Northwest NEWS

April 24, 2000

Front Page

New parking facility will accommodate bus riders, shoppers, trail users

by Lisa Allen, Valley View editor

   DUVALL--There was no arguing that downtown Duvall needed more parking. In fact, Chamber of Commerce members have long complained that the lack of suitable parking spaces has been hurting business.

   So when Metro submitted plans for a Park & Ride just north of the Woodinville-Duvall Bridge over a year ago, town business owners and trail users questioned the building of a new lot just for bus riders.

   Trail users wanted parking for weekend use, and business owners said they were not only concerned about the shortage of parking spaces for their customers, but objected to the configuration of the lot, mainly the planned entrance and exit. Traffic problems could result, they said, during rush hours and there were other street problems.

   But Metro wouldn't budge.

   "Metro said they were not in the business of putting in multi-use parking," said Old Memories owner Arline Wallace. Old Memories, an antique store located just north of the proposed lot, and other north end businesses hired a lawyer to prepare an appeal.

   The persistence of the business owners paid off. Wallace said Metro began to soften their stance after the SEPA (State Environmental Policy Act) hearings. The result will be a facility shared by shoppers,trailusers and bus riders.

   At the April 13 City Council meeting, the council approved the signing of an interagency agreement between the city and Metro for the operation and maintenance of a joint use parking facility. The Park & Ride lot, to be located on the lower vacant lot just north of the Woodinville-Duvall Bridge, will provide parking for Metro bus riders, King County trail users, and users of McCormick Park and downtown businesses. There will be 45 parking spaces available on the lower lot. The lower lot will be paved, leaving the upper lot much as it is, except for an exit lane onto Main Street.

   City Engineer Elizabeth Goode credited Chamber of Commerce members and city officials for creating the workable compromise.

   "The contract gives priority use for Metro (park and riders) Mondays through Fridays from 5-10 a.m.," said Goode. "But if there are open spaces during those times, others can use them."

   Goode said the lot will have a couple of ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) parking spaces on the upper level and two more on the lower level. Work is expected to begin on the project the early part of summer, she said.

   "They have the permits," she said. "But they have to go through the county bid process for getting the contractor."

   Wallace said parking is essential, especially for McCormick Park. "There is no access to McCormick Park," she said. "Where people have been parking is all private property."