Puyallup implemented a new parking plan for downtown last month. It has been a hinderance to Sounder commuters, and according to most businesses, a boom for their customers.
The parking plan included adding time-limited zones along city streets and a return of the Cornforth-Campbell lot to businesses, customers, and downtown employees. The lot was previously leased to Sound Transit for it’s commuters on the Sounder trains.
By taking commuters out of the lot, it forced them to start using the under-utilized “Red Lot,” near the fairgrounds. Sound Transit has failed to provide adequate shuttles for commuters from the Red Lot to the train station. This is evident and frustrating for people who use the train to get to and from work.
Everyone likes to have someone to blame for their problems, it’s natural. The blame for this problem should be Sound Transit. It’s their responsiblity to provide enough parking and shuttles for their riders, not the city’s.
Many commuters are upset with the city. Specifically, they have targeted certain members of the city council, citing their ownership of downtown buildings. The fact of the matter is, this plan was passed by ALL SEVEN members of the council. No one opposed this.
Now, that there is a backlash from riders some of those members are pushing the blame onto the other members of council, and the future council that will take over in January. Below is an email from Mayor Kathy Turner who, on her way out the door, tries to get inside the minds of future council members and tell people what they are going to do. Remember, she supported this plan a mere six weeks ago, and now acts as if she had nothing to do with it:
“It was difficult just convincing council to proceed with it as an
agenda item. It is very clear that the outgoing council members have
an interest to consider changes and listen to the concerns of the
commuters but it is also clear that other council members feel that
the new majority will not support changes and prefer not to discuss
it, and do understand that this is the last council meeting for 3 of
us; Don Malloy, Deputy Mayor Brouillet and Mayor Kathy Turner and
Councilmember Martineau has already been replaced by John Hopkins, who
is Councilmember Hansen’s business partner.
I encourage you all to attend and to emphasize your residency within
the city and your interest and involvement in the community if you do
not live in the city.
I have suggested that we at least allow half of the lot to be used by
commuters and to even consider a permit process where city resident
commuters have first choice. It is my understanding that Sound Transit
will only consider this with a 2-5 year lease and frankly I can not
see the new council supporting that. I would suggest that the city
consider issuing permits to city resident commuters for half the lot,
but I doubt that there will be support for that either.
I have been assured that Sound Transit has improved and is still
working on improvement of the shuttle bus operation and our staff will
be addressing those issues along with Sound Transit representatives in
Unfortunately this is not an action item, it is just an update,
however some of us may make suggestions, but again remember it will be
the new council making the decisions and staff and Sound Transit are
happy with re-evaluating at the end of the first quarter.
Also I want to remind everyone that the voters passed parking
improvements through Sound Transit within the city and we should be
working with them to assist in solving this issue. My personal choice
is still the original parking garage or garages as originally planned.
Some council members think we should move the commuter station, but we
seem to forget it is not ours to move and the funds that built it were
voters funds the same voters that passed parking improvements.
Kathy R. Turner