FOLLOWUP: Two more days for West Seattle Junction ‘free’ parking lots

Some restriping work has already been done, and tomorrow, pay stations will be installed at the about-to-no-longer-be-free West Seattle Junction Association-operated parking lots. We first reported eight days ago that the change was on the way. At 12:01 am Friday, the lots are officially paid parking. So here’s what you need to know. First, here’s a map:

Medium blue marks the Junction lots that are changing from free to paid – off 44th SW just south of Oregon, off 42nd SW just south of Oregon, on the southeast corner of 44th and Alaska, and off 44th north of SW Edmunds. Dark blue marks lots that are already paid, but are not and have not been managed by WSJA.

Not shown on the map – parking that’s not affected and remains free – street parking as well as some parking spaces adjacent to businesses and marked for exclusive use of their customers, such as the spaces behind Chase Bank and Verity Credit Union (WSB sponsor), plus parts of some garages in the area. WSJA says the lots that are changing over include 228 spaces, a little less than a third of the 720 free and paid parking spaces throughout the business district.

From the WSJA FAQ on the parking change, here are the rates for the lots that are changing, not including taxes and credit-card fees (if any):

$2 for up to two hours
$4 for two to three hours
$6 for three to four hours
$10 for four to ten hours

The charges apply 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Plans for an “early bird” special are on hold pending a review of the first few months of paid parking. (Some monthly parking is available – email info@wsjunction.org if you are interested in information on that.)

You will be able to pay via either the pay stations or via CallToPark. Citations for running overtime or not paying will cost $49, and vehicles with multiple tickets are subject to towing. The first week – January 15th through January 22nd – parkers that go overtime will get warning notices; citations start after that.

The change was inevitable. Backstory, as we explained in this report almost three years ago: The WSJA, a nonprofit Business Improvement Area organization, leases the lots from West Seattle Trusteed Properties, a consortium of local business/property owners. In addition to base rent, WSJA has to cover the cost of the property tax for the sites, which has risen sharply in recent years – tripling between 2016 and 2018 – as it’s all prime, developable land in the heart of one of Seattle’s “urban centers.” WSJA had tried various fundraising campaigns in recent years, but none provided a sizable-enough stream. This won’t cover all the costs either, but it’ll help.

21 Replies to "FOLLOWUP: Two more days for West Seattle Junction 'free' parking lots"

  • CarDriver January 12, 2021 (6:50 pm)

    Actually it works out to $6 an hour-still expensive.

  • Joe January 12, 2021 (8:06 pm)

    The Map/Legend is not clear.

    • WSB January 12, 2021 (8:26 pm)

      I apologize, this is from The Junction’s site and so far it’s not available in any higher resolution.

  • Chemist January 12, 2021 (8:46 pm)

    I took a peek at the property tax bill for the parking lots on the corner of 42nd/oregon and SE 44th/Alaska and it looks like the property tax bill has likely gone up another 60% between 2018 and 2020 (you can only examine 3 years back online).  I’ve found it surprising to see the change to collecting payment considering how the Junction Parking Lots donation box came and went quickly a few years back with the suggestion that payments were forbidden by the lease.  The cynical part of me wonders if someone is eager to get 75+ ft towers approved for development on the lots just in case Sound Transit determines it needs to buy the property to build a station, although I think the current EIS options don’t get any closer than maybe the underground station on 42nd W of Jefferson Square.

    • WSB January 12, 2021 (9:24 pm)

      The lease, as noted in past coverage, required the lot owners’ approval to change to paid parking. That happened.

  • Chuck Jacobs January 12, 2021 (9:26 pm)

    Will it be pay to park in the upper Jefferson Square lot? (Safeway/Bartell’s)

    • WSB January 12, 2021 (10:55 pm)

      The only lots affected by this are the four described and mapped above. The Jefferson Square lot is not a WSJA lot

  • Seabruce January 12, 2021 (11:26 pm)

    I have a few questions:
    1. Can you publish a list of businesses that are members of the Trustees Properties consortium and/or members of the WSBA?
    2.Has anyone explored offering validation with a minimum purchase at a Junction business?
    3. What would market rate rent be for the lots and how does that compare with the property taxes?
    4. Since WSBA is going to charge for parking instead of the Trustees developing the sites (and possibly offering free covered parking), wouldn’t it be simpler for the consortium to charge for parking and pay the property taxes on the property they own–get rid of the middleman–or is it just a way to get their property taxes paid by the WSBA (BIA)?
    Thanks!

    • Kristi January 13, 2021 (3:12 pm)

      Great questions and I love the idea of validation!

    • aa January 13, 2021 (4:18 pm)

      You are asking  the WSB to do a lot of legwork- in my opinion.   Are you sure there aren’t ways for you to do the research yourself?   They already do so much.

      • KBear January 13, 2021 (8:05 pm)

        Also, just pay for your damn parking space. There is no “free” parking. If you can afford to license and insure your multi-ton vehicle, you can afford the highly reasonable parking rates being charged in the Junction. Consider it a cost of doing business.

  • Carole January 12, 2021 (11:55 pm)

    So the minimum charge is $2?   For my needs I only need about 45 minutes. Certainly an option to pay for an hour max would be welcome.

    • JustJedSaid January 13, 2021 (2:12 am)

      The one hour option is $2.00. They can’t force you to stay the full two hours. 

      • Brian Hodges January 13, 2021 (8:14 am)

        Our government is printing money and mailing free checks.  If you own a car, $40000 being the going rate these days, $1 seems like an odd sum to be hung up about?

      • Chemist January 13, 2021 (2:30 pm)

        $2 + taxes and any cc fees (iirc, seattle parking has around 22% tax on it now).  http://wsjunction.org/blog/#post-24377 I’m glad that the early bird special has been delayed since the initial e-mail… it seemed like an odd thing to market when the actual mid-day paid demand hadn’t been observed, especially in light of the RPZ created to address the demand-generating rapid ride/transit center.

  • Airwolf January 13, 2021 (10:18 am)

    Monthly parking permits?

  • Mj January 13, 2021 (3:34 pm)

    And the City still provides free/below market rate costing for people in the boundary.  The City should be charging market rates for the street parking.  

  • Notend January 13, 2021 (5:41 pm)

    What will happen to the 9 parking spaces at the north end of the lot that’s on the S.E. corner of 44th and Alaska? I believe these parking spaces are on city property, no?

    • walter January 14, 2021 (1:20 pm)

      No, also owned by  WEST SEATTLE TRUSTEED

  • Junction Frequenter January 13, 2021 (9:24 pm)

    Incredibly reasonable (cheap) prices and I’m soooo glad it will be relatively easy to pay. I hate searching for change. For those complaining about “I don’t need that much time” or whatever, if you’re that cheap, move your car to another lot at 1 hour 55 minutes, and finish your whatever it is you’re doing and keep it under 2 hours and you’ll come out ahead! Or, if you have the means, walk, run, ride a bike, carpool and split the cost, take one of those scooters, hitch a ride, skateboard, stowaway in someone’s trunk..the possibilities are nearly endless. 

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