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Originally published August 3, 2009 at 3:16 PM | Page modified August 3, 2009 at 7:16 PM

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Parking lot at Tukwila Link station overflows for Seafair

Just two weeks after Link light rail opened, its park-and-ride lot in Tukwila overflowed on a busy Seafair weekend.

Seattle Times transportation reporter

Just two weeks after Link light rail opened, its park-and-ride lot in Tukwila overflowed on a busy Seafair weekend.

Drivers arriving around 2 p.m. Saturday could grab a space only by idling until someone else left. A few carpoolers parked on side streets and crossed Highway 99 to reach the station.

Seafair Cup hydroplane races and the Blue Angels air show were under way not far from Othello Station, two stops north of Tukwila. Seafair operated free shuttle buses from Othello to the hydro course on Lake Washington.

Tukwila has the only public park-and-ride lot on the 14-mile route into downtown Seattle, which opened July 18. There is a new privately-run, pay-parking lot alongside Mount Baker Station, where Link construction equipment has recently been removed.

And on Sundays, holidays and evenings, it is possible to park along certain streets in the valley, which have a two- or four-hour limit at other times.

Ridership counts aren't available yet for last weekend, but on July 25, Link drew an estimated 16,900 riders, and the Tukwila lot filled briefly, said spokesman Geoff Patrick.

Average weekday boardings are around 12,000.

Park-and-ride use is popular in the Greater Seattle area, where about 16,800 vehicles use King County Metro Transit's lots weekday mornings, and many lots fill up. The light-rail lot in Tukwila on Monday morning was not quite half full at 8 a.m., as commuters were still trickling in.

Mike Lindblom: 206-515-5631 or mlindblom@seattletimes.com

Copyright © 2009 The Seattle Times Company

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