Pay stations in The Junction? Everything’s on the table


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.)

It’s officially called the Community Parking Program. The official SDOT news release says it “will engage neighborhood organizations to develop specific parking improvements that balance the competing on-street needs of customers, businesses, residents, and employees.” The Junction is one of six Seattle neighborhoods that the program will target in its first year (the others are Denny Triangle, Fremont, Upper Queen Anne, Uptown Triangle, Pike-Pine); three other West Seattle neighborhoods are scheduled for the more-distant future — Morgan Junction in 2010, Admiral in 2011, Alki in 2012.

If you’re wondering “why The Junction first?” — SDOT’s Mary Catherine Snyder says the agency “hasn’t worked in the West Seattle Junction for a while” — at least not as far as parking is concerned — “and haven’t studied it comprehensively, especially with all the development.” (Certainly, the parking picture has changed in the years since meters were removed; while the Junction Association has maintained free lots behind major business blocks — which Snyder described as “a great asset” — some parking clusters in and around the area have turned into paid parking managed by companies such as Diamond.)

The SDOT managers who briefed WSB this morning stress that there are no decisions yet – they insist that your opinion will factor heavily into the eventual decisions SDOT makes – but they also say all options are on the table for dealing with parking in neighborhoods like The Junction – paid parking, loading-zone changes, time-limit changes, residential parking zones.

They also have yet to decide the boundaries of the area that will be reviewed in The Junction, and say that also will result from community discussions that will begin when the program officially kicks off sometime between July and September. The reason they’re talking about it now, they say, even without any specifics of what exactly will be done and where, is because they want you to “be thinking about parking” — what do you think works, what doesn’t work, what would you change or improve.

They’re honest about the fact that the city is trying to encourage more people to get out of single-occupant cars, and the fact that this is a tough transition time — with transit still not convenient enough to truly sway many people to take that big lifestyle step. Though Metro’s RapidRide route in West Seattle is still 3 years away, SDOT says a separate package of bus improvements — more service, more often — is being presented to the King County Council today, and they say they are working closely with their counterparts at the county to be sure that the “big picture” is being looked at as transit and parking changes come in together (one big question mark that could intertwine with Junction parking changes is whether RapidRide will follow the existing 54 route or possibly travel along California between Alaska and Edmunds, which would take away some existing street parking; that Metro decision is to be made soon).

Next steps: As soon as SDOT decides exactly when the Junction leg of the Community Parking Program will begin, they’ll announce it (you’ll hear it here as soon as that announcement happens) and will get the word out with mailings to affected neighborhoods, too. They expect that to be this July, August, or September. The first month will be designated for “kickoff”; months 2-3 for studying the existing parking situation and possible changes — Snyder says the studying will involve a “parking consultant” that SDOT is hiring right now, with specific assessments focused on counting how many cars are parked where at certain times of day, and how fast they turn over. They also plan “walking tours” with business owners and residents when it’s time to evaluate the parking situation, and community meetings.

After the study period is over, months 4-7 will be used to draft and propose initial recommendations; months 8-9 for decisionmaking; months 10-12 for putting changes into place. So whatever turns out to be the result of this process, you won’t see it in action before summer-fall of next year.

If you’re looking at past history for what might be ahead here — the official SDOT brochure for this program touts changes in other neighborhoods, such as added paid parking in Uptown/Lower Queen Anne, added paid parking and “parking directional signs” in Ballard, a pedestrian walking map in Beacon Hill, and expansion of Residential Parking Zones in Pike-Pine. Some Junction residents have been inquiring about RPZs because of so-called “park-and-hiders” — people who drive to The Junction and leave their car on the street in neighborhoods all day after catching buses to worksites outside WS. Snyder says they won’t know if that’ll be part of this process until they lay out the boundaries for the area that will be included in the review and changes.

Again, SDOT says they welcome questions and/or comments about Junction parking now, even in the very early stage of planning, and Snyder says the best thing to do is to contact her:

You can also talk with her in person at the Junction Neighborhood Organization meeting she is slated to attend March 11 (more info on the JuNO website) as part of early outreach on the future parking changes. And the Community Parking Program has its own section of the SDOT website; check it out here (you can sign up for e-mail alerts too).

55 Replies to "Pay stations in The Junction? Everything's on the table"

  • jiggers February 21, 2008 (2:43 pm)

    Installing paid-parking meters in Junction will discourage people from driving over and spend money at their favorite busnesses they support. It will definetley hurt Junction business.

  • Al February 21, 2008 (2:53 pm)

    Thank you for this information and for making sure that it’s been said that this could effect WS heavily due to the fact that the bus service is in itself lagging behind and that people still need to drive much of the time (need, not choose to, much of the time). Parked cars will move to the close neighborhoods.

  • Jen V. February 21, 2008 (3:22 pm)

    Wow. Are they TRYING to kill the Junction? First they take away parking behind Petco, now this? Fugeddaboudit! I am moving to Burien the second they put pay parking in West Seattle! :(

  • coffee geek February 21, 2008 (3:35 pm)

    Pay to park is all over the city. Last I checked, we live in west SEATTLE. If a couple bucks to park financially discourages a night out on Cal Ave, you’d probably be better off saving that money anyway. Better yet, ride your bike!

  • Kayleigh February 21, 2008 (3:51 pm)

    I don’t have a bike.

    I’m not interested in buying a bike.

    Even if I bought a bike, I wouldn’t ride it when it is 35 degrees, pitch dark and raining on a Saturday night when I am dressed nicely for dinner and with friends or a date (maybe my companions could ride on the handlebars?)

    I hate paying for parking…the ultimate waste of money.

  • nunya February 21, 2008 (3:52 pm)

    “they” did not take the parking from behind Petco, the Monorail Authority had to condemn it to buy the parcel. Then the property was sold, much like the “Denny’s” in Ballard. I pay to park all over the city and I have no problem paying $3.00 for two hours, much like Queen Anne, Capitol Hill and Downtown.

  • CMP February 21, 2008 (3:54 pm)

    SDOT is just looking for another way to make money off all of the new development in West Seattle. Install some real parking meters and charge $1.00/hour or less and I’d be fine with that. But those new parking contraptions that issue tickets are the worst idea ever and so inconvenient. At least with real meters, people would know how to park their cars properly and not take up two spaces!

  • m February 21, 2008 (3:55 pm)

    Paid parking would definitely discourage a lot of folks from hitting the junction. That’s why I avoid going downtown or to Capital Hill during the day. It’s a pain in the @ss. Those stupid pay stations need to accept bills instead of just change or credit cards. Who the hell has $3.00 worth of change on them?? People going to the laundromat, but that’s about it.

    And not everyone can ride a bike- it’s not a practical transportation solution for everyone out there.

  • squareeyes February 21, 2008 (4:43 pm)

    I don’t mind paying to park, and I love the convenience of being able to use my debit card in the newer meters, however the city needs to go back to painting parking lines on the street. The number of times I’ve lost out on a spot because of road hogs…!
    SDOT recently added meters in South Lake Union and the cost is cheaper than downtown. If we get metered parking in WS I hope that SDOT does the same here.

  • Brian February 21, 2008 (4:48 pm)

    Paid parking isn’t going to do much in terms of discouraging business if they keep it reasonable. You practially have to kill someone for a parking spot in belltown and you’ll pay $8 for an evening. The more popular the junction becomes the more revenue the city is going to need to support the growth.

  • m February 21, 2008 (4:52 pm)

    Whatev. 2 or 3 bucks to park is fine with me.

  • Want some cheese with that Whine? February 21, 2008 (5:01 pm)

    Jiggers- You’re wrong, the Junction will not suffer
    Jen V- Good luck in Burien. Don’t let the door hit you where… (you know the rest)
    CMP-I think the parking stickers are great because you can move your car and park somewhere else within the 2 hour time period
    M- I keep an empty M&Ms mini tube in my car which holds more than $10 in quarters (and they smell like chocolate)

  • Bonnie February 21, 2008 (5:01 pm)

    I just won’t go to the junction anymore if I had to pay for parking. People would probably just park in front of people’s home and walk a block or two.

  • Indaknow February 21, 2008 (5:05 pm)

    The Alaska junction used to have metered parking. I think it was taken away in the 90s sometime. Like anyone else, I prefer free parking, but I’ll reluctantly adjust. Free parking was taken away in the neighborhood I work (Lake Union) a few months ago, so this is not surprising to me.

  • John M. February 21, 2008 (5:43 pm)

    Hey, come on. We have to pay for the WS trolley somehow. And if you don’t pay, they will get you on the new “parking cameras”.

  • chas redmond February 21, 2008 (6:10 pm)

    And, I’d be willing to bet that the parking hours would be 6am to 6pm – same as everywhere else, so it really wouldn’t affect dinner plans which included dinner-and-a-car at the Junction. Or, heck, just park down on 45th and walk up the hill, good exercise.

  • Ron Burgundy February 21, 2008 (6:22 pm)

    Who knows, pretty soon you may have to pay to park on your own street.

  • Alki Res. February 21, 2008 (6:49 pm)

    Metered parking killed the junction… now they want to bring it back when the junction is doing very well?!?! I can’t imagine the businesses would be in favor of this BAD idea!! I vote NO!

  • bn February 21, 2008 (7:26 pm)

    Keep in mind, the West Seattle Junction Association, meaning the Junction businesses, pay for all the free parking lots behind the buildings. West Seattle is the only business district with free off street parking for customers. Even if SDOT charges for street parking, the Junction parking lots will still be free. So pay $2 bucks and park in front; too cheap to pay, park behind. Big deal. This will have little impact on businesses; people all over Seattle readily pay for parking both on and off the street.

  • pecan February 21, 2008 (8:26 pm)

    Cheese Whine: can you move your car within the two hours? I thought you had to move at least one block away if you move your car once you pay, or maybe that’s just if you “feed the meter”/restick from the paystation.

  • Denny February 21, 2008 (8:29 pm)

    I want to drive my car to right in front of the one store/restaurant I am going to in the Junction, park for free and stay as long as I want.
    I want to park in the old Petco lot even if I never shopped there.
    And if I can’t have that, I’m boycotting all things West Seattle and driving to Southcenter where I can complain about the traffic as I circle the ClaimJumper’s parking lot waiting for the one spot out front.
    Man I love this town and my whiny neighbors!

  • old timer February 21, 2008 (8:45 pm)

    Kind of insidious, the way they drain a neighborhood’s individuality isn’t it? First they ramp up the density, then they make it ‘necessary’ to meter spaces for parking, and of course, they will not offer anything remotely resembling a useful public transit within West Seattle option.

    Well, I guess some of us will find a way to scrounge up some more money to pay for what used to be free.

    As to the rest, well, I guess from the above comments, we don’t really care about those who can’t ‘keep up’ do we?

  • Cheese Whine February 21, 2008 (10:00 pm)

    Pecan, check out this old Getting There from the P-I.

    Katherine Casseday, director of traffic management for the SDOT is quoted, “..They can keep the receipt and park somewhere else within the allotted time without paying again, and they now get a printed receipt.”

  • Bonnie February 21, 2008 (11:03 pm)

    I just saw this on the news and they mentioned pay parking on Alki Beach too. Now I won’t go to the beach.

  • WSB February 21, 2008 (11:17 pm)

    Bonnie, I mentioned in the story that Alki will be assessed … in a few years. Pay is an option, but SDOT says nothing is even remotely set in stone for any of these areas. As also mentioned above, I was the only reporter who bothered to show up for the briefing downtown this morning so unless they had another one with a different set of invitees later in the day – take anything else you hear, particularly West Seattle-specific, with a grain of salt – included above is absolutely everything SDOT had to say plus a lot of info from all the questions I got to ask, having an exclusive audience.

  • lala February 21, 2008 (11:46 pm)

    Idiots. One big thing that gets people to come here? Let’s end it.

    Effing idiots. Um, why do people come here, now of all times? I see people with their Zone Parking stickers on their cars coming to our small farmer’s market. Think they’ll come once there’s meters?

    We seem to be the last burg in Seattle that you don’t have to shell out a ten dollar investment just to check out.

    Effing idiots.

  • grr February 21, 2008 (11:50 pm)

    let’s see..I can wait 45 minutes to catch the 22 if I miss one, then take 20-30 just to get to the junction, or I can get in my car and be their in 15. I’ll pay the $2 to park, damnit…..

    and I BET they don’t create any ‘motorcycle only’ spots….

    Next thing you know, some historical board is going to come along and declare the Huling Building an Arcitiectural Landmark….oh wait..they have wait til AFTER someone pays $15mil for it….

  • Gary C February 21, 2008 (11:51 pm)

    This just sounds like one more way for the city to take money out of my pocket, thats all this new program is about.

  • Deeno February 21, 2008 (11:57 pm)

    I read with great anticipation and interest the possibility of the Junction and other parts of West Seattle getting ‘metered parking.’ I have been waiting for a long time to finally get my turn at contributing to the ‘greening of Seattle’ and the opportunity to finally chip in my fair share of revenue to city coffers.

    I’m also sure the Junction merchants are looking at this possibility with elation as well. This is just the ticket to get them through the recession that no one thinks is here and to encourage patrons to drive around the block several times when the back lots are full.

    I can’t wait to put some M and M tubes with quarters in my car that smell like chocolate like ‘Cheese with that Whine?’ It will be so fun to drive around and look for places to use them, and to help my city at the same time. Gee, I hope they don’t melt.

    Since SDOT has now solved all the pavement and pothole issues in WS, it’s high time for us to give some of our money back to promote the recognition of the most green city in America.

    Fortunately for us, our public transportation is up to the challenge, so this shouldn’t cause a problem for anyone getting around at all. With convenient schedules to almost everywhere and a minimum of ‘badboy’ activity on our busses, it should be a breeze getting around. Wait til we get the monorail finished, then we’ll really have it easy! RapidRide here we come!

    I for one am happy to help our Mayor get the next international award for the greenest city in the world. Paid parking is a small price to pay for everyone else in the world thinking we are so cool! With the addition of paid parking, we can finally complete our legitimacy into the world of ‘urban villages.’

    I wish we had more public servants like him and Mary Catherine Snyder to guide us through these troubled times with such far-sighted ideas. Just think of all the other creative solutions they could offer us mere ordinary tax-paying citizens to make our lives easier.

    Remember, the key to success in any local community can be achieved, one parking meter at a time.

  • acemotel February 22, 2008 (2:30 am)

    Deeno, righton! :-))

    I wouldn’t mind paying for parking, as long as the city was doing its part to support us in our quest to reduce our carbon footprints.

    But really. Will the bus schedules be adjusted to provide convenient transit to urban centers? By convenient, I mean a bus every 10 minutes on every route. It may sound like luxury to us mass-transit neophytes in Seattle, but that’s a standard schedule elsewhere.

    Will the city require condos, townhomes and sf residences to have at least two parking spaces, to keep cars from parking on streets? Many older sf houses don’t even have one parking space, and these people must park on the streets. Incredibly, the city is reducing construction requirements for parking spaces.

    The city must give us OPTIONS instead of conducting social engineering experiments. I would get rid of my car in a heartbeat, without any regrets, if I had ANY reasonable options. I would gladly pay for the convenience of parking if I had an alternate choice of catching the bus. A trip to the Junction from North Admiral should not take all afternoon.

  • Nic February 22, 2008 (7:54 am)

    Capital Hill, S. Lake Union, Queen Anne all have something other then for-pay parking that West Seattle does; mass transit. The bus service with in West Seattle is horrible.

  • Bonnie February 22, 2008 (8:22 am)

    Well, I remember a few years ago they talked about paying for parking to go to Lincoln Park. That hasn’t happened yet.

  • Paul February 22, 2008 (8:38 am)

    I have to agree on the bus issue. I used to work on the east side for a large company who provided all employees free mass transit passes. I accepted the pass, and used the bus system, but it took me 1 hour and 30 minutes each way to get to work and back home, and if traffic was bad due to a game, then the trip home was more like 2 1/2 hours or more. I hate driving, but I just couldn’t afford to loose 3-5 hours a day on a bus. Now I work here in West Seattle, and love it. But when I have to run errands, I have to drive because the bus system is horrible. If we had a better system, I would never drive. I can’t understand why we talk about it, vote on it, etc, etc and nothing happens.

  • LA in the Junction February 22, 2008 (9:10 am)

    Gah! Chas, it is NOT helpful for you to suggest that people park on 45th and walk up to the Junction…ie: right in front of my house. If I had a dollar for every time someone blocked my driveway or parked me in all day by “parking and hiding” as they take the bus to downtown, I could freaking afford to use the pay meters in the Junction and leave my street to all the rest of you.

    I’m not a NIMBY — street parking belongs to all — but it doesn’t “solve” the parking problem or make Seattle any greener or earn any revenue for the city to simply shift more single-occupancy vehicles into residential neighborhoods. Half the time I can’t even back out of my driveway because someone has “created a space” inches from the opening. And that’s without pay parking in the Junction.

    Any comprehensive parking revamp in the Junction will have to include residential parking zones if there is a move to pay parking in the business core. Anything less will be a nightmare for those of us who call this fine neighborhood home.

    Anyway, thanks WSB for this report…you can bet I’ll be weighing in with MaryCatherine in the year to come.

  • grr February 22, 2008 (9:14 am)

    Paul..I still commute from WS to Redmond every day. NEVER takes less than an hour either way, and usually 90 minutes on the way home (longer if there’s a game in town.

    I tried the bus once with my ‘free pass’. Never again.

  • A.M. February 22, 2008 (9:19 am)

    What’s the big deal? How about riding the bus to the Junction and help the environment. Let’s save the premium parking spots on the ave for our elderly drivers.

  • A February 22, 2008 (9:26 am)

    This is a pity. Free parking is a major feature of West Seattle and makes it really easy to get around and shop. I live just far enough away from the junction that walking, while possible is an major event so I’ll make a quick drive to pick something up at the farmer’s market or a gift from one of the stores. If I have to pay for parking, I might as well go to a big grocery store or target.

    And I can’t tell if some of the “green” fans are kidding or not. Really. Pay parking is not going to solve global warming folks.

  • coffee geek February 22, 2008 (9:47 am)

    I see NIMBY igorance abound in this comment section. Again, WS is a neighborhood in SEATTLE. Most of the rest of the city has to deal with pay-to-park. What makes you any different? Frankly, upon moving here I was surprised Cal Ave had free parking….and I expected it to change sometime soon as the area grew. Again, if $2 to $3 to park keeps you away from spending your dough on Cal Ave, you’d be better off saving your money. For those that think free parking is a huge attraction bringing other city dwellers to our ‘hood for nightlife: Get real. Anyone who drives over the WS bridge for free parking is a moron. Better to save the gas and pay for parking.

  • m February 22, 2008 (9:54 am)

    I pay enough in local taxes and licensing fees so streets can be maintained. The street includes parking. To pay for parking on top of all this is ridiculous. And I’m not about to keep $10 worth of change in my car; my car would get broken into ten times more often than it already does.

  • m February 22, 2008 (9:55 am)

    Oh, and whoever is signing their comments as ‘m’ above- get a new name! I’ve been using ‘m’ for several months already and i’m not changing it.

  • coffee geek February 22, 2008 (10:03 am)

    m: 1) Get a debit card. Lighter and more convenient than coins. Very portable. Trust me. 2) Try finding another city as great as Seattle in the US that doesn’t make you pay to park. Best of luck. 3) I hope your name bandit relents.

  • RS February 22, 2008 (10:15 am)

    The whining is ridiculous. As someone commented earlier- the pay parking will only go until 6pm, so there will be plenty of free parking for the evening hours so no one will have to ride their bike to a hot dinner date. Stop whining about a dollar or two and just buy fewer expensive pastries and fancy coffee and housewares while you’re in the Junction. Please, it’s not like you people are using WIC dollars to buy bread and milk at those stores.

  • Luckie February 22, 2008 (11:03 am)

    Please don’t take away the free parking, please please please please. I love it so.

    (Not whining, just opining)

  • Kayleigh February 22, 2008 (11:37 am)

    Wow, thanks to these comments, I now am happy about paying for something I used to get for free.

    Maybe we could expand this concept and I could start to pay to use public restrooms or to walk on the sidewalk or to talk to a teller at my bank. Then I’d be even happier.

  • m February 22, 2008 (12:33 pm)

    Kayleigh, you actually can pay to use public restrooms in Seattle- remember the bright idea of spending $1 million on each of those fancy self-cleaning toilets the city installed a few years back? I know there is one on Broadway somewhere, if you dare to check it out. Don’t forget your quarters though. :)

  • MAS February 22, 2008 (1:44 pm)

    Yeah, when they start charging for parking, everyone stops going to a popular destination. It happens every time. Just look at …. um… Nowhere.

    I don’t go to the junction because I usually have to hunt and hunt for parking and it’s not worth it. Taking the bus to the Junction to visit one store is also not worth it.

    I see a lot of comments here about an “evening” at the Junction which wouldn’t be affected unless the city started charging for evening parking. Something they don’t do anywhere else.

    What the city should do is put parking in place and keep raising the price until occupancy starts to drop. At that point you’ve found the economic point at which you are charging the exact right amount for parking. Anything less is just the city subsidizing local businesses.


  • Jill February 22, 2008 (4:21 pm)

    I lived in the Ballard area when they changed parking on the street 1 blk. north of Market from free to metered (~9 yrs ago). It certainly didn’t keep me from the core shopping district. It just made me park in the closest free block, which probably isn’t good news to the people in the neighborhoods adjacent to the Junction. Sorry. :(

  • Barbara February 22, 2008 (5:09 pm)

    why are there so many comments that suggest that since Cap Hill, SOLU, Downtown Ballard all have pay parking we should have and be happy with pay parking also? I suppose if I wanted to live in an area like those areas I would have looked for a home in those areas.

  • Kayleigh February 23, 2008 (7:35 am)

    M, not without a huge can of Lysol(tm) would I use those particular restrooms. Ewwwwww ;-)

  • Resident February 23, 2008 (2:04 pm)

    Um, What about people who actually live at the junction and have to park on the street? And really…they fixed the potholes? Then what are those huge gaping holes in the road I have to dodge? And why are people saying that parking is a problem a the Junction-I’ve never had a problem.

  • JanS February 23, 2008 (3:40 pm)

    well…I have had a problem parking in the junction during the day. Yes, there are quite a few people who park on Calif. Ave. for the whole day while they’re working. I am disabled at the moment, and cannot walk long distances, so am always looking for that close in parking when I need to stop by the junction. One of the things that pay parking will do is perhaps free up some of those spots during the day, since the turnover will be 2 hours. I see nothing wrong with that, frankly. Yes, we like the free parking, but…things change, and we will get used to it.

  • grr February 24, 2008 (12:38 am)

    I’ll stop complaining about paying for parking when the FIX Fauntleroy and remove the Potholes From Hell.

  • BJ February 24, 2008 (1:15 pm)

    The parking on California Ave is 2hr already-they should be getting tickets if they’re there all day. Maybe they should put in a couple more handicap spots. But there really is no need to “free up” other spots as there is parking just a couple of blocks away, and there are already paid lots. It is totally unneccesary to put in paid street parking.

  • JM February 26, 2008 (12:51 pm)

    How about giving a fresh coat of paint to the lane markings on the lot behind the Petco first? People really have trouble figuring out how to angle their cars so they aren’t taking up 2 spaces or parking so close that the person next to them can’t get into their own car.

    Of course, this won’t solve the problem of people who are seriously inept at parking no matter how clear the lines, but at least it’s a start.

  • hiss March 10, 2008 (11:20 pm)

    coffee geek said: “Pay to park is all over the city. Last I checked, we live in west SEATTLE. If a couple bucks to park financially discourages a night out on Cal Ave, you’d probably be better off saving that money anyway. Better yet, ride your bike!”
    Have you even thought about the other residents of, as you put it, SEATTLE, coming here to spend money on our local businesses? The farmer’s market? Other places in SEATTLE, if you feel like coming to them, you have to figure in parking fees of $5 or more in whether you’d want to visit. Factor in the $3.50/gallon gas that you have to use to get here that you could be using it in to your commute to your job.
    And please. Stop with the bike argument. Let’s see, Ballard has a fine market. But I would never risk life and limb biking out to Ballard to go to their market. I’m all about biking around as much as you, I’m sure, but West Seattle is about as bike acccessible as Yakima.
    Paid parking plus the destruction of half the Junction as we know it so some development company can try and make some money (which they won’t) making this place a virtual ghost town while all the construction is going on – all our businesses closed or inaccessable while the destruction is going on… all this at the beginning of a recession? Yeah, let’s make people pay to visit the remaining open businesses.
    What makes WS is dying, and fast. We seemed like a friendly neighbordhood. Come visit, park for free, welcome.
    Now, pay $8 an hour in our lots to visit some crappy nail salon or Edward Jones that will be the only things inhabiting the retail levels of the condos/apts/townhouses in the heart of our area.
    And people who think that parking for an hour on a street in a place that we all held as a neighborhoodly place where you could get groceries at, you could buy your kid some toys at, a place where you could pick up that CD you’d been meaning to buy, where you could grab a latte, get your dog a toy, buy a used book you’d been wanting to read for a while, buy a gift for that baby shower you’re going to in a week, get some fancy hair accessory, deposit your check, grab a yummy cupcake just for fun, try on some consignment jeans… well, you don’t understand why this is so offensive.
    Remember your neighborhood when you were a kid? Did you have to PAY to enjoy it?

Sorry, comment time is over.