UPDATE: Harbor Avenue parking changes as Highway 99 tunnel transition approaches

ORIGINAL WEDNESDAY REPORT: With the Alaskan Way Viaduct closure (10 pm January 11th) nearing, it’s time to get down to even more details of changes both temporary and permanent. Tonight: Harbor Avenue parking for riders planning to use the West Seattle Water Taxi‘s doubled service. First, new signage noticed by Carolyn, who sent the photo:

SDOT tells WSB that the newly designated “carshare vehicles only” spaces are for Car2Go/ReachNow/LimePod (more on that new service tomorrow) vehicles, and that this is a permanent change.

As for temporary changes: Briefings have mentioned for months that there would be restrictions along the water side of Harbor Avenue near Seacrest, to facilitate more Water Taxi park-and-ride use. So we also asked SDOT’s Dawn Schellenberg about the newest details for those spaces. The current plan, she replied, is “to temporarily restrict on-street parking between 2 and 5 AM along Harbor Ave SW from Fairmount Ave SW to SW Spokane St. Current expectations are restrictions will last from January 11, 2019 until about mid-February, when the northbound off-ramp to Dearborn opens.”

As previously announced, an extra parking lot is also opening – as it did during the 2016 Viaduct closurePier 2 (entrance at Harbor/Florida, across from the Harbor Avenue 7-11), with a free shuttle to and from Seacrest, where the Water Taxi’s special two-boat, weekday-only schedule (except for the celebration weekend February 2-3) will continue all the way until seven-day spring/summer service begins in late March.

THURSDAY 6:38 PM: SDOT’s Schellenberg said late today that the information she gave us on Wednesday was inaccurate – the stretch of Harbor that will be restricted is actually from Maryland to Fairmount (map).

22 Replies to "UPDATE: Harbor Avenue parking changes as Highway 99 tunnel transition approaches"

  • Alison December 26, 2018 (11:46 pm)

    They should restrict construction workers from parking near water taxi as well. They can park on the other side of the condo they are building at the old Alki Tavern Location. 

    • Bill December 27, 2018 (9:06 am)

      Why would this make sense? Are construction workers a lower class of commuting workers? Are they not entitled to the rights and privileges of other workers? How does segregating them from parking for the taxi improve their commute situation?

  • Chuck December 26, 2018 (11:56 pm)

    And suddenly the city has found the excuse to enforce the (already in place) no parking law for the RVs. Funny how that works. 

    • John December 27, 2018 (7:54 pm)

      The RV’s don’t park in this area anyway. But they do need to do something about them.

      • alki_2008 December 30, 2018 (1:43 am)

        Actually, RV’s do park on “along Harbor Ave SW from Fairmount Ave SW to SW Spokane St
        I have noticed less of them in the past few weeks though.  Have also noticed a tent up on the embankment above the bike path though. That’s a new one. Not even covered by any plants, just plainly obvious and visible.

  • tracey December 27, 2018 (4:50 am)

    I find it frustrating that Harbor Avenue has become a park and ride for the water taxi.  When the city is imposing time restricted parking and pay parking everywhere else, harbor avenue continues to be exempt.  Even our Junction lots are in jeopardy due to rising property taxes and are relying on donations to keep them alive.  Just an alternative view.  I understand what is trying to be accomplished by making the taxi more convenient.  Please don’t bully me. 

    • Steven Lorenza December 27, 2018 (2:18 pm)

      Well, perhaps you haven’t seen the many howls on this website that solely equate “travel” with “driving my own car by myself.”

    • kwilson9 December 28, 2018 (1:47 pm)

      From Fairmount and southward there’s nothing but rocky shoreline, Salty’s (which has a parking lot) and vacant land for a good 300 yards. Time restricted/pay parking is in place where demand exceeds parking inventory like as you mentioned in The Junction and Downtown. The city consistently re-evaluates rate based on parking usage. Too many open spaces? Maybe the rate is too high. Not enough space with frequent over timers… the rates go up. Every part of the city has a different pattern of use. This is why parking in heavily trafficked business areas have timed/zoned parking for residents. For example, parking near Fauntleroy is zoned to residents to protect their street parking.  This stretch of Harbour is essentially vacant outside of busy summer use and weekday commuting. There’s no primary user (business/condo owner) to protect street parking. The condos and restaurant have parking and have very little street parking overflow. THUS… very little any restriction. I carpool to this location nearly every day and I suppose I’ll be taking a shuttle or using the temporary lot.But just restricting parking with no basis is bad policy. This little stretch of Harbour represents a win-win. Commuters enjoy free street parking and a few hundred cars stay in West Seattle and off the bridge and out downtown. This is a good outcome that needs a tempory tweak for a few week to make access equitable.

  • dsa December 27, 2018 (12:04 pm)

    Harbor Ave de facto park and ride could be fixed by limiting parking to four hours.

    • newnative December 27, 2018 (2:54 pm)

      That makes absolutely no sense. Why would you limit parking to 4 hours when it’s meant to be a park and ride for commuters? 

      • dsa December 27, 2018 (4:53 pm)

        Street parking is not park and ride parking.  Seattle put a moritarum on park and ride well over 20 years ago to encourage transit.  Now is the time to promote Access, bikes, whatever.  The curbside parking near and far from the water taxi has been spoiling access to water front visits.

        • alki_2008 December 30, 2018 (1:47 am)

          Really?  It’s not that hard to find on-street parking in that area.  People going to Salty’s seem to use more ‘water front visit’ spots than commuters do.

  • pdid December 27, 2018 (12:10 pm)

    I sure hope the time restrictions won’t displace the homeless RV parkers who shelter here (and have for the past 10+ years). Most park South of Salty’s so it shouldn’t compete with water taxi riders. I also wonder if Terminal 5 could serve some portion of the city’s homeless (RV or otherwise). Seems like such a waste of space for the time being.

    • SweetBabyR December 27, 2018 (5:10 pm)

      Do you live on Harbor? I do. We had 4 people in one month come on to our property in states of distress. We have people doing heroin on our property and leaving their broken, bloody needles on the ground for our children to step on. We’ve had to call in massive amounts of human waste dumped in the road and on the trail. Unless you are dealing with this 24-hours/day, I don’t really want to hear it.(Adding, because I know I’ll get my head ripped off for this, I know that not ALL of the homeless or RV dwellers are on drugs. I know there are various reasons why people have turned to drugs. I know many people feel they have no choice. I feel sorry for the minority of RV dwellers who are just trying to make it work, but that doesn’t mean we can just ignore these issues. I’m not heartless. I want people to have housing. I DON’T want my child contracting a disease from a dirty needle. If that makes me a monster, so be it.)

      • Nwmama December 27, 2018 (9:21 pm)

        What a disaster to be dealing with.   My kids preschool had human waste in their playground area presumably from the folks camping 10 yards away.  Homelessness is a public health disaster.  

    • alki_2008 December 30, 2018 (1:51 am)

      When the RV dwellers keep their waste in their black tanks, if they even have one, and empty their black tanks at actual dump stations (there are free), then I have no problem with them. But when they use the parking strip and street as their garbage bin and let their human waste into the gutter, then they need to move on.  Even dispersed campgrounds, which have no services, are not as bad as some of these RV’s.

  • MJ December 27, 2018 (12:31 pm)

    Not everone is served by transit well.  Those with no transit option need a viable option such as driving and parking near a viable option.  Please remember that the City car tab includes a Transit Fee that has not provided improved service for many residents who are still required to pay this fee.  These residents also pay taxes to maintain streets!

    • Agree December 27, 2018 (7:11 pm)

      Agreed 100%.  This is why we need ever more transit infrastructure.  I’ll be happily voting for all such tax increases–everyone should have access to transit.

  • Pay for Parking December 27, 2018 (2:01 pm)

    And some of the park and riders live outside city limits, not paying the Seattle car tab.Level the playing fields. Monetize all parking.

  • Kalo December 27, 2018 (2:17 pm)

    As I live near these newly restricted spots, I will be  photo documenting  daily if these spots are being used. Especially after the the Squeeze is over and done with. So far, in the last year or so, since a taxi only spot was added, I have yet to see a taxi park there. They’ll pull into the Seacrest parking lot to load/offload passengers. And let’s face it, not many taxis running around these days anyway.Even the 3 minute passenger load only zone is used mostly by delivery vehicles and those folks making a quick pickup at Marination.

  • Cool Rick December 27, 2018 (4:06 pm)

    This is what Harbor needs. All of Harbor Ave should have similar parking restrictions without a residential permit. The RV situation was out of control last summer.

  • WSB December 27, 2018 (6:37 pm)

    The area where a few RVs park – there were only three today, and it’s been single digits for quite some time (we count daily) – may not be affected after all. SDOT’s Dawn Schellenberg sent a correction today, saying that what she told me yesterday, Fairmount to Spokane, was not accurate, and that the restrictions will actually be from Maryland to Fairmount. Updating above.

Sorry, comment time is over.