West Seattle, Washington
We’ve been following the city Transportation Department‘s plan for a “parking review” in the greater Junction area (WSB coverage archived here) — and with active work on that review set to start soon, we thought you’d be interested in the latest development in another neighborhood whose “review” has just concluded: Despite outrage and outcry, the city announced today it’ll put pay stations in Fremont.
Since last February, we’ve been updating you on the city’s plans for a “parking review” in The Junction – with the possibility that it could lead to a return to paid on-street parking (among other possibilities). Most recently, an SDOT manager distributed a handout at the Triangle brainstorming meeting (WSB coverage here) two weeks ago, saying the review would start shortly. However, SDOT has now pulled back on that (to “balance staffing resources”), and rolled the timetable back yet again, with “most outreach (to) take place after the new year,” according to our exchange with SDOT strategic advisor Ann Sutphin just before the Thanksgiving break. She tells WSB a flyer will go out this month “with a more detailed 2009 project schedule,” and that SDOT is “investigating interest in forming a project committee for West Seattle Junction to work with us throughout the year-long process.” One question that was raised with our last update – why are the proposed boundaries for the “Junction” parking review so broad (between Dakota and Brandon north to south, Fauntleroy and 47th east to west)? Sutphin explains, “We have heard some initial concern about potential parking issues further east of The Junction, so we we’ve put out a larger area to allow for comment and feedback. We’ll use stakeholder input we receive to inform what specific blocks we will collect parking data within this larger area. We will not collect parking data for the entire outreach area. The parking study and data collection will likely occur February or after.” You can track city updates on the parking program via this section of the city website (and of course, via WSB; our coverage is all archived here, newest to oldest). For feedback/questions, the city has set up a special e-mail address: JunctionParking@seattle.gov – as mentioned before, the city also expects to set up review areas in Admiral, Morgan Junction, and Alki/Harbor Drive (planning map here) in the next few years.
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.
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.)
Last month, we updated the city’s timeline for a Junction-area parking review — while some of the work will start before the end of the year, most of it won’t happen till next year, several months later than the earlier projection. We mention this because you might be wondering what’s up with that review if you read this P-I article about the controversial results of a similar city study in Fremont.
We’ve been keeping you up to date on plans for the city’s “community-parking review” in The Junction — which ultimately will lead to a decision on whether changes are made in management of the parking spots managed by the city (pay stations? Residential Parking Zones on nearby streets? status quo?). We published our first report last February, when WSB went to the Municipal Tower downtown for the first media briefing on the plan; then in May, the city Transportation Department (SDOT) told us it expected to start the review in September — and in our May update, we included the West Seattle Junction Association‘s call for your comments on the parking situation. Now that it’s September, we checked with SDOT – and here’s what communications director Rick Sheridan told us about the parking review’s status, and how you’ll get to have a say:Read More
As first reported here in February, the city’s planning a formal “parking review” for the Junction area. When we covered the first briefing, the start date wasn’t set; we have since checked with Mary Catherine Snyder from the Seattle Department of Transportation, and she tells WSB the Junction parking review is scheduled to begin in September. But with the rising tide of Junction development, it’s clear that parking concerns are rising too, and fast. West Seattle Junction Association president Dave Montoure talked with WSB about that, and asked us to solicit your opinion on related issues – read on:Read More
FAUNTLEROY SCHOOLHOUSE: Finally got word from Seattle Public Schools about the date/time of the official public hearing on the district’s plan to sell the schoolhouse, mentioned at the community meeting 2 weeks ago (WSB coverage here): It’s not on the district website yet, but SPS spokesperson David Tucker tells WSB the hearing is set for 6:30 pm April 29, at the schoolhouse.
RESIDENTIAL PARKING ZONES: As mentioned in our coverage of the impending Junction-area parking review (most recent update here), there’s a chance RPZ’s would be considered for the residential neighborhoods around the business district, which already report major parking crunches because of “park-n-hiders” and construction workers. The city is now officially reviewing RPZ policy and inviting you to fill out this online survey.
COUNTY CHANGES: Did you know there’s a hearing in West Seattle tomorrow night on more than a dozen amendments proposed to the King County Charter? Might sound dry but on the other hand, some of ’em might affect your life (see the list here). We somehow managed not to hear about the hearing till Julie Enevoldsen (thank you!) told us about it this afternoon. 6:30 pm tomorrow, Emerald Room at The Hall at Fauntleroy.
As promised during our briefing last month with city Transportation Department managers about the upcoming Junction parking review, SDOT is starting to make the rounds of West Seattle meetings to outline what’s ahead and answer questions. One of the first stops: last night’s meeting of the Junction Neighborhood Organization (JuNO), whose members have a somewhat different take on area parking issues than people who don’t live in the Junction vicinity – they are interested in possible Residential Parking Zones (RPZs), which are marked with signs like the one shown in the photo at left (from a street near the Fauntleroy ferry dock), and require residents to pay a relatively small fee for a permit exempting them from the restrictions. Here’s a city page with more about RPZs; they’re set up to help neighborhoods besieged with a large amount of non-resident parkers for long periods of time. Right now in the residential areas surrounding The Junction, the challenges are twofold: “Park-and-hiders” — people from other neighborhoods who drive and park there to get closer to major bus routes — and construction workers coming in to work on Capco Plaza (41st/42nd/Alaska) and Mural (behind Petco), a subset of parkers that will only get bigger as other projects are launched, such as Fauntleroy Place (Whole Foods) and the California/Alaska buildings that will be presented to the Southwest Design Review Board on April 10. (By the way, the location for that meeting is now set — Chief Sealth High School – and after the California/Alaska project is reviewed at 6:30, the Harbor Properties project at 4550 38th has been added for 8 pm — more on that in our next post.) At JuNO last night, Mary Catherine Snyder from SDOT outlined the process for the Junction Parking Review and answered questions about where RPZ consideration might fit in:Read More
WSB EXCLUSIVE: The city Transportation Department invited reporters to a briefing downtown this morning announcing a new program to evaluate and potentially revise parking in several Seattle neighborhoods, including The Junction — and those revisions could even include a return to paid street parking. Other media invitees were no-shows, so your editor here got an exclusive briefing and a chance to ask SDOT all the questions we could think of. Most important thing you need to know: SDOT says the process of assessing the Junction parking situation, coming up with recommendations, and implementing them, will take a full year, and the clock on that doesn’t start ticking till later this year — but you can start having a say NOW. (Other West Seattle neighborhoods will get the same sort of review within the next few years; more on that ahead too.) Read More