do drive assumptions about how much funding should be allowed for each project, so they are important."

Footnote: I've changed this morning's headline to "Sound Transit Looks at Nearly $1 Billion for New Parking Stalls."

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