"Sound Transit believes it still can afford a $41 million, 400-space garage in Sumner and a $57 million, 600-space garage in Puyallup in the next few years, and space at Tacoma, Mukilteo and the Tukwila commuter-rail stations." -Seattle Times 7-25-2012
|Sound Transit Garage in Kent|
Expanding structured garages is an expensive solution to managing demand. I would compare it to having parking requirements for new development, which were recently done away with in most of Tacoma.
I am willing to bet that shaving 5% off the number of parking spaces from these designs and using the money to expand bicycle connections to the stations would serve more people than the parking spaces themselves.
|12 Bikes can fit in the space for one car|
Photo: Tacoma's 6th Avenue - Red Hot
For Puyallup, shaving 5% of the parking spaces off of the proposed 600-space garage would represent 30 spaces or $3,000,000. That amount of money could fund a ten mile bike trail (12'-wide, bidirectional), and bike parking facilities at the station (source). If you're thinking bike lanes, each parking space could fund two miles of bike lanes.
A sixty mile bike lane network from 30 parking spaces? That's a bargain that both Sound Transit and the public could reap dividends on for years - in health as well as in congestion relief.
Thinking about the big picture, with our reality of lower tax revenue and smaller budgets, bike infrastructure could represent one option for cutting costs and retaining Sound Transit's commitment to expanding access to commuter rail stations and the rest of the regional transit network.