Sound Transit Board approves Kent parking garage site for train commuters

Sound Transit plans to start construction in 2021 on a new parking garage in Kent for train commuters. COURTESY GRAPHIC, Sound Transit

Sound Transit plans to start construction in 2021 on a new parking garage in Kent for train commuters. COURTESY GRAPHIC, Sound Transit

The Sound Transit Board approved on Thursday a preferred site for a new Kent parking garage for Sounder train commuters.

The site is south of East James Street and west of Central Avenue North. The garage is estimated to add approximately 500 new parking spaces. The board also identified a proposed package of pedestrian, bicycle and transit access improvements. The board prioritized projects as the most effective at improving non-motorized access to the station, though the projects themselves may change during design and environmental review, according to a Sound Transit press release.

“As Sounder ridership continues to grow, these improvements will go a long way toward alleviating parking issues at these high-demand stations,” said Dave Upthegrove, Sound Transit Board member and King County Council member, about new parking garages in Kent and Auburn. “Easy, reliable access to transit is crucial in south King and Pierce counties, where residents experience some of the worst traffic congestion in the nation.”

Sound Transit staff identified four potential sites in Kent for the estimated $65 million garage. A stakeholders group as well as the majority of train commuters surveyed favored what staff labeled as Site 3. The Kent City Council approved the site in October.

Construction on the garage is expected to start in 2021 and be completed in 2023, according to transit documents.

Sound Transit will move the project forward over the next two years to prepare for preliminary engineering and environmental review.

Voters approved the Kent Station Access Improvements Project on the 2008 ballot measure to expand mass transit throughout the region. The economic recession forced suspension of funding in 2010, but the Sound Transit Board restored funding in 2016. Improving easy and reliable access to the station for all users will be necessary as ridership and service increase.

Commuters now park at the Kent Station garage, 301 Railroad Ave. N., which opened in 2001, just north of West Smith Street. The garage and surface lot provide 996 parking spaces but fill up quickly and drivers use nearby Mill Creek neighborhood as well as downtown streets to park. Sounder trains carried about 1,900 daily riders in 2016 in Kent. Ridership is projected to go as high as 3,000 daily in 2025.


Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@kentreporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.kentreporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in News

File photo
Auburn woman, 31, accused of fatal stabbing in Shoreline

Charged with second-degree murder of 25-year-old woman

Police vehicle
Man arrested after fleeing state trooper in Kent, hitting pedestrian in SeaTac

Pursuit Monday results in potential charges of vehicular assault, attempting to elude

t
King County Elections offers Vote Center at ShoWare Center in Kent

For people who need assistance or missed registration deadlines

Aaron Kunkler/staff photo
Alvin Sweet is a resident of Martin Court in Seattle’s Georgetown neighborhood. Martin Court is a former motel which was transformed into a supportive housing complex two decades ago. New funding from King County’s Health through Housing ordinance could expand this type of program across the county.
King County wants to buy motels for emergency, affordable housing

The concept has proven results in addressing homelessness.

State Capitol Building in Olympia.
Kent City Council sets social justice reform as top state legislative request

City wants funds for mental health professional co-responder program

A Lunar Rover on the Moon surface. COURTESY PHOTO, City of Kent/Boeing
Lunar Rover Vehicles built in Kent receive state historic landmark status

Buggies still on the Moon from Apollo trips in early 1970s

Courtesy photo
State demanded more drop boxes, and now it must pay for them

A King County judge says a law requiring more ballot boxes was an illegal unfunded mandate.

Auburn School District Superintendent Alan Spicciati. Courtesy photo
Students back in Auburn schools? ‘We are not there yet’

Auburn School District Superintendent Alan Spicciati wrote parents a letter to explain delay.

t
Murals dress up light rail station construction fencing in Kent | Photos

57 pieces decorate stretch of Pacific Highway South on West Hill

Most Read