Sound Transit parking garage will increase traffic
In regards to the Proposed Sounder garage next to Puyallup High School on 3rd Ave NW (the Eagles site).
The Sound Transit Board of Directors has authorized the starting of acquisition of the Puyallup Eagles’ lot located on the corner of 3rd Ave NW and 5th St NW across from the Puyallup High School and replacing the Eagles building with a 503-car, five-level garage and 170-stall ground-level parking (a total of 670 cars). It will also require the vacating of 3rd Ave NW from 5th St SW to 6th St SW and make it part of the garage.
Sound Transit says that there is not a significant adverse impact.
The effect on Puyallup High School and the bus transportation will be significant, in spite of what Sound Transit says. Building the Sounder garage, a garage on the Eagles site and parking lot that extends from the garage to 7th St NW next to Puyallup High School and vacating 3rd Ave NW means a total of 670 more cars around PHS, increasing congestion.
The closing of 3rd Ave NW between 5th St NW and 6th St NW for the Sounder garage will block a main school bus route, forcing the buses into a detour that will now have to face increased traffic at rush hour. It will create a problem for bus transportation scheduling routes and time schedules.
Between the hours of 5 a.m. to 8 a.m. when the Puyallup Sounder runs to Seattle, 143 Puyallup school buses use 3rd Ave NW to turn onto 5th St NW. Add noon and afternoon bus runs and over 429 bus trips use 3rd Ave NW a day.
Sound Transit will add 670 vehicles during the morning and evening rush hour. That’s 1,340 trips a day that the buses will have to content with along with extra turns. Vacating 3rd Ave NW for the garage blocks a direct route for emergency vehicles to reach PHS from the east side, increasing response time.
Sound Transit primary traffic routes map shows garage and surface parking riders using not only 5th St NW but both roads going around PHS and residential roads. How can this be called “not a significant impact”?
Now add a month of Fair traffic and parking in September and the congestion it will bring (5th St NW is a major Fair route from the north).
It’s your decision to allow this to happen. If you are not in favor of placing a garage and parking area of 670 cars next to PHS and the resulting traffic impact that will occur, make your voice known to the City Council. Their decisions to vacate 3rd Ave NW will determine if the project will be built there or someplace else, like on Sound Transit’s south end parking lot.
For more information, see the Sound Transit website, contact the Puyallup School District or call your Puyallup City Councilmember. Let them know your opinion.
Larry Finnestad, Puyallup
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