Let’s try out a shuttle for ICW | Editorial
By MARY L. GRADY
Mercer Island Reporter Editor
August 10, 2010 · Updated 9:45 AM
The idea to try out a shuttle to get South end residents back and forth to the North end park and ride along Island Crest Way is a good one for many reasons. First, and foremost, it is an idea that was not the result of a long, expensive study and months of wrangling and hand-wringing. It is a common sense idea that doesn’t seem to require much in the way of startup costs — just a borrowed van and volunteer drivers. It sounds great. Let’s do it. If it works, and we dare to hope it could, that it could be expanded to other key routes and have more than just one or two stops. But of course it is never as easy as it sounds.
But the fact that the park and ride lot is usually full in the middle of the day and unavailable to those who wish to make a short trip off the Island is exasperating. How ironic it is that the people who live next to the facility cannot even use it because they want to go into the city during non-peak hours. Those who complain are right. The whole idea of transit is to make it easier to get back and forth into Seattle or Bellevue and have people leave their cars at home no matter whether they work full time or not. After all, traveling off-peak is a behavior we wish to encourage.
It is probably true that more than a few of those who park their cars all day at the facility are commuters who live east of here. It may be that there needs to be extra spaces set aside for those who wish to go back and forth in the middle of the working day. And we do need to remember that it is not the city that owns or controls the park and ride. It is the bailiwick of a complex set of agencies that includes Metro, WSDOT and Sound Transit, to name a few. But surely there is something we can do for ourselves about this situation sooner rather than later.Contact Mercer Island Reporter Editor Mary L. Grady at firstname.lastname@example.org or (206) 232-1215 ext. 1050.