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FW commuters need parking within walking distance | Letters

June 17, 2013 · 10:15 AM
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The data showing the majority of people using the Federal Way Transit Center live within 4 miles of the facility was collected last winter (hello Sound Transit, it's now June). I recall filling out the survey during the commute to Seattle and I believe it was only collected from those who took a Sound Transit bus from the Federal Way Transit Center.

It may not have been collected from those who took KC Metro that day, who also park in the garage. It would be very difficult to collect information from those who also park in the garage at the transit center and either catch a vanpool or carpool.

What was the purpose of this statement by the representative from Sound Transit? I have no other way to get to the transit center as the closest bus stop is 1.5 miles from my house.

During what hours does Sound Transit consider the parking garage to be at 99 percent of capacity? If you don't get to the parking garage by 6:45 a.m. there's no place to park and that is why cars are being parked on side streets and in the parking lots of adjacent businesses.

Sound Transit is looking for leased space for parking "within walking distance" of the transit center. What does Sound Transit consider walking distance?

How about that lovely vacant lot adjacent to the transit center? From my perspective, Federal Way does not need a high-rise, more retail space they can't fill, or a performing arts center in that space.

Make a deal with Sound Transit to put up more parking and add more buses (link light rail will take longer). Show the people in this area what is really important and invite bus, vanpool and carpool users to use both parking garages.

As for adding one more bus on June 10, do they seriously think that is going to be enough? The buses from 5 a.m. until 7 a.m. are full, including people standing in the aisle heading into Seattle, and are the same from 3 p.m. through rush hour on the return trip.

I feel for the people who get on the bus after 2nd and Pike in Seattle in the afternoon and evening as they are usually standing or not able to get on the bus and have to wait for another one. Oh and the standing is a big safety issue even when tightly grasping the overhead storage rack or handles provided on the top of the aisle seat (Sound Transit) or the hand straps (King County Metro). You need a tight grip for sure when the driver slams on the brakes or turns a corner.

Now I know there are King County Metro buses that leave the transit center and 177 and 178 go past the transit center and people, me in particular, take the first bus that comes to my stop that gets me to or within a city block of the transit center in the evening. Watch how many people get off the 177 or 178 across from Marlene's and on the street stop above Outback Steakhouse and walk to the transit center. That is because the 577/578 and 179 buses were full.

As for Sound Transit considering charging for premium parking in the garage: Many of the people commuting on the bus cannot afford to pay. We're all doing our part by taking the bus in the first place. Not many people can afford to drive with gas prices what they are and parking in Seattle is anywhere from $9-$16/day.

Sound Transit charges $2.50 each way and King County charges $3 each way (peak time which is the case for most people). Now KC Metro says they have to cut routes from Federal Way (including South 272nd Street park and ride).

What is that going to do with already overcrowded buses? I would suggest Sound Transit and KC Metro take the fares for the people who are standing and pay for more drivers to drive those buses that are parked at their facilities. No one should have to stand for a one-hour commute between Federal Way and Seattle.

Nancy Blum, Federal Way

 


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