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Park & Ride - Community Transit invites public comment on park and ride site selections for Arlington, Marysville
SMOKEY POINT Community Transit is in the process of siting two areas, one for a new park and ride lot in Marysville, and the other for a new transit center in Arlington and Smokey Point, and they spent two nights soliciting public input for their proposed projects.
Visitors to the Stillaguamish Senior Center from 6:30-8:30 p.m., Nov. 14, were able to ask about the preliminary preferred location for a new transit center at the northeast corner of 169th Street and Smokey Point Boulevard, while those who visited the Marysville Junior High School at the same time Nov. 16 could inquire on the preliminary preferred location for a new park and ride lot at the northeast corner of Cedar Avenue and Grove Street.
During the two open houses, Community Transit representatives such as Tom Pearce and Martin Munguia touted the potential of such stations to reduce traffic and accidents on the roads by promoting ridesharing. They likewise asserted the possible commercial benefits for nearby retail businesses, while assuring neighboring residents that the stations would include lighting, cameras and other security features, as well as regular police patrols.
Community Transit representatives believe that the two-acre, approximately 225-space Marysville park and ride lot could translate to increased shopping, especially along State Avenue, while Munguia suggested that northern half of the property for the 11-acre, 375-space Smokey Point and Arlington transit center could be set aside for retail, occupying as many as 61,000-square-feet, and an additional 305 spaces, of a mixed-used development.
Community Transit explained that all three of their current park and ride lots in the Arlington, Marysville and Tulalip area are at capacity, and the park and ride lot at 116th Street and I-5 might close due to a freeway interchange project. As the areas population grows, Community Transit anticipates that its need for bus service will do so as well and they cant add commuter bus service without also adding parking for their commuters.
While a number of attendees of the open houses voiced positive opinions of the project, other area residents and commuters expressed concerns with various aspects of Community Transits proposal. Marysville residents and commuters Susan Carey and Cheryl Miller took issue with the preliminary preferred location for the new park and ride lot, pointing out that commuters who would connect to and from bus routes along State Avenue would have to cross train tracks and walk at least a block, which is a long way when its pouring down rain.
Carey commutes to her job in Beacon Hill, while Miller takes the bus to work in Edmonds, and both of them love to ride, both for the peace of the commute and the money they save on gas. Even though Carey complimented the proposed park and ride lot as beautiful, they still disagreed with its siting.
In addition to inviting public comment on these sites, Community Transit is conducting environmental assessments to ensure that these areas are suitable for their respective types of development. If these preliminary locations remain the preferred ones by early next year, Community Transit plans to negotiate their purchases and is already working to secure the full funding needed for the project. Pearce emphasized that there will be no additional tax assessment related to the project, a majority of which will be paid through existing local sales tax levies, as well as state and federal funds.