Most residents of Mercer Island are familiar with the problem of finding a parking space during workdays at the park-and-ride at the intersection of 80th Avenue S.E. and North Mercer Way. By 7:30 a.m., the two-story lot is usually completely full, with mostly Metro/Sound Transit Seattle-bound riders. Unfortunately, a significant number of parkers are from the Eastside.
Rich Erwin, candidate for seat no. 6 on the City Council, has developed a new reasonable solution that will make it possible for Mercer Island residents to find a convenient series of weekday park-and-rides to park and take a shuttle bus to the North Mercer Way P&R to connect to east and westbound buses. Rich’s concept is to work with the many churches along and/or within a block of Island Crest Way to have their parking lot become a weekday P&R. Parking in these lots would require a resident parking permit issued by the city. The city would work with Metro to supplement their current shuttle service to pick up riders at these additional P&Rs at a convenient interval. This program would be tested for a one- to two-month period to determine its viability.
Rich Erwin strongly believes that this concept will resolve a major issue among residents without expending general fund money or issuing a bond to construct additional levels to the current garage or a new one in the Town Center. If the plan for the light rail station over I-90 includes sufficient additional parking for Islanders, then this program can be easily scaled back or totally stopped.
This solution is a good example of Rich’s “out of the box” thinking. We need more of this type of creative thinking on the City Council to satisfy our residents’ concerns and issues while minimizing additional costs. Please join me and vote for Rich Erwin so that we can have a new Councilmember with a consensus building capability and significant experience in Mercer Island issues and municipal governance.