This is a big weekend in Seattle. Our first “light rail” fires up on Saturday, providing free rides on the weekend to anyone who wants to try it out. There’s only one problem that I can see—and it’s making me so mad just thinking about it, I can scarcely write it. NO PARK & RIDES anywhere near the stations! Yup, Seattle’s rapid transit authority didn’t bother to make any provisions for park & rides that would make it convenient to use the train. The Seattle Times (click the title of this piece, "Rail & Rant" to go directly to the newspaper article) today, July 17, actually states, “Officials advise people not to drive [to train stations] because on-street parking near stations is very limited. Two-hour weekday parking limits for nonresidents take effect Monday.” In other words, on Monday—the same day the train officially begins ‘serving’ (a loose term in this case) Seattle—new parking restrictions will make utilizing the stations especially difficult.
One has to wonder how many citizens will bother to use our multi-billion dollar train, currently available only from downtown Seattle south to within a mile of the airport. (A free shuttle will lug the traveler to SeaTac airport—supposedly—until the final track-mile is completed, but even then, purportedly, a half-mile journey on a moving sidewalk still awaits the traveler before actually arriving inside the airport.)
So much for planning.