Finding parking in Sumner can feel like a chore — just ask the hundreds of commuters who use Sumner’s Sound Transit train station daily.
Just ask city officials, too.
“(We) definitely know there’s a need for parking in Sumner,” said Carmen Palmer, communications director for the city of Sumner.
That’s part of the reason why the city is reserving the lot outside of the vacant Red Apple Market for commuter parking.
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Starting July 1, commuters can purchase a pass to park in the 75-space lot for $225 for three months or $400 for six months. That comes in at about $3.30 per day.
“I was once a commuter — it’s actually a good deal,” Palmer said. “... For the price of a latte that you can now have the time to go buy because you have a spot waiting for you, you would have that parking available.”
Those who pay for passes can park in the lot between 5 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Those who park without a pass will be fined.
Parking is open to anyone — with or without a pass — between 5 p.m. and 5 a.m.
Charging for the lot will serve a dual purpose. Not only will it alleviate some of the pressure on commuters to find parking near the station, but the funds raised will go toward cleaning up the soil contamination beneath the ground before the land is redeveloped.
The soil contamination was caused by a former gas station adjacent to the market.
“After many years of working we have an agreement to clean it up with the gas companies and the city will lead that, which is very exciting,” Palmer said.
However, the city has to fund a portion of the clean-up.
“One way to make the surface pay for some of what was going on underneath the ground is to start offering this for commuters as reserved pay parking,” said Palmer.
This is not a long-term parking solution. ...We might as well offer this resource while we have it ad hopefully make commuters’ just a little bit easier as well as our residents, who are having a lots of people park around their homes.
Carmen Palmer, communications director for the city of Sumner
The reserved lot is only temporary and should stay that way for about a year as the city puts out a request for interest in redeveloping the land.
“This is not a long-term parking solution,” Palmer said. “...We might as well offer this resource while we have it and hopefully make commuters’ lives just a little bit easier as well as our residents, who are having a lots of people park around their homes.”
The lot is located at 822 Alder Ave., a block away from the Sound Transit train station.
Allison Needles: 253-256-7043