Q: I hear there's another closure that's going to affect my summer commute. Where am I going to park while the state Route 512 Park & Ride is closed? — folks who use the state Route 512 Park & Ride
A: Friends, readers, fellow humans who share a collective need to get from place to place, I don't enjoy being the bearer of bad news week after week. Yet here I am, again, telling you about something that's going to be disruptive at best for many of you this summer.
According to a news release shared by the state Department of Transportation on behalf of Pierce Transit, the aforementioned Park & Ride is going to be closed for about four months starting Monday, June 11. The Park & Ride has been in operation for 30 years and apparently is in need of some TLC after three decades of being rolled over mercilessly day in and day out by automobiles.
The upside: When the work is done, "Transit riders will experience improved lighting, renovated shelters, repaired curbing concrete and new parking surfaces at this busy transit hub," the news release trumpets.
The downside: Riders of transit routes who catch or get off their bus at the Route 512 Park & Ride will have to park somewhere else. Those routes are: Pierce Transit routes 3 and 4; Sound Transit routes 574, 580, 592 and 594; Intercity Transit routes 603, 605, 612 and 620; and GO-JBLM Transit Route 2.
During the closure, those who usually park at the state Route 512 Park & Ride will need to park in a different location and catch their bus at another spot, the news release says.
But you have options!
The news release outlines them as follows:
During construction, there will be about 140 temporary, designated transit parking spots available at the south end of the Discount World parking lot at 11013 Pacific Highway South (that's about a half mile south of the 512 Park & Ride.)
On-street bus pickup for both northbound and southbound trips for many routes that currently serve the Park & Ride will occur on Pacific Highway South near Discount World.
Another 221 parking spots will be available at the Lakewood Towne Center behind Barnes & Noble at 5711 Main St. SW in Lakewood. Riders can catch Pierce Transit Routes 3 and 4 and Sound Transit Route 574 nearby at the Lakewood Transit Center.
"Riders using other Sound Transit or Intercity Transit routes can catch a free connector bus on weekdays during morning and evening peak commute times to the Lakewood Sounder Station to catch their routes," the release states. "Riders may also park at other transit locations in the area if they are using the services that originate there, such as the Lakewood Sounder Station or the South Tacoma Sounder Station."
Riders can visit www.piercetransit.org/SR512 for specific information with a map about where to temporarily catch bus routes that serve the 512 Park & Ride.
There are some other months-long closures and traffic changes you should be aware of.
The Puyallup River Bridge that crosses from Tacoma to Fife is closed for 9 months; outbound traffic at the Lewis Main Liberty Gate at Joint Base Lewis-McChord is closed until the end of September; and construction on Interstate 5 near the Tacoma Mall is causing lane changes and exit detours.