By Angel Falconer
The controversial plan to build a large parking structure at the SE Tacoma St/Johnson Creek MAX Station was scrapped years ago, but as major construction of the Orange Line neared completion and the project came in under budget, TriMet renewed its effort to resurrect the parking garage. TriMet requested approval from the Federal Transit Administration to spend the unused contingency funds to go ahead with the parking garage. With only six months left before opening of the new light rail line, there would have been a very short window to hire a contractor and receive public input on design. Ultimately, the FTA denied the request, citing nationwide transit investment needs and the significance of the requested scope changes.