Pay parking in The Junction? One way to directly have your say

Almost every time we report on this, it draws a mini-crowd of people worried about the prospect of city-managed pay parking in The Junction. Here’s your big chance to have a say directly in person: The first “walking tour” of the study zone has just been set. And it’s on a weekend, to maximize your chance of participating. Just RSVP, and then show up. Here’s the announcement we just got from Dante Taylor, who’s working on the West Seattle Junction parking study for the city Transportation Department:

SDOT will conduct a walking tour of the West Seattle Junction next Saturday, February 28 from 12 pm to 2 pm. This is an opportunity for you, community members and me, the project manager, to meet and identify parking concerns in the Junction area. We will walk around parts of the Junction that are within the outreach boundary and make note of any areas where you feel the parking study should focus. I will have maps of the outreach area so that you can take notes. Please note that we may not need the full two hours, but it would be helpful if you were available during this time just in case.

Let’s plan to meet at the Cupcake Royale at the northeast corner of Alaska and California. If you have any questions or comments, please let me know.

E-mail Dante at or call him, 206-684-8186. To catch up on the Junction parking-review background, check out our coverage archive (newest to oldest).

24 Replies to "Pay parking in The Junction? One way to directly have your say"

  • Mike February 20, 2009 (4:27 pm)

    Sure, if they want businesses to lose business and shut down. Nobody wants to pay for parking to get a Subway sandwich or pick up a bag of dog food.

  • Dante' Taylor February 20, 2009 (4:29 pm)

    Hi All. I’m Dante’ Taylor, Project Manager for the West Seattle Junction Parking Study. I want to encourage your participation in this project by attending a walking tour of the Junction or participating on our Project Committee.

    I also want to reiterate that SDOT has not made any recommendations or proposals for what kinds of parking management tools would be useful in the Junction. Along with community feedback, we use the data collected in the parking study to inform our proposals, and data collection has not yet begun. I am happy to answer any questions you have regarding the study or ways to get involved. You can reach me at or at 206-684-8186.

  • Bonnie February 20, 2009 (4:30 pm)

    I’ll just go somewhere else to shop if there is pay parking. When I go to the junction it’s usually just a quick stop. There used to be pay parking in the junction though years ago. I remember checking out J.F. Henry when I was getting married (16 years ago in their old location where Friends & Co. is now) and they had pay parking. I didn’t have any change on me so I just risked a ticket.

  • marty February 20, 2009 (5:06 pm)

    The businesses are already having a tough enough time without adding parking charges. I guess when the city/state promised “no new taxes” that didn’t include new service fees. Clever…

  • The Doggg Father February 20, 2009 (5:07 pm)

    I live just off the Junction, and after 5:00pm and on the weekends parking on my street clears up on my street and there isn’t an issue. My concern is that everyone will start parking in front of my place, and I don’t have any other parking options. If they do go to pay parking (and they will) I hope they make the surrounding street permit parking so I don’t have to park 4 blocks away and hike up the hill.

    The whole parking situation seems to be fine now, even with the lot behind West 5 going to pay parking. Give us a break government, this really isn’t the time to put this in place.

  • celeste17 February 20, 2009 (5:19 pm)

    I don’t mind paying for parking. It seems most of the time when I need a spot on the street I can’t find one. Who is to say how long a car has been in the spot if we don’t monitor the spots. There are the parking lots behind the stores for those who don’t want to pay for parking on the streets.

  • Multi-Modal guy February 20, 2009 (6:16 pm)

    If previous SDOT efforts to impose paid parking are any indication, I wouldn’t expect that your input will mean much at these meetings if you oppose paid parking (though I would be very happy indeed to be proved wrong on what I believe to be amply justified cynicism regarding SDOT’s sincerity when they say they haven’t made their minds up on the issue).

  • jeannie February 20, 2009 (8:15 pm)

    I agree with Multi-Modal guy. The LAST thing small businesses need is parking fees. Don’t let the SDOT steamroll over what’s best for small businesses and their customers!

  • squareeyes February 20, 2009 (8:31 pm)

    I truly don’t mind the idea of paying to park at the Junction however, I’m most concerned about the rate the city might charge. Downtown just increased the rates from $1.50 an hour to $2.50 an hour. That’s just unacceptable to me. If the rates are reasonable I won’t complain. But after this downtown increase, I don’t trust the city to be reasonable with neighborhood rates.

  • beerhound February 20, 2009 (11:16 pm)

    Ya, lets make everyone pay to park and screw over the already hurting businesses. I’m sure Petco, Lee’s Asian, Jak’s will all love seeing their customers go away. Good call SDOT! OOOO, how about we add in some 8 bicycle parking unit that’ll never be used by more than 3 bikes at a time, OR waste more money on road paint to paint images of bicycles in the road to make it “a bike lane” which is the most unsafe bike lane I’ve ever seen, you might as well just throw them under the 56 route bus and call it good.

  • alki_2008 February 21, 2009 (1:28 am)

    If it’s a matter of how long a car has been parked in a spot, then how about time limit parking (without fees)…ie, 2 hour parking limit between 7am-6pm? That would prevent bus-riders from parking their cars all day to catch the bus at the junction…and it would allow the stores’ already dwindling customers to park and still have time to shop.
    Personally, I haven’t had any troubles finding a parking spot when shopping in the Junction. Sometimes I’d have to park a bit further from my destination store than I’d like, but my walking distance is probably as much as if I parked, walked to the pay machine, and then walked back to my car to put the sticker in the window.
    If pay parking is instituted in the Junction, then I will do more shopping at Westwood when I do my grocery shopping.

  • 56bricks February 21, 2009 (8:44 am)

    The proposed pay parking extends south to West Seattle Nursery and 3 blocks either side of California. Does the “Junction” end up somewhere near Southcenter? Looks like West Seattle merchants will be paying for your gas to shop there.

  • Paul Smithe February 21, 2009 (8:58 am)

    Ummmm….pay parking in the Junction? Let’s just take a second to look at this. This is an area with enormous potential that already has quite a large problem attracting customers. There are few businesses anyone would actually want go to, the mix of restaurants is all wrong, there is no decent bookstore, only one decent coffeehouse…and to this mix pay parking is to be added?

    Personally, I’m already rather nonplussed by the Junction and West Seattle in general. This is an area of the city that has enormous potential to become a Portland-style cohesive neighborhood, yet little follow-through. Development of the Junction has been horrible, the mix of businesses is all wrong, and where are the condos that people would actually want to live in?

    If the Junction is to become a place people want to go to we need to ask ourselves how this can be accomplished. The first step in this is asking why it is some of these businesses even exist–and some very much need to go. Too many nail salons no one goes to, too many terrible restaurants, too many bookstores with books no one would buy (you all know what I’m speaking of), and only one schizophrenic toy store? Hmmmm….sounds like a winning recipe.

    Pay parking in the Junction? This West Seattle resident will use this as an excuse to drive into downtown Seattle. I think quite a few others will as well.

  • 100KGSD4WS February 21, 2009 (9:58 am)

    Paul Smite – You’ve got your wires crossed. I don’t know of any other place I (or my 100,000 German Shepherds) would go to get cupcakes, records, a burrito and maybe a churro, some wonderful chocolates, vitamins, fresh bread, great pizza, the best microbrew around, vitamins, hats, a sleeper sofa, a good tantric yoga workout, deposit my check / make a withdrawl, a pack of smokes, thai food, oysters, pet supplies, great indian food buffet with the greatest bartender in West Seattle (Josh!), the best steak anywhere, and more tequila than we could drink. You’re in West Seattle, not Portland, by the way. You southerners always try to bring your changes up here but we don’t roll like that; we’re uniquer than you people and have a vital interest about what more than 7 people are doing in the junction! I like the fact that it is so challenging to park there because it makes me walk further when I have to park 3 blocks away and that is good for me, good for my health, so I say to you “for your health!”. Cheers!

  • KateMcA February 21, 2009 (10:32 am)

    I don’t live downtown because I don’t want to pay for parking. I think SDOT’s whole idea is entirely unnecessary and comes at an unfair time to lay more burdens on businesses in the area. This WILL drive away customers who are already tightening their belts. If they have to add $2.50 an hour to whatever business it is that they have at the Junction, chances are they will just stay home.

  • cakeitseasy February 21, 2009 (11:08 am)

    Aren’t there more fair ways to create revenue?

    If paid parking is introduced in the Junction, may as well head back downtown (better selection for my parking dollar) or south. There are just somethings you can’t haul around on the bus, or don’t have time to haul around on the bus that has a limited schedule and route. Note to SDOT: lack of rapid transit, lack of *frequent* transit,lack of reliable transit, lack of efficient transit, PLUS parking fees, equals many frustrated, angry citizens who don’t get out about town as much, and encourages us to gravitate to mall areas. Seattle is not Manhattan. We won’t surrender our car culture without an efficient alternative. Our geography and lack of infrastructure demands more creative solutions. Bullying citizens with restrictive and expensive parking fees in an area with limited alternatives, is not the answer.

  • Al February 21, 2009 (2:23 pm)

    cakeitseasy I agree with you. If we had better and more frequent bus service to/from the Junction and around WS (including Alki to Westwood stopping in a “loop” at major destination points) this would be easier to swallow. The neighborhoods that recently lost free parking, Fremont and I think some area(s) in Ballard have very good, frequent & diverse transit routes already. We have only one transit route on Saturdays, the 128, that travels California only. While I take it every so often, it’s just not convenient most of the time. I also deplore this because there’s currently ample free parking along Alaska Way. Get rid of that free parking area first, then come talk about West Seattle. I’d love more and better bike racks myself-in the summer they are frequently full, esp. around the Farmer’s Market.

  • MAS February 21, 2009 (8:51 pm)

    I’ll consider shopping at the Junction again if they start charging for parking. It’s too big of a pain trying to find somewhere within 5 blocks of where I’m going as it is now.

  • Dano Beal February 22, 2009 (1:46 am)

    Hey….. Why not put the parking meters on the Admiral Way hill, where everyone leaves their vehicles “for sale”?…. Make money and get rid of a real eye sore (and safety nightmare…) at the same time!

  • Dano Beal February 22, 2009 (1:49 am)

    Are the local business people putting any effort into stopping the parking meters?….. They are the ones who will reap the negativity of all this. Sad for the junction folks….. but I will have no problem going to shop elsewhere….Where parking is free.

  • 100KGSD4WS February 22, 2009 (8:49 am)

    Why take this out on the junction business owners? We should stand behind them and pledge to continue doing business there. If it will cost $1.50 or $2.50 to park, so be it. Seems to me we’d look for more things to do while the meter runs down, and help the business folks in our community. Maybe get a nice ice cream from Husky Deli, take a dance lesson at Kathy’s and maybe learn something new, go see a play, check out some nice art, have a margarita, suck down some sushi, pick up your prescription of anxiety medication, get a new pair of prescription glasses, read a book, get the best macaroni and cheese anywhere, buy an antique, stock up on liquor, get into model trains, or get a beginners electronics kit. There is absolutely something for everyone in the West Seattle Junction!

  • ss February 22, 2009 (10:38 am)

    i don’t mind paying for parking. but where is the money going to go? does west seattle parking money stay in west seattle? maybe if it did people would feel different about it.

    i do think that the SDOT asking for feedback is just a gesture and their going to do what they want to do regardless, just like making fauntleroy 2 lanes.

  • Allie February 23, 2009 (1:17 pm)

    Some might find this an interesting read:
    The Myth of the Urban Driving Shoppers

    It’s talking about specifically NYC and San Fran but I thought it presented some compelling ideas.

    And for those who think the City will put in paid parking no matter what, let me point you to the recent study done on Upper Queen Anne. While there will be changes (Changing unrestricted parking to time-limited parking, New 2 hour time limits, etc) they opted not to put in paid parking at this time because they didn’t think it would be an effective solution.

    Full disclosure: I work at SDOT but not in the Parking division.

  • cakeitseasy February 25, 2009 (11:01 am)

    Allie, I read the SF link, and while it does bring up some interesting points, the fact is they used two cities with the strongest public transit in the country. Most people in NYC don’t even own a car for pete’s sake! Of course they’d favor more sidewalk space. The whole city is structured around apartment dwellers (delivery services abound). More and more people get around with transit in SF as well. You don’t need a car to navigate those cities, so street parking isn’t a priority vs pedestrians. In Seattle…it’s impossible to get around the city *efficiently* without a car and someplaces are virtually inaccesible without a car. I can’t walk a couple of blocks and pick up some milk like I can almost anywher in SF or NYC. If people are forced out of their cars (i.e. the snow storm) then we notice more people out on foot, but only because most of us couldn’t get off our ‘island’ for a week, and we’re getting cabin fever, and needed something to do.

    The way to increase pedestrian traffic is to create a ‘mall'(close off streets and provide a central parking area) or efficient rapid transit. Or…a snow storm that cuts of WS from the rest of the city. AND more local businesses (mini-marts, restaurants, coffe shops and other services) scattered around the the neighborhood, not just concentrated on one strip that is a mile away from where many people live). This is how things used to be. Have you noticed how many old store fronts there are around West Seattle that have been converted to other uses over the decades? The U-Haul place used to be a Safeway, an area that misses a grocery store today.

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