City pays for MICA parking | Letter

The facts from Mercer Island Center for the Art’s website: “The site (MICA) will support ADA compliant parking for disabled and drop off. Street parkingwill be created by re-striping 77th Avenue Southeast and Southeast 32nd Street. MICA is in close conversation with local businesses and others about shared after-hours parking.”

1. The ADA compliant parking will take away four regular parking spots on the city street (Southeast 32nd Street) that are currently used by park goers.

2. Re-striping 77th Avenue was never budgeted or planned for MICA and, in fact, was taken out of the city budget because the city did not have the funds to pay for this. Then, when MICA needed parking and didn’t want to provide it, the city suddenly found the funds and snuck it back into the budget. Dan Thompson found it when reviewing the new design regulations. Now, MICA uses the taxpayer-funded re-striping in all of its marketing materials as one of “their” solutions to parking (city/taxpayer funded parking) for a private business that has not provided one parking space in its plans.

With the new commuter nightmare, re-striping does not make any sense. Narrowing 77th (taking out the middle turn lane and bike lane) to provide parking for MICA while impacting the Island’s growing traffic issues is irresponsible and sneaky by the City Council; especially at the same time when Island traffic will be re-routed to surface streets due to Sound Transit.

3. City resources should be used for city uses — not to benefit a private enterprise (which is already getting the land for free) at the expense of the commuters, bikers and businesses that use this road.

3. Not one nearby business or “others” has agreed to provide “shared” after hours parking. Logically, MICA patrons will park in nearby parking lots anyway (Rite Aid, Swedish Clinic, Thrift Store, etc.) thereby limiting the use of these lots by legitimate customers.

MICA has not provided any parking solution, it doesn’t sound very community-minded and its proposed (and changing) plans continue to negatively impact our precious Mercerdale Park and surrounding area.

Robin Russell

Mercer Island

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