An overflow crowd filled the Lake Forest Park City Council chambers on Thursday night to voice their concerns over a proposed Park and Ride in Sheridan Beach.
Around 30 people took the microphone during the meeting’s public comment period, and nearly all expressed their opposition with the proposal, which would allow for commuter parking on residential streets, in particular on 41st Ave. NE between 165th St. and Bothell Way.
“We’ve seen a lot of stuff come and go, and this is the worst,” said Wally Sandvig, who’s lived in Lake Forest Park with his wife Joanne for 55 years. Sandvig lives on 44th Ave. NE, another possible Park & Ride site in the Brookside neighborhood.
Residents expressed doubts over everything from the ability for emergency vehicles and garbage trucks to navigate the narrow streets, to why their their streets were chosen in the first place.
“It doesn’t take an engineering firm to see what we’re talking about here," said Lorraine Bodi.
Residents also wondered why they weren’t consulted sooner about the proposal. Letters were sent out last week notifying citizens about the plan, and many were caught off guard.
“We want to make sure we get that input into you because we think it’s valuable and will help you do your job,” said Gary Bass, a Sheridan Beach resident.
Councilmembers took note of the strong turnout, and hoped it would translate into a collaborative effort towards a solution.
“We’re asking for your input, and your expertise,” said Councilman Robert Lee.
But, the council also stressed that a solution will need to be found.
“We already have commuter parking, we need to find a place to put it,” said Councilwoman Sandy Koppenol.
Councilman Don Fiene noted that previous negotiations with both the Lake City Elks Club, and the owners of the Town Center at Lake Forest Park have come up empty, while councilman John Wright said that commuter traffic has been an issue since he joined the Lake Forest Park transportation commission back in 1998.
Koppenol proposed that discussion on the issue be tabled to a September 24 work session meeting, and the motion carried on a 4-1 vote, with Councilman Johnson voting no, and Councilman French and Deputy Mayor Stanford absent. That work session meeting will begin at 6:30 at City Hall on the 24th, and is open to the public.