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Sun and clouds
As our sunburns fade from a hot and lively Summer Celebration!, we sigh and return to our usual pastime. We ask: What is next, what needs to be done and how can we do it best?
But first, let’s cheer the City of Mercer Island and the hundreds of volunteers, both young and old — made up of community members, service organizations, business sponsors, vendors, parents, kids, dogs and even horses —who helped make this past weekend so special.
Summer Celebration! is about fun but also about recognizing people and organizations that make the Island the place we treasure.
This past week, the City named one of those organizations, the Mercer Island Preschool Association, as its Citizen of the Year. A brilliant choice — and an obvious one, due to the evidence of MIPA fingerprints all over our parks, schools and even our elected officials who sprang into public service through MIPA.
And there is more. We have a city and community dedicated to the arts, the environment, youth and education and caring for others. And we have fun — as evidenced this past weekend on the street and in the parks.
Yet, there are a few clouds above. Our relatively tranquil life here is at the epicenter of an economic rebirth in our region. While we revel in our fine location with unprecented access to Seattle and beyond, such a location comes at a price. The impact of endless construction to rebuild and maintain our aging regional transportation network is keenly felt here. As the Mercer Island light rail station begins to take form, it is clear that not only is it larger than we thought — it truly does not belong to us. This is a regional station, meant to service riders from across the Eastside.
There is little chance that Islanders will have any special access to parking in the Park-and-Ride. Further, how buses, cars and parking will fit into the light rail paradigm has yet to be solved.
Thus a new challenge is set forth. Islanders must rally to work with Metro, Sound Transit and WSDOT to find solutions to how we can get around. Our way of life here depends on it.