A map shows the plans for a new Sound Transit parking garage for train commuters in Kent. COURTESY GRAPHIC, Sound Transit

A map shows the plans for a new Sound Transit parking garage for train commuters in Kent. COURTESY GRAPHIC, Sound Transit

Sound Transit plans open house Oct. 18 for new Kent parking garage

Agency wants feedback about second garage for train commuters

Residents can attend an open house on Thursday, Oct. 18, about the new Sound Transit parking garage in Kent for Sounder train commuters.

The open house is from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. in Room 283 at the Green River College Kent Campus, 417 Ramsay Way at the Kent Station shopping center.

Sound Transit will build a new parking garage at East James Street and Railroad Avenue North and improve pedestrian, bicycle and bus access in the area to give more people convenient access to the Sounder train. The garage, with approximately 530 parking spaces (460 net new), is anticipated to open in 2023.

The estimated cost of the project is $65 million, paid for by Sound Transit property and sales taxes and vehicle license fees approved by voters. Voters initially approved the second garage as part of the ST2 measure in 2008. Voters approved more funds for Sound Transit as part of the ST3 measure in 2016.

Sound Transit staff is working with city of Kent staff to refine the garage layout and other potential improvements. People can attend the open house to get an update on early concepts and give feedback about the plan.

City officials voiced their opinions last month that they disagreed with Sound Transit’s plans for handling Metro buses at the new garage because the plan has buses only using the city streets for parking.

Sound Transit is building a second garage because the existing Kent Station garage often fills up early in the morning. Construction on the garage is expected to start in 2021.

If you cannot attend the open house, an online open house is available to give feedback through Oct. 26.

The Sounder commuter train travels between Lakewood and downtown Seattle with 13 round trips each weekday, providing reliable and convenient connections to Kent and eight other stations along the route. Currently, the Kent parking garage fills up early every weekday.

In November 2017 the Sound Transit Board identified a preferred package of access improvements for Kent Station, including a new parking garage at East James Street and Railroad Avenue North, along with pedestrian, bicycle and transit improvements.

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