Cyclists Will Pay to Park at Seattle’s New Light Rail Stations. Will Drivers?

Right now, the Seattle region is hashing out how to spend $50 billion to expand transit. The project list, known as ST3, is tilted heavily toward the suburbs, not the urban core where ridership would be higher.

Parking at Sound Transit's Tukwila International Blvd Station. Photo: Oran Viriyincy
Parking at Sound Transit’s Tukwila International Blvd Station. Photo: Oran Viriyincy

Included with all those suburban stations will be thousands of new parking stalls, which each cost tens of thousands of dollars to build. Interestingly, Josh Feit at PubliCola reports that Sound Transit hasn’t decided yet whether to charge for car parking at stations, but it has already indicated that bike parking won’t be free:

As the debate over parking for cars at light rail stations gets underway — should people have to pay for parking (activists from the Transit Access Stakeholders group think so) — 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.

At least if bike parking has a price, there’s no excuse to provide free parking for cars.

Elsewhere on the Network today: Mobility Lab posts a new video explaining the concept of transportation demand management. Columbus Underground announces the opening of the city’s new airport bus service. And Broken Sidewalk details what the city of Louisville is doing to make biking to the Kentucky Derby convenient.

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

Seattle’s New Park-and-Rides Cost a Fortune But Won’t Move Many People

|
Seattle area voters will vote this November on a $53 billion transit expansion package. But along with new light rail lines stretching across the region, Seattle will also be getting a publicly owned parking empire. In total, the plan calls for $661 million in spending on parking at transit stations. At an astounding $80,000 per stall, that will fund 8,300 parking spots. Zach […]

The Problem With Park-and-Rides

|
There it is, at your typical American suburban transit stop: a parking lot — a free one, probably. The intent of park-and-ride service is to enable people who live in car-centric places to take transit to work. But Ben Schiendelman at Seattle Transit Blog has been thinking it over, and he doesn’t believe park-and-rides are such […]

Arlington Republicans Come Out Against Bike-Share Expansion

|
It seems like everyone’s talking about the success of Washington’s Capital Bikeshare, currently the largest bike-share network in the country. Earlier this month, CaBi sold more than 8,000 memberships through a LivingSocial promotion, and the system has already met its goal of 10,000 members for 2011, prompting some to worry that there may actually be […]

Minneapolis May Drop Parking Minimums Near Transit

|
Whether you own a car or not, if you live in a city, there’s a good chance you pay for parking. Building parking spots is expensive, but most cities require developers to build a certain amount of parking per residence, driving up the cost of housing. Nick Magrino at Streets.mn reports that Minneapolis is rethinking that […]

Before You Get Too Excited About Seattle’s Big Transit Expansion…

|
Read Doug Trumm’s post at the Urbanist about Sound Transit’s $50 billion, 25-year expansion plan, known as ST3, which the agency revealed yesterday. It’s ambitious in scope, but will the new lines meet the region’s most pressing transit needs? Piecing together the project list has been an exercise in regional politics, since voters will decide this November whether […]