Design underway for parking lot at Sammamish Landing
March 28, 2014
By Ari Cetron
New: March 28, 2:16 p.m.
Sammamish is looking for ways to add parking to Sammamish Landing Park, and city officials have begun the design of a new lot across the street.
At its March 11 meeting, the City Council approved a $150,000 contract for designing a new parking lot. The vote was unanimous among the four members present – Councilmen Tom Vance and Bob Keller, and Councilwomen Nancy Whitten and Kathleen Huckabay.
Sammamish Landing Park is at the far northern edge of the city and runs in a strip between the East Lake Sammamish Trail and the lake. It provides the only public access to Lake Sammamish within the city limits.
The park opened in 2011 and has been popular beyond expectations.
On sunny summer days, at least two dozen cars are often parked along the parkway, while similar amounts were parked along 187th Avenue in Redmond.
Last fall, the city of Redmond re-striped 187th for bike lanes, and no longer allows parking on the road, exacerbating the parking crunch.
Laura Philpot, Sammamish’s public works director, said at the meeting that Sammamish had contacted Redmond about possibly re-re-striping the road to allow parking again. But the stretch links two major bike lanes in that city.
“That remained a primary bike route in their program,” Philpot said.
She said Redmond officials were hesitant to widen the road to accommodate more parking along it.
However, if Sammamish wanted to pay for the improvements, Redmond officials might entertain that idea.
Along the parkway, there are similar constraints, and the best spots for parking are further away from the site. However, Sammamish may be able to squeeze in a few spots.
A long-term solution is to construct a parking lot across the East Lake Sammamish Parkway from the park.
Sammamish owns enough land to construct a lot with 25-30 spaces, and officials also plan a lighted crosswalk to guide park-goers back and forth from the lot.
Philpot said she is hoping a designer may be able to fit more spaces into the lot.
Keller suggested the city consider a bridge or a tunnel across the parkway, since either would be safer than the crosswalk. In the past, the City Council had rejected the idea as too expensive. Councilmembers had been told that because such a facility would need to be able to accommodate wheelchairs, it would be difficult to find cost-effective way to install the needed ramps on both sides and still make the bridge high enough for cars and trucks to pass underneath.
City Manager Ben Yazici agreed to review the idea of a bridge or tunnel and report back.