Junction parking-review tour #2: If you build it, they will park

The city is studying Junction-area parking right now – but area businesspeople and residents are worried the study’s results will be out-of-date as area developments (like almost-done Mural, above) start to open. That’s one of the issues that emerged at midday today during the second — and likely final — walking tour offered as the city Transportation Department‘s Junction parking study begins in earnest. The dozen-strong tour group included the project manager, Dante Taylor (at center in the photo above), his SDOT colleague Mary Catherine Snyder, Junction businesspeople, residents, and leaders of two Junction churches.

As did the first tour on February 28 (WSB coverage here), this one focused on the blocks away from California Avenue SW – read on for photos of what was seen, and toplines on what was discussed:

That block along SW Edmunds, looking westbound toward California, may have the most posted restrictions of any block in the immediate Junction business district. The question is whether the existing restrictions throughout the area are enforced well enough, before anything else is brought online, some tour participants suggested. Nearby business owner Meryl Alcabes of Sleepers in Seattle declared flatly, “Bringing back parking meters would be a disaster.” She has been in business in The Junction since 1991 and therefore remembers the time before the old meters were removed; she told a story about losing a sale because a customer looked through her store’s expansive front windows and saw his car getting ticketed.

Another major concern: What will parking be like once the current and future construction projects in The Junction are done? For example – this lot along 42nd is part of the two-building Conner project site:

That project is currently proposed for 198 residential units and a 307-space underground garage. Mural, immediately to the south along 42nd, is being built with 136 units and about that many parking spaces. Further down 42nd SW is Capco Plaza/Altamira Apartments with 157 apartments (we’re still checking on the number of parking spaces) and the future construction site at 4532 42nd (35 units and 54 spaces), as well as this project:

That’s 4502 42nd SW, at the corner of Oregon, which hasn’t gone all the way through the Design Review process yet. It’s currently proposed for 89 units and 121 vehicles. It’s of particular interest to two tour participants from Hope Lutheran Church and School to the north, which has had its own construction project under way:

Hope’s Pastor Keith Eilers was on today’s tour, along with the interim administrator of Hope’s school, Bob Matthews (who recently shared this tribute here on WSB). The pastor of nearby Holy Rosary Catholic Church, Father John Madigan, was also on the tour, and spoke with the SDOT reps about safety concerns from a much-used alley that runs along the church’s west side, just half a block east of California:

Fr. Madigan (in the cap) also talked about the increased pressure on street parking near Holy Rosary’s church/school campus because of increased housing density nearby, like the townhouses on the left side of this photo:

This walking tour, and the one in February, were aimed at helping identify “priority blocks” for the formal “data collection” portion of the study – Taylor says that’s not likely to start until May. He didn’t anticipate scheduling another walking tour unless there’s a clamor for it, since participation in these was relatively light, but he is open to the idea, so if you couldn’t participate in either of these two but would be interested in joining a third, e-mail him: JunctionParking@seattle.gov – that’s also the address to use for any and all comments on the future of Junction-area parking and whether you’d support or oppose possible changes, such as pay stations, Residential Parking Zones, and/or additional restrictions.

8 Replies to "Junction parking-review tour #2: If you build it, they will park"

  • Denny March 18, 2009 (10:56 pm)

    insert conner apartment numbers & spaces?

  • Denny March 18, 2009 (10:57 pm)

    sorry, I mean Capco

  • WSB March 18, 2009 (11:09 pm)

    Sorry, got interrupted by a crisis mid-research moment and shouldn’t have hit “publish.” Thanks for pointing it out – TR

  • cleverblognameTBD March 18, 2009 (11:18 pm)

    Did you see where the mayor put in a request to purchase over $400,000 worth of parking meters as part of the run on “economic stimulus” funds. (March 4, Seattle Weekly). Hmmm, study then buy or buy and fake study?

  • MellyMel March 19, 2009 (2:18 am)

    Yeah, the sad truth is:
    enforcement of rules = ongoing increased cost with some increased revenue (from tickets)

    new parking meters/pay stations = one time cost with increased revenue

  • JEM March 19, 2009 (11:10 am)

    I just can’t wait for Mural to open since their parking garage opens to the alley that is already a nightmare to navigate. Someone is going to get hit as they leave Rocksport or the dance studio when someone flies out of the alley. They should turn it into a one-way alley to alleviate the problems of people trying to enter the alley when others are trying to leave – neither entrance is wide enough for two way traffic.

  • Meryl Alcabes March 19, 2009 (12:15 pm)

    Thanks, West Seattle Blog, for the excellent coverage of the Junction area parking tour.

    I haven’t heard one merchant in the Junction say that they believe we should bring back the parking meters. After all, who benefits from parking meters? The City of Seattle. It is a potentially lucrative source of income for the city. We should be encouraging customers to shop locally, by offering them free parking, not forcing them to scrounge for change to feed to the city, or, worse, to pay an expensive parking ticket. How can that possibly be good for our local businesses?

    We have limited parking in the Junction, and the city already benefits from anyone who gets a fine for staying too long. That should be enough. The City of Seattle should not try and balance their budget on the backs of Junction customers.

    Meryl Alcabes
    Sleepers In Seattle

  • Ron March 19, 2009 (5:31 pm)

    Our City (non) Government just doesn’t get it! They keep giving people reasons to shop outside the City. Parking meters, reducing the number of traffic lanes on main arterials. We avoid the area and shop in White Center or Burien, less hassles.

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