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Park & Ride Proposal Draws Ire at City Council Meeting

Sheridan Beach and Brookside residents took to the microphone at the Lake Forest Park City Council meeting on Thursday night to voice their displeasure over a proposed Park & Ride.

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. 

Cheryl Waite August 24, 2012 at 03:42 PM
I think it is important to point out that the Sheridan Beach community already provides unofficial commuter parking for 50+ cars per day. Residential streets like 39th Avenue, 165th Street, Beach and Shore Drives take the brunt of this. This proposal will place parking on one of the only streets in our neighborhood that currently does not have a commuter parking issue. I am a bus rider, as are many members of this community. I encourage commuting, it's a good idea. I understand that commuter parking is an issue for LFP. My question is...How much more does our neighborhood need to give to solve this problem for all of the city? Will the problem be solved if every one of our streets is used, because that is what is being proposed and now it will be official.
Marilyn McGuire August 24, 2012 at 04:07 PM
This article makes it sound as if the only neighborhood that would be impacted by the proposed ParkNRide would be in Sheridan Beach but the city is also looking at a location in the Brookside neighborhood along 44th Ave. One of the folks quoted in this article lives in the Brookside "triangle" and a few people from Brookside also spoke out last night against a ParkNRide being locating in ANY LFP neighborhood. The Brookside Triangle is a particularly sensitive one. Being a former wetlands it is prone to flooding each winter. The swale/drainage ditches in the proposed parking site also fill with water each year. Installing more pavement to an already impacted area would only add to the flooding problem. Last year the city of Lake Forest Park purchased one of the properties that routinely floods with the intention of transforming it into a "passive park". Some of the uses for the park being discussed are: Pea Patch, Community Garden, Wetland Sanctuary, etc. If a ParkNRide is built in front of this new Town Center Park where will people park who want to use the park? There must be a better solution to the commuter parking problem than to put it in front of our homes.
Cheryl Waite August 24, 2012 at 07:54 PM
Agreed! I would be against any neighborhood being used as a Park & Ride. The only reason I specifically mentioned SB is that it already has a significant commuter parking issue.
Kerri August 26, 2012 at 05:56 PM
Neighborhood parking is not the solution to the city’s parking problems. I think all residents of Lake Forest Park need to ask if they would like 20-25 cars parked in front of their homes on a daily basis. We need a Park and Ride! Park and Rides are situated in business and commercially zoned properties. All current Park and Rides in the North Seattle area are in commercial areas or church parking lots. Our city leaders should look to these properties for a solution. Perhaps the city needs to purchase a declining commercial property, with the intent to build the Park and Ride at a future date.
Marilyn McGuire August 26, 2012 at 11:06 PM
Thank you Joe Veyera for giving a nod to the Brookside neighborhood after the fact! It's important for everyone to know that the ParkNRide proposal put forth by the City Council is not only potentially impacting the Sheridan Beach neighborhood but also the Brookside Triangle.

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