Junction parking study: Starting soon; boundaries proposed

November 17, 2008 at 10:11 pm | In Junction parking review, Transportation, West Seattle news | 33 Comments

Nine months have now passed since we first reported the city was planning to review Junction-area parking — a review that could end up with a recommendation for pay stations (which Fremont is currently fighting with the “Keep Fremont Free” campaign). When we last checked on the review’s status, SDOT told us it would start before year’s end, but the bulk of the work would be done next year. That’s still the case – according to a short handout made available after an only-tangentially related meeting we covered tonight (more than 20 West Seattle neighborhood and business leaders, developers, and city reps gathered to start brainstorming a wholistic approach to the Triangle’s future – look for our full report on that, tomorrow). Here’s the entirety of the handout:

West Seattle Junction Parking Study

*The Community Parking Program Team is in the process of identifying the blocks within the West Seattle Junction area that will be studied and finalizing the proposed project schedule.

*A preliminary boundary for the area is:
-SW Dakota St to the North
-SW Brandon St to the South
-Fauntleroy Way SW to the East
-47th Ave SW to the West

*Within the next two weeks, the Parking Assessment Manager will begin conducting outreach to area stakeholders to solicit input on the parking study.

*A mailer announcing the schedule for the West Seattle Junction project will be mailed in December.

*For more information, please contact Dante Taylor — West Seattle/Alaska Junction Parking Assessment Manager.
-E-mail: dante.taylor@seattle.gov
-Phone: 206-684-3025

The city’s official Community Parking Program page is here. Meantime, the proposed study boundaries seem pretty wide (forgive us for not drawing a map, we’ll have one tomorrow) so we’ll be checking on that as a followup. (Our stories on the Junction parking review are archived here, newest to oldest.)

33 Comments

  1. Can somebody please explain the justification for charging for parking? It’s a terrible idea. Bad for business, bad for shoppers, bad for the community. Surely there are better ways to enrich the city’s coffers than by nickel-and-diming (oops, I mean dollar-and-five-dollaring) the middle class. It’s Greed Street versus Main Street. Maybe the city wants to use the money to pay for their public-bathrooms fiasco.

    Comment by jeannie — 11:35 pm November 17, 2008 #

  2. Clear down to 47th Ave. SW to the West? Are you kidding me? That’s a neighborhood and some folks living there have to park on the street. We just voted in more property taxes and I say “enough.” Once the meters and stations are in, the rates will go up and what will be next? A charge to park bicycles, cross at crosswalks or walk your dog down the street. I agree with Fremont!

    Comment by T De — 4:57 am November 18, 2008 #

  3. I agree with both of you! What can we do to stop this madness?

    Comment by Margo — 8:27 am November 18, 2008 #

  4. I hope that they are considering Residential Zone parking also. Because the area just outside the pay parking zone will now get filled with people parking there.

    Comment by Jason — 8:42 am November 18, 2008 #

  5. Here’s a novel idea: Why not bicycle or walk to the Junction? You’ll not only save the couple of bucks to park but will realize an additional savings in gas from not having to drive your massive car.

    Comment by JaimeGummer — 8:58 am November 18, 2008 #

  6. Before this happens, I want to see all the free parking just south of Jackson St., along Marginal Way taken out. Put up meters closer to the city first.

    Comment by Al — 8:58 am November 18, 2008 #

  7. While I walk to the Junction all the time to eat dinner or do some light shopping it’s not always practical to say you can just leave the car at home. I want people that live outside of West Seattle to still be able to frequent our businesses so that they stay alive and running and if I have to haul pet food etc… from Petco I don’t want to have to walk all the way home with it. I think it will end up driving a lot of business to Westwood village and away from the Junction if they establish paid parking.

    Comment by westseattleite — 9:12 am November 18, 2008 #

  8. Well said, westseattleite!

    Comment by C.A. — 9:30 am November 18, 2008 #

  9. Taxes and fees in this city/county/state have gotten completely out of hand! The poor businesses in the junction have enough problems without doing something else to keep people away. Why not add another left turn camera to add more ticket income and forget the parking meters??

    Comment by marty — 9:48 am November 18, 2008 #

  10. Does anyone remember when there were parking meters in the Junction? It was a ghost town. This proposal will kill off many of the small businesses, and create a nightmare for residents around the junction who will find their streets clogged with parked cars.

    Another dumb idea from the City of Seattle. I see a huge tax revolt in this region in a few years.

    Comment by CB — 10:10 am November 18, 2008 #

  11. CB,

    That is the master plan. Get the paid parking so that it drives people away.
    Then when the businesses fail and have to sell out, they sell to developers so that MORE high rise condos/apts building are built.
    Increasing the cities tax coffers.
    Meanwhile all the roads in West Seattle will be remarked with bike lanes and the major thoroughfares will be made Bus and Important (read city/county/state gov’t) Vehicles ONLY roads.
    YES, I have a VERY cynical view of our Mayor and City Council. With what they have pulled in the past 4 years, can you blame me?

    Comment by Westwood Resident — 10:27 am November 18, 2008 #

  12. Right. Try packing home a large bag of dog food on a bike. Great idea. Looks like I’m shopping elsewhere.

    Comment by Stephanie — 11:00 am November 18, 2008 #

  13. That’s a really large area, and for the most part, except for a block or two off Alaska and a block or two off California, a majority of this area is residential. Fortunately I only live 1/2 mile from the Junction and usually drive there, but there are times I’m headed there on the way home and will park, and I’ll probably do that less if parking becomes impossible.

    Comment by Sue — 11:05 am November 18, 2008 #

  14. The problem as I see it, is that a good portion of the proposed area is actually residential. What are the people who live there and don’t have off street parking supposed to do? Parking in that area is hard enough anymore with construction and multiple apartment building that don’t have parking available. I know because I am always having to lug my groceries several blocks it seems.

    Comment by Eli — 11:13 am November 18, 2008 #

  15. Westwood Resident – I couldn’t have said it better about the end result!!

    This is a horrible idea and will definitely curtail my visits to the Junction if it happens.

    Comment by mellaw6565 — 11:31 am November 18, 2008 #

  16. Everyone wants free use of the city streets, potholes fixed, bike lanes made, crosswalks – and on and on, but nobody wants to pay. Unfortunately for some (maybe many) Seattle is not the same as it has been in the years past. The city has grown exponetially in the last five years. Moneys and budgets need to be made to support all this growth. The past policies of this city are what created our transportation mess and the lack of funds for Seattle’s crumbling infrastructure.

    I agree with adding metered parking if that’s what it takes to generate some money to support the roads that I use. And today’s consumer is still going to pay to park if that’s what it takes to go to their West Seattle store. So – pay up and chip in.

    Comment by Wylie — 11:41 am November 18, 2008 #

  17. I hope to talk with the city rep about this later today. Interestingly, finishing another story to publish shortly, I just looked up the boundaries of the West Seattle Junction Neighborhood Plan area – it goes way beyond even the parking-review boundaries mentioned here. Some may be surprised to know they’re covered by the “Junction” Neighborhood Plan:
    http://www.seattle.gov/neighborhoods/npi/maps/wsea.pdf

    Comment by WSB — 12:00 pm November 18, 2008 #

  18. While I’m not totally against pay parking per se, the sheer size of the parking area, with RPZ zone – WSB, can you clarify whether the designated area ‘could be’ an RPZ zone, with meters and resident permits required?

    Here’s how the city looks at what qualifies as an RPZ:
    “…Upon receipt of the written RPZ request, SDOT will do an initial assessment to determine whether an RPZ is appropriate for the area.

    The determination will be based on the following:
    The parking problem exists on at least five contiguous blocks;
    It appears that 75% or more of the parking spaces are being used; and
    There is an identifiable parking generator.”

    It seems to me that the city is confused about what constitutes the West Seattle business district and what is a parking problem. I’ve never had a problem finding parking anywhere N/S/E/W of Alaska Junction – much less down Avalon or adjacent to Fauntleroy/Brandon. Have to wonder if they are resticting parking for those who drive and park to take a bus. NOTE: this is due to a lack of accessible bus service, not business parking.

    In Wallingford for instance, it’s paid parking on the main drag, then residential limited parking only a block in from the main drag, not 3, 4 or 5 blocks out. That’s purely crazy.

    I ride my bike as much as possible, but find a lack of racks often times, or racks that put my bike in a situation where it’s more suseptible to theft. I want more good, safe, protected bike parking.

    Comment by Al — 1:23 pm November 18, 2008 #

  19. Oh, I also saw that the Morgan Junction is under review for a parking plan sometime between 2009-2013.

    Comment by Al — 1:26 pm November 18, 2008 #

  20. We reported that in our earlier articles. Morgan, Admiral and Alki are all slated for reviews in the coming years.

    Comment by WSB — 1:47 pm November 18, 2008 #

  21. They draw the boundaries really big so the argument slides from charge/no charge, to charge here but do not charge there.
    It’s the old divide and conquer as the City prowls for cash.

    I’m sure that if they get their meters, businesses will be hurt.
    Sure, some stuff can be taken home on a bus, or a bike, or even carried, but age of consumer, weather, distance from shopping, number of hills, and amount of merchandise are all limiting factors, now mitigated through the use of the auto.

    As this economy unravels, no one will want to add another couple dollars to their shopping trips, so they will shop where the parking is free.

    Comment by old timer — 1:49 pm November 18, 2008 #

  22. Excuse me, but when has living in Seattle been “free”? Are you kidding? Sales tax revenue increases, property tax increases, metro fare increases, garbage increases, water rate increases, cable revenue,electric/natural gas rates, gasoline tax revenue, now parking? (The city piggy backs a city tax on top of all utility rates, so they do collect revenue). I think the city is trying to drive residents and business out of town. We pay plenty. We seem to get less in return, with all the “free uses” that you seem to think are free. We are paying for them, we continue to pay for them, and the rates are increasing 10-25% How does that corellate to “free”? I agree, a taxation revolt should be in the making.

    Comment by Brandon — 1:56 pm November 18, 2008 #

  23. Whom should we contact to express our objections? By the way, here is the Keep Fremont Free Web site. http://www.keepfremontfree.com/

    Comment by jeannie — 5:23 pm November 18, 2008 #

  24. Thanks — that site is linked in the story above (the phrase “Keep Fremont Free campaign”). Anything that’s “blue” in WSB text is a link – we go to great lengths to find and include many links in the text of WSB stories so that everyone always has access to much more information beyond the basics we publishhere.

    Comment by WSB — 5:27 pm November 18, 2008 #

  25. How many households are in Seattle, aprox 270K from 2000 census * Mandatory food waste recyling increase of $6 in 2009 and another $3 in 2010 = $2.43 million, just for garbage rates, not all of which goes to the city, but the haulers. But the city does collect tax on that number each year. Chip in the water rate increases, cable, phone and electric revenues that are being increased. I’d say they are being very creative as to how to milk the cash cow.

    Comment by Joetheplumber — 6:06 pm November 18, 2008 #

  26. I’ve lived in West Seattle for sixty years and DO NOT want to see the vacant storefronts and empty Sunday streets of not-so-many years ago.

    The City of Seattle is grasping for every possible dollar. Parking meters do not support a healthy business environment no matter how much propoganda is pumped out to convince you otherwise.

    Nearing retirement, I wonder how long we will be able to hang on here.

    Comment by fiz — 7:50 pm November 18, 2008 #

  27. I honestly don’t think this will cause vacant store fronts. Some people might even be excited that they’ll now always be able to find parking right on Calif. But I do think the size of the area is pretty extreme. I agree with Al who said that the city seems to be confused about what is a parking problem and what is a business district.

    Comment by arietta — 8:33 pm November 18, 2008 #

  28. For a small business on the margin it only takes one more thing to tip it.

    Comment by fiz — 9:22 pm November 18, 2008 #

  29. TIME FOR A TAX REVOLT!

    Comment by CB — 10:23 pm November 18, 2008 #

  30. Re: Taxes..
    What many ‘consumers’ seems to forget is the INSANE amount of pissy little taxes King County/City of Seattle imposes on us Small Business Owners.
    -
    FOR EXAMPLE…ever hear of Business and Occupation Tax (B&O)? It’s a lovely fee for the priviledge of having a biz in Seattle. Mind you..this tax is paid on my gross RECEIPTS, not my actuall taxable income. Wouldn’t want too many legit business deductions, right?? ARGGHH.

    http://www.google.com/search?q=seattle+b%26o+tax+rate&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a
    -
    Also…if you’re business has a sign that hangs OVER a city sidewalk, you pay an ‘air tax’ per year because you’re encroaching upon city property.

    -
    also…I pay a lovely tax every year for reinvesting in my business. If I buy new equiptment, new furunishings, etc…I pay an additional tax on the value of the ‘things’ in my business.
    -
    and there’s more.

    Next to Boston, Seattle is the HIGHEST taxed city in the US for small business. It’s STUNNING. We’re also the highest Gas Tax city in the US.
    -
    This Junction Parking thing is just a massive joke. And I’m not peddling my bike 2 miles to The Junction to shop and support local business and CARRY a 30lb bag of dog food home (or schlep it on a bus either).
    -
    I’d just be happy if the parking people could figure out how to get my @*)# neighbor to NOT park his FOUR vehicles (including one BIG commercial truck) in front of everyone’s house on my street and rotating them every 72 hr to avoid a ticket.

    Comment by grr — 6:01 am November 19, 2008 #

  31. here’s a link to kill some time…

    Seattle/Washington State Business Taxes:

    http://www.seattle.gov/HTML/business/taxes.htm

    Enjoy. Then think about starting your own business.

    Comment by grr — 6:09 am November 19, 2008 #

  32. They don’t call it TAX-achusetts for nutin. Maybe it is time to consider a income tax. How bad off is Oregon, with no sales tax and an income tax.

    Comment by joeybutterfuco — 12:22 pm November 19, 2008 #

  33. For anybody checking back on the parking thread, our followup conversation with the city has been pushed back a few days. They are “reassessing” the rollout schedule for their upcoming parking “programs” including this one – and that is an update even since the info we got on Monday night. To mangle the Star Wars phrase, “always in motion, the guv’ment is …”

    Comment by WSB — 3:42 pm November 19, 2008 #

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