The city is studying Junction-area parking right now – but area businesspeople and residents are worried the study’s results will be out-of-date as area developments (like almost-done Mural, above) start to open. That’s one of the issues that emerged at midday today during the second — and likely final — walking tour offered as the city Transportation Department‘s Junction parking study begins in earnest. The dozen-strong tour group included the project manager, Dante Taylor (at center in the photo above), his SDOT colleague Mary Catherine Snyder, Junction businesspeople, residents, and leaders of two Junction churches.
As did the first tour on February 28 (WSB coverage here), this one focused on the blocks away from California Avenue SW – read on for photos of what was seen, and toplines on what was discussed:
That block along SW Edmunds, looking westbound toward California, may have the most posted restrictions of any block in the immediate Junction business district. The question is whether the existing restrictions throughout the area are enforced well enough, before anything else is brought online, some tour participants suggested. Nearby business owner Meryl Alcabes of Sleepers in Seattle declared flatly, “Bringing back parking meters would be a disaster.” She has been in business in The Junction since 1991 and therefore remembers the time before the old meters were removed; she told a story about losing a sale because a customer looked through her store’s expansive front windows and saw his car getting ticketed.
Another major concern: What will parking be like once the current and future construction projects in The Junction are done? For example – this lot along 42nd is part of the two-building Conner project site:
That project is currently proposed for 198 residential units and a 307-space underground garage. Mural, immediately to the south along 42nd, is being built with 136 units and about that many parking spaces. Further down 42nd SW is Capco Plaza/Altamira Apartments with 157 apartments (we’re still checking on the number of parking spaces) and the future construction site at 4532 42nd (35 units and 54 spaces), as well as this project:
That’s 4502 42nd SW, at the corner of Oregon, which hasn’t gone all the way through the Design Review process yet. It’s currently proposed for 89 units and 121 vehicles. It’s of particular interest to two tour participants from Hope Lutheran Church and School to the north, which has had its own construction project under way:
Hope’s Pastor Keith Eilers was on today’s tour, along with the interim administrator of Hope’s school, Bob Matthews (who recently shared this tribute here on WSB). The pastor of nearby Holy Rosary Catholic Church, Father John Madigan, was also on the tour, and spoke with the SDOT reps about safety concerns from a much-used alley that runs along the church’s west side, just half a block east of California:
Fr. Madigan (in the cap) also talked about the increased pressure on street parking near Holy Rosary’s church/school campus because of increased housing density nearby, like the townhouses on the left side of this photo:
This walking tour, and the one in February, were aimed at helping identify “priority blocks” for the formal “data collection” portion of the study – Taylor says that’s not likely to start until May. He didn’t anticipate scheduling another walking tour unless there’s a clamor for it, since participation in these was relatively light, but he is open to the idea, so if you couldn’t participate in either of these two but would be interested in joining a third, e-mail him: JunctionParking@seattle.gov – that’s also the address to use for any and all comments on the future of Junction-area parking and whether you’d support or oppose possible changes, such as pay stations, Residential Parking Zones, and/or additional restrictions.