Thursday, June 17, 2010

Vancouver, Wash., incentive: LRT station/parking garage

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Vancouver, Wash., across the Columbia River from larger neighbor Portland, Ore., has resisted being included in any light rail transit plans for decades. But the Washington municipality’s opposition appears to be slowly waning as it seeks a road/rail compromise plan.

The latest such measure: a new downtown park-and-ride structure across the street from the Vancouver Convention Center, which coulddouble as a light rail station and receiver for traffic near a proposed new Interstate 5 road and rail bridge.

“We believe you might even be able to make the station apart of the parking structure, so that you could literally park on the secondfloor and walk straight into the train station," said Thayer Rorabaugh, Vancouver transportation manager.

Some light rail advocates are wary of the proposal, calling it a political compromise at best that doesn’t best address growing traffic congestion in Vancouver or the region.