He Said/She Said: Getting to Light Rail

He Said/She Said: Getting to Light Rail

“He Said/She Said” highlights some of the most vigorous civil debates that take place in Go: South Seattle’s Comment section. The dialogue that occurs here between friends, neighbors and engaged citizens is one of the features that makes GSS such a valuable community resource. GSS does not necessarily endorse the opinions expressed.

Kathy recently kicked the conversation off with an observation about the lack of parking around south-end Light Rail stations and the disparity between Sound Transit’s south-end approach versus that of Mercer Island:

The fact that the stations in the Rainier Valley are virtually inaccessible is ridiculous. We live basically a mile from ours, which is too far to walk in the dark and the rain, yet too short to justify the two bus rides (with a layover at Rainier & Henderson) that are currently required. Yesterday I came across this story, and it has me frothing at the mouth: Sound Transit is going to spend $6 million to make sure that Mercer Islanders will be able to park close to the light rail. I wish somebody would explain to me why this is okay.

According to neale:

Sound Transit wanted to put parking close to light rail in the City of Seattle, but the Seattle City Council with much public support and little opposition put zoning rules in place to prevent it… Another example of the Seattle Electorate “making the perfect the enemy of the good.”

He added that the crime around local Light Rail stations has also been a big deterrent:

The final straw was when people started getting mugged for cell phones when they got off the train. What good does it do to be relieved of driving so you can listen to an I-pod or use a Smart Phone if someone on the train is watching everyone who uses such things and then robs them when they get off the train? Public Safety is vital to getting people out of their cars. Probably more so than parking lots by the light rail.

Among other things, typingmonkey pointed out that:

Until more frequent, sensible bus routes and a larger network of trains get commuters closer to home, the train’s going to continue to be a luxury for South enders who have the scratch or an employer subsidized pass.

Greener Grad said:

Apparently Sound Transit owns a lot of space around SE Seattle light rail stations, but the City in its wisdom (?!) decided that what’s good for Mercer Island, Federal Way, Tukwila and Bellevue is too rich for us. Not even the elderly or disabled get a break. Sound Transit could provide parking just for elderly and disabled residents, but oh, no, that wouldn’t be environmental!

But Real Rainier Valley Girl points out that:

Mass transit is not all things to all people. Even if Metro staves off the threatened reductions and eliminations in service, we’ll likely see losses in service in the city. Never mind that we in southeast Seattle pay the same non-peak fare (no zone designations during off-peak times) to travel downtown or Century Link as do people in Federal Way, Issaquah or Redmond. All things are not equal in the mass-transit world (except off-peak bus fares).

What do you think? Read the full conversation here.

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