Commuter Parking Expansion on MI
Many residents are familiar with the long-standing capacity challenges at the Sound Transit-owned Mercer Island Park-and-Ride, which tends to be filled by 7:30am on weekday mornings. Over half of the daily users are from off-Island, making all-day parking difficult for Islanders wishing to use mass transit (see 2015 license-plate survey by Sound Transit).
In the City's latest public opinion survey from April 2014 (conducted randomly by phone, and available here) the top requested improvement to the Town Center area was additional parking, which was stated by 22% of respondents.
In response to ongoing community requests for additional commuter-oriented, resident-only parking spaces, the City of Mercer Island and Sound Transit continue to work together to find additional parking options, within walking distance of the current Park-and-Ride.
When the Mercer Island light rail station opens in 2023, swift and predictable access to the University of Washington, downtown Seattle, and downtown Bellevue, will become a reality, and the City anticipates a significant increase in transit usage. Additional resident-focused parking near the future light rail station will become even more important than it is today.
What's Happening Now
At this point there is no active proposal regarding additional commuter parking on Mercer Island although discussions continue.
There are no parking-focused meetings currently scheduled, but community outreach continues on light rail in general and the impacts expected during construction. See the "Get Involved" section of the main light rail page.
Comments on parking are currently closed.
At the City's January 29, 2015 Commuter Parking Options Open House 41 attendees submitted comments, and another 20 comments were received online. Listed below is a summary of public comments by theme (these are not verbatim):
- Residents expressed a desire for future parking to be for MI residents only (5 comments).
- Support for Parking in the Town Center (3 comments).
- Use the Park & Ride for MI residents only (4 comments).
- Questions about constructing parking over I-90 (5 comments).
- Please solve the Parking problem (5 comments).
- Concerns about using Park property for parking (3 comments).
- Suggestions for using local bus transit to provide access to the Park & Ride and future Light Rail (3 comments).
- Some residents had concerns about the light rail station (2 comments).
- Other residents think that Bellevue is a better location for commuter parking (1 comment).
- Residents suggested a pay for parking system (2 comments).
- Many had suggestions for alternate Parking locations in or near the Town Center- some of which have already been considered (11 comments).
- And others had comments about where not to put parking (5 comments).
- Questions about the impacts of commuter parking proposals (6 comments).
- Other comments on a variety of issues and topics (8 comments).
For a verbatim copy of all comments, please email Kirsten Taylor, Ass't City Manager.
Potential Commuter Parking Locations
|Current Parking Study Area|
Based on community feedback on a proposal to develop parking on Community Center property (see below), the City commissioned an independent study of the pros and cons of other potential resident-only parking locations, within walking distance of the existing Park-and-Ride.
The study was presented to the public at an open house on January 29, 2015 at the Community Center, with over 100 Islanders in attendance. Following a Q&A session, many attendees stayed for extensive and productive discussion with staff and Councilmembers at various topic area stations on related issues (such as Town Center Visioning), and 41 written comment forms were submitted (see above).
CLICK HERE to download the January 2015 parking study [Large document, 15Mb]
2014 Community Center Parking Proposal [Suspended]
At a November 19, 2014 open house Island residents learned more about some possible parking concepts to expand parking at the Mercer Island Community and Event Center. At the meeting, City and Sound Transit staff introduced preliminary design concepts, answered questions, and gathered input from residents about neighborhood priorities.
Due to public opposition, study of this proposed location has been suspended.
Two concepts for new parking facilities were identified: a surface lot and a parking structure. In several years' time (approx. 2020 or 2021) the new parking would have converted to resident-only, to ensure that Islanders have continued access to regional transit options serving the existing Park-and-Ride.
Click here for a City factsheet and FAQ on the Community Center Parking Proposal.
Click here for Sound Transit documentation on the Community Center Parking concepts.
Click here to view news article "Sound Transit To Help Island With Parking" (1 Jan 2014).
The City Council held a Study Session on this draft proposal at its December 1, 2014 Council Mtg.
Archived meeting video footage is available here. [Select the Dec 1 meeting, then click on the "AB 5026" Agenda Item]
For more information, contact:
Kirsten Taylor, Assistant City Manager at (206) 275-7661