Pierce Transit and its transit partners should look at the big picture when planning park-and-ride options and parking structures. The consultant hired by Pierce Transit addressing the Tacoma Dome Station’s parking structures struck me as shortsighted when addressing the consumer’s needs (TNT, 1-26).
I was insulted when the consultant’s report described the “misuse” of the Tacoma Dome Transit Station garages by “University of Washington Tacoma students, downtown workers and others who park at the garages and then take the Tacoma Light Rail into the city center.”
Really? I was under the impression that light rail and bus travelers were encouraged to utilize the Dome parking structure as identified by the region’s mass-transit plan. Sure, paid parking makes sense, but let the parking structures serve all commuters.
▪ Expand the structure and charge appropriately for vehicles needing long-term, safe, secure parking for train and bus trips.
▪ For students, perhaps an optional parking pass could be offered with paid tuition.
▪ For theatergoers, the same option could be offered with purchase of event tickets.
▪ Offer free or validated parking for shoppers and museum visitors.
The parking structures may need to be expanded but should serve us all: car commuters, bus riders, shoppers, and patrons of our museums and theater district.