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The dead end at Redmond Transit Center | Letter
I am standing in darkness outside the Redmond Transit Center at 7:30 in the morning, where you can no longer park. Our transit center building was too small when it was first constructed: 377 spaces serving a growing town of more than 50,000.
It didn’t need to be this tiny. Aesthetically it is too short to match the newer buildings popping up all over in Redmond but that, obviously, is not why many of us riders are upset. We are irritated and astounded in equal measure that the capacity guesses and effect of the 520 bridge toll were so gravely underestimated. It’s a little shocking how quickly these estimates were proven wrong, but, in all fairness, predicting the future is an uncertain business, so in the end perhaps it is forgivable.
What is impossible to understand is the design.
To find out that you can no longer park at the Redmond Transit Center even before the sun has risen, you must drive all the way to the top. There are no signs, no warnings that the garage is completely full, so you ascend the ramps until you — and the score of cars that followed you — cannot go any further. Literally.
I’ve been in a lot of parking garages, but only one, only Redmond’s tiny little inadequate depot, actually traps you at the top.
There is nowhere to turn. There is no path for you to go back down. You are in a box canyon with a traffic jam behind you. Your morning commute now includes performing a synchronized dance of turning and backing up and turning and inching forward and turning and backing up and turning and inching forward, until every vehicle in the line has rotated 180 degrees and can troop back down out of the trap to seek parking elsewhere.
You have missed two, even three buses now. It’s gonna be a great morning.
So there it huddles, smack dab in the middle of an otherwise successful town run intelligently and well, forcing the question: what the hell happened? Redmond isn’t getting smaller; Seattle isn’t going away; and so I wonder on behalf of riders who are slowly being evicted from the very mass transit center that we paid for, what is the plan? We wasted millions of dollars and so some of us want an assurance that a remedy is on the way.
So again, what is the plan?
Alexander Bryant, Redmond