Mistake to let park-and-ride die | Letter
Editor, The Beacon:
Mayor Jennifer Gregerson and the City Council have made a most unfortunate decision in regard to the recent park-and-ride proposal.
The Community Transit lot was to be located off Bernie Webber Drive on Snohomish County Airport property and would have provided up to 194 parking spaces. Over the past several years, $3 million in funds had been accumulated to make this project a reality.
The city was asked to contribute $50,000 to the project but made it contingent on a number of conditions, including a perceived safety issue of commuters having to cross the Mukilteo Speedway to board and disembark from buses [“Community Transit scraps plans for local park & ride,” front page, Aug. 17].
To understand the dynamics of what happened, it is important to understand that the Community Transit Board is comprised of electeds from around Snohomish County, including Mayor Gregerson.
It was this group of electeds that rejected Mukilteo electeds' terms for its $50,000 contribution. I believe Mukilteo made a serious mistake by allowing this project to die after so much time and effort was spent.
Why do I feel it a mistake? Consider: The current volume of traffic that has become the norm along the Speedway, Community Transit supported this park-and-ride because they knew it was badly needed, and while initial design may not have been ideal, Community Transit would not have supported a design that was not safe.
There is an old saying, "A bird in hand is worth two in the bush.”
This project could have provided the gateway to secure long-term park-and-ride facilities on airport land that could, potentially, be modified in the future to include a garage to accommodate more vehicles and, possibly, allowed bus access on the site.
In time, it might have even provided some ferry commuter parking to take more traffic off the Speedway and move people to and from Lighthouse Park. Now this potential no longer exists.
It likely would have been used by many Mukilteo commuters. What a shame!
I do commend Mukilteo Councilmembers Christine Cook and Richard Emery for their insightful vote to attempt to secure this project.
These are the kinds of significant projects that could likely benefit the citizens more if a full-time city manager or consultant could be engaged to better advise the City Council.
Perhaps the council should consider adding or increasing funds for professional services contracting during the forthcoming 2017 budget process.
Former Mayor of Mukilteo