Pete Lewis | Auburn Reporter

For years the Board of Sound Transit has relied on overloaded city streets and parking lots to carry the ever-increasing burden of transit riders. From one end of the Sound to the other, evidence is gathering that change is coming, and Sound Transit is woefully behind.

As the region comes out of the Great Recession cities are working to build transit communities along the Sound Transit routes. Cities have had plans on the shelves for a decade and now the developers are on the way. Cities require that development include parking for its tenants but that takes city lots and city owned properties off the books for surplus parking for Sound.

Cities are doing what they have been asked to do by the regional governments and responding rapidly to change. The idea of transit related development has been the hot-button issue with planners and now it is starting to happen.

But transit is not a city issue so much as it is a regional problem and Sound Transit has made little effort to engage with the cities to solve the problem.

Each study by the staff of the transit authority reveals the fact that a majority of the riders using the service live outside city limits. They use the service yet the agency’s model of working with cities is to tell each community that alternative modes of transportation must be worked out by the city. Given the facts found in Sound’s studies the bulk of the transit users don’t live in the immediate city boundaries so the cities have little ability to control the situation. {….}