1. As the debate over parking for cars at light rail stations gets underway—should people have to pay for parking (currently they don't and activists from the Transit Access Stakeholders group they should)—ST is already setting a precedent for bike parking. Bikers have to pay.
Sound Transit debuted a new bike storage cage at its Beacon Hill station last month where bikers pay $4.10 a month for access. ST says they will replicate the bike storage model at more stations going forward.
With the ST3 plan considering at least 8,330 new parking spaces for cars at about $70,000 a stall, the debate should include another stat: Federal Highway Administration estimates put the cost of building new bike racks at about $50 per bike and more elaborate storage, like cages, costing about $1,500 per bike.
Meanwhile, at last Thursday’s ST board meeting, Issaquah requested 500 additional parking spaces to the 500 spaces (already at $26 million) that the ST3 plan already includes at the Central Issaquah stop.
2. There are two big city council votes today: Council is expected to vote 9-0 to send the $290 million housing levy to voters for an August ballot. And, more controversially, the big Occidental street vacation vote is today—the de facto vote on building a new NBA arena in SoDo.
With council members Tim Burgess, Bruce Harrell, Rob Johnson, and Mike O’Brien publicly in favor of granting the pivotal street vacation and Sally Bagshaw now against, arena fans need just one more yes vote from either Lorena Gonzalez, Debora Juarez, or Kshama Sawant.
Like her predecessor, Nick Licata, Herbold is a skeptic of public stadium deals. (And Herbold has teamed up with Bagshaw on amendments mandating pedestrian improvements and preventing the street vacation if only an NHL team is in the mix.)
Sawant is in the most interesting spot. Getting the back of a California super venture capitalist (Chris Hansen) for a publicly financed corporate sports deal ($200 million) doesn’t seem like a Socialist Alternative priority. However, she’s likely sympathetic to the populist bent of NBA sports fans.
Gonzalez has proposed a couple of amendments; one would ensure political free speech around the stadium and another calls for public art.
Juarez, as usual, is a wildcard.