Parking ‘fact-finding mission,’ park plan, more @ Junction Neighborhood Organization

(SDOT map showing where they’re studying Junction-area parking)

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

When SDOT‘s last major review of West Seattle Junction parking resulted in this July 2009 announcement that it wouldn’t recommend metered parking, you could almost hear a huge collective sigh of relief.

That review had begun more than a year earlier, and months after the no-paid-street-parking news, ended with what we described at the time as “a relatively minor set of changes” – some tweaks to time limits.

But The Junction has had metered parking before – and the city’s new review has rekindled concerns that it will return. A lot has changed since the 2008-2009 review – primarily a dramatic amount of redevelopment adding hundreds of new apartments to the heart of The Junction – and some projects including fewer parking spaces than units, or even none, with the city changing its rules in 2012 to say that nearby “frequent transit” means parking might not be needed. (As reported here last week, those rules might be loosened even more.)

So with all that setting the stage, two SDOT reps were at last night’s Junction Neighborhood Organization meeting at the Senior Center/Sisson Building.. They weren’t the only speakers of interest – the next Junction park and a HALA update were part of the agenda too – but we start with the parking discussion:

JUNCTION PARKING REVIEW: Jonathan Williams and Ruth Harper from SDOT presented the briefing. Back in March, they talked with JuNO about taking a Junction-area Restricted Parking Zone (RPZ) request to the next level (nowhere near a decision yet, they said). “We’re just getting started … with a lot of data collection,” Williams began, “and if there are to be any changes to onstreet parking,” they’ll be back to talk about it next year. “We’re really just on a fact-finding mission.”

An RPZ would be a “pretty big change,” he acknowledged, adding that it’s been many years since Junction commercial parking was reviewed. But that’s only part of what they’re studying in The Junction this time. They said three different types of parking studies are planned:

-Residential blocks – RPZ qualification study to see if residents or others are parking there
-Commercial streets – to see how full the parking is over the course of the day and how long people are parking
-Off-street lots – to get a picture of what’s happening in the privately owned free and paid lots at the same time, such as the Junction Association (free) and Diamond (paid) lots (but not, for example, Jefferson Square, though one meeting-goer suggested they take a look at that too)

Other ways they’re collecting data besides surveying parking usage: Intercept studies, talking to people on the street along California about how they got to the Junction, where they’re parking – “we’ve had a couple hundred responses so far” and it’s continuing a few more weeks. And he mentioned the online questionnaire featured here one night earlier, saying about 100 responses already had been received. (If you haven’t answered it yet, go here.) “Access outreach” continues through the end of the year, with findings expected early next year, Williams said.

What times of day are studies being done? the SDOT reps were asked A mix of time periods, Williams replied, ranging from 8 am to 9 pm. And he reviewed the various types of parking that are available around the city, noting again that there’s no city-pay-station parking in West Seattle right now. They are also interested in feedback such as whether more businesses need load zones so people can pull up, drop off, and pick up. The need for such spaces has grown since last decade’s parking study, he observed – more people are getting purchases delivered and more are getting picked up/dropped off via taxi-type services like Uber and Lyft.

Elaborating on the RPZ study, Harper picked up that part of the briefing. It’s the only tool they can use in residential areas, she explained; the only RPZ in West Seattle is in Fauntleroy, one of 34 around the country since the program began in 1979. “We use RPZs to help balance the demand on the right of way,” usually installed at the request of residents, to mitigate some sort of a “parking generator” (a nearby hospital or university, for example) where people from that “generator” are “flooding the street,” and they have some around neighborhood business districts. RPZs do not discriminate between types of residents, she stressed – whether you’ve lived in the zone six days or 60 years, whether you own or rent, etc.

RPZs usually allow two-hour parking without a permit. “To get a permit you generally have to live on a street where the RPZ signs are,” and that means ground-floor residences – an apartment building with ground-floor commercial would not count, for example. Permits usually cost $65 each for a two-year period – up to 4 permits per address, as long as you have 4 cars registered to that address (a small fraction of those in RPZs citywide), “and every residence is eligible for a guest permit.”

They’re doing an RPZ study here because of a request that came through JuNO, to study an area from 36th to 41st, Fauntleroy to Dakota. But it didn’t make sense for them not to study the area on the other side of California, and to the south, Harper said, so they added those. The threshold is whether the parking spaces are 75 percent full. Harper said they will be studying areas starting at 4 am. For an RPZ to be created, they need to have the qualifying conditions over at least 20 contiguous block faces. =

One of the people who requested the study said one of their goals was to ensure that people returning from work could find parking, and then for example go out on errands and come back. What hours would parking be restricted? Harper was asked. “We don’t know,” she said – that would be the point of the study.

Concerns voiced by attendees had to do with new developments with little or no parking but residents who have cars and have to park somewhere. “There’s a limited amount of space,” one man stressed. Williams reiterated that if an RPZ is created, people who live there, regardless of whether they do or do not have offstreet parking at their house or multi-unit building, would be able to get a parking permit. The people who would have to follow the restrictions set otherwise (2-hour maximum, for example) are those who visit the neighborhood for other reasons.

Asked about next steps – will residents have input after the study’s done? the SDOT reps were asked. Yes, they said. “We’ll walk (you) through all the data we collect,” once that’s done, Williams said, and then talk about options – that would be at a future meeting. (The 2008-2009 parking study included other components such as community walking tours – we’ll be checking with SDOT as to whether any of those are planned. And if you missed it in our Monday preview, here again is the city “fact sheet” about the Junction review.)

P.S. Later in the meeting, West Seattle Junction Association executive director Lora Swift took the floor and before discussing an unrelated topic, she addressed the parking study – saying she wanted to make sure that those on hand knew that Junction merchants pay $15,000+ each month to rent those more than 200 “free parking spaces” from “a private entity.” The Junction Association is a Business Improvement District formed for that purpose. She said her biggest concern is that SDOT will come back with a study recommending paid parking on the streets, so she’s had SDOT meet with the WSJA board. “It’s definitely at the top of my list to keep an eye on this parking study.” She said the Junction recently locked down a 10-year lease renewal for the parking lots, with two five-year renewal options, and there are “very limited” circumstances.

Other topics at the JuNO meeting:

PARK UPDATE: Seattle ParksKarimah Edwards and Susanne Rockwell were there for an update on planning to develop the future park in the 4700 block of 40th SW.

Almost 400 people stopped by at the recent Farmers’ Market open house, and more than 300 replies have been received on their online survey. “We do not have a plan for this park” – they are seeking community input, said Edwards. They asked for community input on 36 different images (below) of potential park-design features – each person got to choose 10 that they liked the most.

The online survey now has been changed to show the choice of images, “a starting point for our designers” with the GGLO architecture firm, Edwards said. “We’ll be working on planning until the 2nd quarter of 2018, and we’re looking at building this park in 2019,” completing it by the end of that year, she said. She recounted the purchase (as reported here) in 2012, with 2008 Parks and Green Spaces Levy money, added Parks’ Susanne Rockwell, who joined Edwards in briefing JuNO, explaining the “landbanked” status of this and other sites.

Why no public restroom planned for the park? asked one attendee – “for almost $2 million (the development budget) you could put in a pretty decent bathroom.” Edwards said they don’t usually put restrooms in a “small neighborhood park” like this but promised to look at the option. The attendee noted that The Junction has no permanent public restrooms, but this could certainly be usable for people doing everything from playing at the park to waiting for buses. “It’s really shortsighted not to put a restroom in and expect the kind of density that the city wants for our neighborhood.” And yes, she said, she already had officially sent in that comment.

Rockwell said they’d had some trouble with people feeling unsafe in park restrooms, which as a result had to be locked. “Internally we were working to redesign these facilities wehre you can see legs and a head,” which led to people feeling more safe using the facilities.

Other questions had to do with design elements such as benches. Edwards added, “One of the other things we’re looking at is – how does the community really want to use the park? We’re very aware of what’s happening (with transients’ use of parks) and (aware) of what’s been successful” in addressing that. She mentioned parks elsewhere in the city such as Occidental and Hing Hay where they have dealt with similar concerns.

Rockwell talked about the city’s efforts to acquire more open space for urban villages, as they densify. In a side note, she also mentioned the Lincoln Park South Play Area situation and the closure that followed an inspection. “We will be embarking on the public engagement process with the community for a replacement structure” – they didn’t have funding “but have moved our priorities around. … The order in which we do projects is sometimes a little fluid.”

Back to the future Junction park, discussion included what counts as park facilities – whether it’s open to the public, fenced, admission charged or not, etc. Another question: What if the Bank of America building/lot adjacent to the new park site went up for sale – would the city compete for it? “We often are priced out,” Rockwell acknowledged. “We do have the capacity to “take” (land),” but they don’t do it often.

Much discussion centered on whether Parks should be procuring more greenspace for the Junction urban village. Rockwell stressed that when the Park District – which is funding the development of this site – was passed, a six-year budget plan was made, and they’re getting ready for another one. She suggested telling City Council reps that the community is interested in more.”That’s how the Seattle political machine works.” She also mentioned that for example Dakota Place Park – a former substation site – was a top community priority for the Pro Parks Levy more than a decade ago; it was acquired and developed.

JuNO LAND USE COMMITTEE: The final Environmental Impact Statement for HALA MHA upzoning is due any day now, Rich Koehler told the meeting. JuNO reps have a meeting with Councilmembers Lisa Herbold and Rob Johnson next week. They’ve already spoken with King County Executive Dow Constantine, who Koehler described as “sympathetic” to neighborhood concerns. Koehler also mentioned the proposed comprehensive-plan amendments that are making their way through the city – including one that would potentially exempt the Junction’s single-family zoning from the upzoning, one that would do exactly the opposite and remove that area from potential protection. A city “open house” is set for 6 pm October 17th at the High Point Community Center.

WEST SEATTLE JUNCTION ASSOCIATION: As noted above, executive director Lora Swift spoke at meeting’s end. Her main topic was a request for help, related to a $20,000 city grant “that WSJA is currently using to ask about common neighborhood resources.” They hired a consultant and are talking to neighborhood groups about “what are some common resources that people don’t know about” – Junction Plaza Park, for example, and the concerns about people sleeping on the benches there. “You know what you do? You call 911” and report problems such as public urination, drinking, graffiti vandalism. “We’ll have an online survey and select interviews with people as well.” The eventual result, we found out in talking with her after the meeting, will be a West Seattle-wide website you can consult for information on resources that otherwise are difficult to find and/or figure out. She urged people interested in Junction issues to sign up for the WSJA newsletter, and invited people to drop by the “open door” WSJA offices over Shadowland. She’s at lora (at) wsjunction (dot) org.

WHAT’S NEXT: Ideas for future meeting topics? Fun events? Let JuNO director Amanda Sawyer know – admin (at) wsjuno (dot) org The group is now meeting quarterly.

54 Replies to "Parking 'fact-finding mission,' park plan, more @ Junction Neighborhood Organization"

  • Jon B. September 20, 2017 (12:49 pm)

    Sometimes there’s no need to comment, but I just like you guys to know that your reporting remains excellent and vital. Thank you for this–it gave me the opportunity to take 2 surveys weighing in on the future of our neighborhood. We love you WSB!

    • WSB September 20, 2017 (3:55 pm)

      Thanks for the kind words. That’s what we’re here for. – TR

  • skeeter September 20, 2017 (12:55 pm)

     

    So often I hear “Residents have parking problems.  We need an RPZ.”  How would that solve any problems?  Let’s say you have 20 housing units.  Each has one car that is parked on the
    street.  The street can hold 12
    cars.  So there’s the problem – 8 cars
    have no place to park.  So you institute
    an RPZ.  All 20 units buy a RPZ
    pass.  Why?  It’s insanely cheap – $65 per year to park
    your car on taxpayer-owned property.  So
    you still have 8 cars with no place to park. 
    The ONLY way RPZ would solve any parking problems is if the RPZ pass
    cost enough money that people either ditch their car or find cheaper parking
    from another vendor.      

    • Scott A September 20, 2017 (1:41 pm)

      The RPZ helps residents because employees of nearby businesses can’t park all day on residential streets.  Say the RPZ is in effect from 8 am to 6pm.  If you arrive home to your street at 5pm there’s a much better chance that you’ll find a parking space.  Also, visitors to nearby businesses can park after 4 pm to enjoy the Junction and have a better chance of finding parking.  Employees definitely tend to have to walk farther to their cars or sometimes find alternatives to driving.

  • Sarah September 20, 2017 (1:51 pm)

    An RPZ can help by reducing the amount of time that non-RPZ permit-holders are allowed to park in the spaces.  The article mentions a two-hour time limit for non-RPZ permit-holders. 

  • skeeter September 20, 2017 (3:01 pm)

     

    That’s a good point about employees and RPZs.  Indeed, if employees are a significant source
    of parking congestion in the Junction then an RPZ would alleviate some of the
    congestion – at least during the day. 
    Employees would have to either take transit or bike or park further out
    beyond the RPZ. 

    My understanding is the majority of parking congestion in
    the Junction and surrounding blocks is (a) residents and (b) short-term
    visitors/shoppers/diners.  An RPZ would
    not help with those two groups. 

    • WSB September 20, 2017 (3:40 pm)

      In some areas, the complaint for years now is that some spaces are taken by “park and hiders” who drive to The Junction to catch transit and leave their cars in places where there are no limits (residential side streets).

      • West Seattle Steve September 20, 2017 (4:13 pm)

        Since Metro cut non-rush hour service to my neighborhood, I often drive to the Junction to catch the C. Not everyone works a 9-5 job.

        • Raincity September 21, 2017 (8:58 pm)

          Agree with the lack of metro service to get to the junction to catch buses to down town. The 37 used to run north on 49th in the morning and east on alaska brought people up to the junction. No longer. Now it runs south on 49th in the morning only.

    • hopey September 21, 2017 (2:33 pm)

      I live in the proposed RPZ, south of Jefferson Square. I am a stay at home mom and I take my kid to preschool every day. If I leave the house at the “wrong” time, by the time I come back, my block has been filled in with employees arriving at work in the Junction. I absolutely know which cars are the transients because they arrive between 8-10am and leave betwen 4-6pm. Same cars, pretty much every day (although there is an odd day here and there where nobody shows up for work, apparently…) Employee parking IS the problem. 

  • Diane September 20, 2017 (4:09 pm)

    yes, and a LOT of us “park and hiders” who drive to The Junction to catch transit and leave
    their cars in places where there are no limits (residential side
    streets) were left with no other choice for taking a bus after Metro took away all of our easy to access long-time routes in Admiral; so an RPZ here would cause further hardship to Admiral folks who no longer have any decent bus access

  • Diane September 20, 2017 (4:11 pm)

    thanks for the detailed report; I was planning on attending but the drive in the massive rain storm from Queen Anne after work last night was just too scary

  • Forest September 20, 2017 (4:12 pm)

    Also known as “hide and ride.”

  • Jon Wright September 20, 2017 (5:42 pm)

    I still think it is absurd that people are convinced they are entitled to exclusive use of a public resource just because it abuts their property.

  • My two cents ... September 20, 2017 (7:10 pm)

    Wait for Councilmember Herbold to initiate some proposal that will result in either fewer parking spots or meters … All in the name of “helping the community and the residents expand their outlook on mobility issues that Seattle so desperately needs.”

    • Mr. J September 20, 2017 (8:59 pm)

      You should make an appointment with her, talk about your concerns and report back. Or go on assuming she has nefarious anti-parking intentions. 

      • My two cents ... September 21, 2017 (10:29 am)

        Track record so far has seemingly been to ignore Admiral/Junction areas of concerns. Priorities appear to be looking for increased revenue streams for other issues as opposed to trying to pay a little attention to some of the livability issues of the people that she supposedly represents. The same people that work, pay taxes, shop local merchants, are raising families here do care about these livability issues.

        • Mr. J September 21, 2017 (1:55 pm)

          Im know sure of the track record you’re referencing, but if you feel like your concerns are not being addressed I would suggest going to one of her office hours and discussing. The best way to address issues is by talking it out with our representatives. I know she’s done a lot of find-it-fix-it walking tours, perhaps you can ask if she’d come up and do one in your neighborhood. I’ve always found her office very helpful which is why I’m advocating for discussion. 

  • CAM September 20, 2017 (10:18 pm)

    As a person who lives in the junction (like the actual prime shopping area) my concern is not for my ability to park, as I pay for off street parking. I am much more concerned that when I have out of town guests who need to park for extended periods that there will be no option. I’m anti any kind of RPZ on a residential street solely because I need for there to be a place for someone to park for a weekend or other extended period. I have taken the survey and submitted my comments but I think that it needs to be taken into account that people who live in that prime area also have lives and guests. 

    • WS Guy September 21, 2017 (6:27 am)

      Residents in an RPZ can have a guest pass. 

      • CAM September 21, 2017 (7:53 am)

        Right, but as it is currently my visitors are able to find parking and there are no issues. Other cities I have lived in only have RPZs in areas near stadiums, universities, or other large public draws. The Junction doesn’t have anything like that and when walking the area I constantly see parking turning over. Where is the push to change this coming from? 

    • West Sea Zen September 21, 2017 (7:50 am)

      Please blame the developer of your building for not providing enough parking so that they could make more money renting/selling units to families with 3 cars. 

      • CAM September 21, 2017 (7:54 am)

        It’s not the responsibility of my building to provide parking for guests. My building has ample parking for residents and I am unaware of any resident wanting parking who doesn’t have it. 

        • KM September 21, 2017 (12:36 pm)

          It’s not the responsibility of the taxpayer/city, either.

      • skeeter September 21, 2017 (9:21 am)

         

        No offense, but I disagree 100%.  It is not the fault of developers that
        parking is not offered in new construction. 
        How can a developer build and maintain off-street parking – then sell
        that space to a customer for several hundred dollars a month – when the city
        provides FREE street parking for 72 hours at a time?  Most (not all) customers DO NOT want
        off-street parking and are not willing to pay for it.  So of course the developers do not build it
        except in small/limited quantities for the rare individual willing to pay for
        it.  Or look at it this way.  I can walk into 7-eleven and purchase a
        slurpee for about $1.50.  If the city
        decided to start offering FREE slurpees on every single block served 24 hours a
        day, how long do you think 7-eleven would keep its slurpee machine in
        operation? 

        If the city gives away free parking there is no way
        developers will build parking spaces.

        • WSB September 21, 2017 (9:54 am)

          It should be noted that parking for business customers is set aside in larger developments – Junction 47, Capco Plaza, Spruce, The Whittaker among them.

  • KBear September 20, 2017 (10:38 pm)

    I wonder how much street parking is taken up by homeowners whose garages are too full of junk or who have converted it into living space. I really don’t think the city owes permanent vehicle storage space to anyone.

    • Admiral Gal September 21, 2017 (8:38 pm)

      Yup–when parking discussions come up this is something that bothers me as well. My street–just over from California Ave and about a 10 min walk to the Junction, is packed with cars, mostly residents who choose not to use their garages or have 2-3 vehicles where one *might* be stored in a garage. There are def. more non-residents stashing their cars for the day in the mix now, but it’s not the reason for packed streets, at least around here. There are def. some good conversations that need to be had around parking (frankly I’d like the city to look at visibility and how vehicles parked on some of these streets makes for some really dangerous intersections for pedestrians, cyclists and drivers alike), but the entitlement that people seem to feel about their right to park multiple vehicles on the street in front of their homes, when many in W. Seattle have far more space w/alleys and garages, is  really bizarre to me. 

      • Scott A September 22, 2017 (8:44 am)

        Improving visibility at intersections and crosswalks for all users (drivers, walkers, bikers) was definitely part of what a similar SDOT effort improved in Columbia City recently.  Even just installing “no parking” signs at corners that reinforce and clarify the law about parking at least 20(?)  feet from corners helps.  SDOT avoids extra signage expense and maintenance but in busy business districts it really helps to have a clear start of parking near corners.

        Definitely submit comments about visibility concerns to SDOT and they just might be able to address them.

        • Admiral Gal September 22, 2017 (11:32 am)

          Thanks for the tip–I’ve wondered about how responsive SDOT might be, so that’s good reinforcement. And yeah the no parking on corners is EXACTLY the kind of thing I was thinking of; for sure many areas, mine included, have gotten way busier over the last year or two so worth an update.

  • Mark September 20, 2017 (10:44 pm)

    They are public streets paid for by taxpayers.  Street parking is not private property.  

    As one Admiral resident stated there is no midday or evening bus service, aka the 56 and 57, thus many are made to drive to the C line.  Improve transit service and some of the parking demand would be reduced.  

    We all pay taxes for transit, and some people need to drive the first leg of the trip.  These people have paid to maintain public streets also and should be able to park near transit stops.

    People park on my street to catch transit, that is life in the City.

    • JanS September 21, 2017 (2:13 am)

      Hi, Mark. I am 70. I am disabled, and use a walker when I’m out and about mostly, at times a cane when where I’m going doesn’t accommodate a walker. Metro is difficult at best. When I go downtown , it;s usually to the Polyclinic at 7th and Madison (bucket list item – to see ALL the docs there, lol – joking). Metro is not an option…they tell me to walk from 3rd and Seneca to 7th and Madison – what a hoot ! And I’d have to take  at least 2 buses to get to 3rd and Seneca. I avoid the junction like the plague. I am not currently driving, but never thought about driving there and parking to take the bus, since the destination screws with me anyway. Luckily, there is a door to door senior shuttle I qualify for now to get me to doc appts on First Hill.. However, if I was going to the junction in my car, I can’t actually navigate that extra block and a half that posters on here say where they find plenty of parking. Disability interferes with that. So, I don’t shop  in the junction, or eat at restaurants in the junction unless someone else drives and drops me off.Now, if I was on a bike I could just go right to Calif. and Alaska, and lock my bike up on the bike parking provided there., couldn’t I? Being disabled is different. There are no disabled spots on the main drag. Yes, they’re in those back lots, maybe 3 or 4 of them. Now, how many disabled people do you think  go to the junction  at any given time and use those spots? Usually those spots are taken.  And, of course, they also involve..you got it…walking  a distance. Yep, it can be quite a quandry. So I don’t go. And it’s way too hard to rely on Metro, if you want to go out on Friday night to the junction, like an able bodied person, if you live in Admiral. Yeah…it’s my week to whine, I guess.  

      I didn’t go to the meeting…there was no point, at least not for me.

      • Scott A September 22, 2017 (8:28 am)

        The RPZ and paid metered parking will both be a big help to disabled parking permit holders.  Much more likely to find an on-street parking space.  Metered spots are free and RPZ restrictions don’t apply (just the 72-hour max as anywhere else.)

  • Peter September 20, 2017 (11:11 pm)

    I really don’t understand all the hand-wringing about parking. I’ve never had any trouble fining parking within a block of the Junction. There is almost always a space in the business association lots, or street parking nearby. 

  • Anonymous Coward September 21, 2017 (5:10 am)

    Any bets on whether or not the city will deny RPZ parking permits to people living in buildings built without parking (because they’re served by frequent transit and, therefore, don’t need cars…)?

    • WSB September 21, 2017 (7:12 am)

      This is addressed in the story. No, your eligibility for a pass if you live in the area does not have anything to do with whether you have offstreet parking.

  • NW September 21, 2017 (5:57 am)

    A homeowner who lives in prime locations next to transit in the yrs to come could make extra income by renting out spots during the work week. A guaranteed  parking spot each morning and 3 minute walk to transit where you can get a seat on the bus. 

  • Gene September 21, 2017 (7:40 am)

    Peter-well I guess you are one lucky guy- I do understand the ” hand-wringing” because I’m one of those that often can’t find a place to park- I think that for every one like you – there may be one like me. 

    I would love to shop & eat locally much more often- but the parking issue always becomes a consideration.  I would love for there to be some kind of parking garage(in addition to the one under Jefferson Square)  in the Junction area- during day- commuters could use it- freeing up side street parking- in evenings on weekends it could be used for those shopping, eating, going to Arts West- maybe taking bus downtown or to a sporting event. Maybe some space could be designated ” long term” to accommodate folks visiting for a few days?

    Where to put it now?? Maybe on one of the existing parking lots? Going up would offer  many more spaces. At one time I thought the property at Fauntleroy & Alaska — where the CVS Pharmacy was going to go would have been a great spot- centrally located–  easy to walk or drive to.  Guess property is just too expensive to put parking garage on it.

  • Bill Whi September 21, 2017 (8:45 am)

    If you put parking meters in the Junction we will never shop there again. They monitor heavily now and give many parking tickets for overtime. Meters is the LAST thing we need.

    • skeeter September 21, 2017 (9:30 am)

      No offense Bill, but your refusal to never visit the Junction would be part of the plan.  Many customers are unwilling or unable to pay for parking.  So they would shop elsewhere.  This would open up parking spaces for customers who *are* willing and able to pay for parking.  Everyone wins.

       

  • skeeter September 21, 2017 (9:37 am)

    I highly recommend Walkable City by Jeff Speck.  There is an entire chapter dedicated to parking.  Parking policy, parking behavior, parking challenges, parking incentives, and what happens when parking switches between free and paid.  It is an excellent book full of valuable data.  SPL has several copies.

     https://www.amazon.com/Walkable-City-Downtown-Save-America/dp/0865477728

     

    • KM September 21, 2017 (12:27 pm)

      Thanks for the recommendation.

      My go to transportation book is Door to Door by Edward Humes. It’s more of a broad overview of transportation in general, with some interesting information on ports I never considered until I read the book. 

  • Jort September 21, 2017 (11:08 am)

    Parking is the one subject (besides, perhaps, the apparently city-destroying decision to run a bike-share program that accounted for a fraction of a percent of the total city budget, dwarfed considerably by lawsuit settlements related to, say, police overreach) that seems to unite people of all political persuasions and ideologies.

    It turns hardcore conservatives into full-blown socialists, as they seem to believe that their decision to drive places and have immediate, convenient parking availability should be 100% subsidized by the government.

    I lived in one of the much-maligned glass boxes in The Junction. I paid for parking. And there is parking available every minute of every day in the Junction — if you’re willing to accept that you need to pay for it

    I think that it’s quite telling that the Junction Association’s spokesperson said that merchants pay $15,000 a month for those “free” lots. Parking costs money, and the Junction has enjoyed free, city-subsidized parking for a long time. That joy ride might be coming to an end. Of course, there will be plenty who will leave deeply furious keyboard promises that “I’ll NEVER visit the Junction again SO HELP ME GOD!” Yeah, OK. I think the Junction is going to do just fine.

    I, of course, advocate that the city should convert the existing street parking into sidewalks and bike lanes, or perhaps parklets.

  • Kathy September 21, 2017 (11:37 am)

    Am I just blind or is the text on the thumbnail pictures in the Landbanked Park survey illegible?

  • Mark schletty September 21, 2017 (11:49 am)

    Jort– do you think the Junction businesses would be paying $15,000 per month for the parking lots if they thought the Junction would “do just fine” without the parking?  The number of customers who only walk or ride a bike to shop is simply insufficient to support the businesses. If you want to live in a neighborhood with no businesses available to shop at, just keep pushing to remove the parking.

    • Jort September 21, 2017 (12:16 pm)

      Mark: Exactly! The Junction businesses feel that they need to pay for their customers’ parking, so they do it! Like them, I felt the need to be able to park at my apartment in the junction … so I paid for it. I didn’t ask the city to provide it for free.

      I see no reason why the city should be subsidizing street parking. Perhaps the Junction businesses would like to promise to go out and plug the meters for their customers, as well?

      Parking isn’t free, no matter what. 

      Now, I can understand that the Junction businesses may not be 100% on board with my “convert the streets to sidewalks and bike lanes and force cars off the road entirely” idea, but give it some time! They’ll come around someday! ;-)

  • Gene September 21, 2017 (2:19 pm)

    JORT- why should they ” just come around” why can’t there be street parking – lot parking- garage parking? Not everyone – in fact- lots of folks can’t -walk or ride a bike- or even are close to a bus that will take them to the junction– maybe businesses recognize that ?  I am one – & personally I wouldn’t mind at all if the lots were pay lots or we went back to metered parking. 

    So we swing all the way from everything centered around cars to everything centered around walkers, bikers & bus riders? 

    Time for Westwood Village to up its game with better shops, restaurants – looks like we need an alternative to the Junction.

  • Nativeson September 21, 2017 (3:25 pm)

      Question for those here wanting more restriction’s on car drivers and where they can park. Are you carless? Don’t rent a car or have a cab/uber pick you up? Just wondering. I assume that if family/friends come to visit you tell them they can’t drive here they HAVE to walk/bike/transit.  Really wonder why you don’t want to really do anything to restrict cars. Unless WSB an other media are hiding it, don’t see any evidence of you filling city councel chambers demanding heavy fines/restriction’s on cars. How come? Haven’t seen anyone outside Safeway/Met Market gathering signatures for an initiative ballot. How come?  We are becoming more crowded and DO need to work on a complete transportation system. The reason most of us car driver’s don’t listen is that NOBODY’S given us a good workable solution yet. Hint: anti-car trolling only makes us ignore anything you say.

    • KM September 21, 2017 (4:31 pm)

      I own a car and drive it 5-6 days a week, visiting the Alaska Junction 4-5 times a week, and I want more restrictions. I have shared my thoughts with Seattle DOT, via surveys provided here, and to Herbold directly, which WSB wouldn’t have access too. 

    • Jort September 21, 2017 (6:10 pm)

      I would strongly disagree with your assertion that “NOBODY” has given a workable solution to moving lots of people with alternative transportation through cities. In fact, successful, thriving urban centers of all sizes from around the world can be found that have embraced alternative transportation and reduced reliance on the private automobile.

      In addition, no city in the history of human civilization has yet solved the “traffic congestion” problem by adding more traffic lanes or providing increased infrastructure for automobiles. Seattle is not going to be the first city to do so, either.

      If I was your benevolent dictator, I would, of course, actually take your car away from you. Luckily for you, in several examples from cities big and small all around the world, they haven’t had to go to such extremes. Have you been to London? New York City? Amsterdam? You definitely can drive in those cities. Would you want to? Why, when you have such great options?! 

      One thing all of those cities do have in common, however, is that they stopped trying to use their public streets and infrastructure to primarily service the choices of private auto mobile drivers FIRST, and instead prioritized transit, cycling and people walking. Just like London and just like New York, Seattle is literally physically incapable of expanding its road and street network due to geographical limitations. It’s time to start finding another way for Seattle.

      And yes, that means it’s not ever, EVER going to get “easier” to drive here.

  • Mark September 21, 2017 (5:30 pm)

    Another thought is to allow residents in the City, proved via address on DL, to buy a Citywide parking permit to park near transit.  This would reduce out of City people using limited parking and the Ferry parking item

  • old timer September 22, 2017 (2:58 pm)

    A lot of the car crucifiers do not seem to realize just how big West Seattle is, how many West Seattle residents are more than 1/2 mile away from ANY bus, let alone a Junction bound one, and how many West Seattle residents simply can not walk or bike.

    I ride the bus, and I drive, and I sometimes walk, to the Junction many times a week.

    The mode I choose depends on the weather, my energy level, and my mood.

    I thank God every day that I am able to make these choices, and I never forget those who are unable to make such choices.

    Try to keep everyone’s needs in mind when making your utopian proclamations and elitist edicts.

    This is not some other place on the planet, it is West Seattle.

    • Jort September 22, 2017 (3:26 pm)

      I’m sorry, but can you help me understand how charging for street parking will now prevent you from making the choice to drive?

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