REMINDER: West Seattle Junction Association’s 4 parking lots start charging Friday

(WSB photo, tonight)

9:22 PM: Pay stations are going in tonight at the four West Seattle Junction Association-managed parking lots that move from free to fee at 12:01 am Friday. Other infrastructure was installed earlier this week:

(WSB photo, Wednesday)

And reminder notices were left on cars:

(WSB photo, Wednesday)

If you missed our previous coverage – the change comes after WSJA spent years trying to cover the sharply increasing cost of maintaining the free lots; though they don’t own the land, their lease requires the full property-tax cost to be passed through to WSJA, There’s no free period – $2 (plus tax) buys you from one minute to 2 hours – but remember that you have options: For example, if you’re just going on a quick run, many Junction businesses have curbside pickup spots, retailers (for online or phone orders) as well as restaurants. Some businesses have their own free parking for customers, too, from a handful of spaces behind California SW businesses, to garages in mixed-use buildings like Capco Plaza (42nd/Alaska) and The Whittaker (Fauntleroy/Alaska).

ADDED FRIDAY MORNING: The pay stations are in place:

You can also pay by phone.

37 Replies to "REMINDER: West Seattle Junction Association's 4 parking lots start charging Friday"

  • Boop January 14, 2021 (11:31 pm)

    Just curious, why has the city not supported the business owners by mitigating the taxes?  Seems like given the tough times they could help them out.

    • WSB January 14, 2021 (11:46 pm)

      Property taxes are administered by the county, not the city.

    • Peter January 15, 2021 (7:59 am)

      The city is not responsible for the taxes, the voters who keep approving more property taxes are. 

    • Pessoa January 16, 2021 (7:38 pm)

      Generally speaking, cushioning the financial fallout from Covid is what the PPP was intended to do.  Since this is taxpayer money, these “loans” are a matter of public record and can be found via     

  • Martin January 15, 2021 (8:48 am)

    Are they going to repaint the lines?

    • WSB January 15, 2021 (10:07 am)

      The lines in the easternmost lot were repainted a week ago. Don’t know the plan for the others – the rain might have gotten in the way.

      • Rick January 15, 2021 (10:16 pm)

        Oh no! Rain! in Seattle?

  • Concerned Neighbor January 15, 2021 (9:10 am)

      I just hate the idea of having to pay for parking in the junction.  In fact, I will probably not do it by not doing my shopping in the junction if I can help it.  That was such a sad thing to say.  I wonder how many other life-long west-seattlites feel the same way.   Progress, huh?

    • heartless January 15, 2021 (11:01 am)

      Haven’t the stores themselves long pointed out that they subsidized the “free” parking by having higher prices? 

      As the saying goes, there ain’t no such thing as a free lunch–you were always already paying for the parking, you just didn’t realize it.

      • Frog January 15, 2021 (12:27 pm)

        So will all the prices be lower now?  I am guessing not, because merchants will need to balance lower costs against an overall drop in customer traffic and the need for more profit per transaction.  Prices might even rise, because merchants will give up on mobile, cost-sensitive customers, and focus on captive car-less Junction residents plus customers who don’t care about the cost.  The key business question after the end of free parking is:  how many customers remain who actually care about price or have any choice?

      • 2 Much Whine January 15, 2021 (1:13 pm)

        That may be true but do you really think their prices will drop from  $14.99 to $14.96 to account for the fact that they no longer have to subsidize the lots?  I am definitely NOT complaining about our valued junction merchants – they probably supported this undue burden for far too long.  I’m merely pointing out that the customer will most likely not see any price reductions. And another thing. . . . . the folks that say they are going to shop elsewhere, it’s $2 for 2 hours to park in the Junction.  Are you really going to spend the time and money to drive to White Center or Southcenter to find a place to shop where you don’t have to pay?  You might want to do the math on that.  It’s hard enough getting off the island as it is.  I absolutely hate paying for parking but this is one that I’ll end up paying for the convenience it affords.

        • heartless January 15, 2021 (4:54 pm)

          2 Much Whine: as to whether or not prices will decrease, I imagine there are stronger economic forces at work, but, yes, the stores will now have more cash and it’s up to them if they want to lower prices or just raise prices less often or put that money into whatever they see fit.  That’s up to the owners. 

          My point was just that it’s a  bit muddled to talk about how the parking used to be “free” if you used it to shop at the Junction stores that subsidized it.

      • Concerned Neighbor January 15, 2021 (1:44 pm)

          And now we’re going to have to pay twice?!!

        • heartless January 15, 2021 (4:55 pm)

          I mean, you’re not, seeing as how you are both refusing to shop in the Junction and are moving away from West Seattle.

    • Al January 15, 2021 (1:06 pm)

      Concerned Neighbor, the lots have been “upgraded” to improve usability for the wealthy. If you’re not rich, maybe ask yourself, do I deserve to park here in the first place? Society has agreed that the less fortunate should ride the bus, bike, or walk, from now on. 

      • Concerned Neighbor January 15, 2021 (1:47 pm)

         We’ve made the decision to move, so it won’t affect us anyway.  I just really hate that we’ve lost that “small town” feel here in West Seattle for more of a “little New York” vibe.   It’s upsetting.

        • KM January 16, 2021 (1:00 pm)

          If you are moving it seems like the loss of your business to Junction merchants is a bit of an empty threat.

    • Peter January 15, 2021 (4:48 pm)

      Wow. You’re really going to abandon WS businesses over a tiny parking fee. Just … wow. 

  • N January 15, 2021 (1:59 pm)

    I parked there this morning (behind Pharmaca) and I was ok about having to pay until I realized that they charge TAXES!!!!! For 2 hours costed me $2.49. I think it’s absolutely ridiculous from Diamond Parking, they are the worse.

  • CarDriver January 15, 2021 (2:03 pm)

    Heartless. Your statement that we were/are already paying for parking means we’re now being charged TWICE Right??? Now, $2 doesn’t seem like much. But, when you’re running into the store and will be gone in under 15 minutes(or less)there’ll be many people that question if it’s worth it. A lot of people will “chance it” until they’re caught and ticketed.

    • Ice January 15, 2021 (3:29 pm)

      No, you’re not being charged twice. The burden of paying for the parking space is simply being moved from the local businesses to the end-user of the parking space. Before, people who parked at the Junction’s free parking were being subsidized by people who shopped at the junction but did not arrive by car, since they paid the same price for goods as the people who drove. Obviously, the price of goods at the junction will not decrease now (because sticky pricing), but a burden has been taken off of the local business, allowing them to be more profitable and resilient.

    • heartless January 15, 2021 (4:57 pm)

      Cardriver: correct.  Unless the store owners lower prices or stop raising prices as much as they would have in the past, you would be paying twice.  

    • Chemist January 15, 2021 (10:20 pm)

      Hopefully this change in so much of what was previously studied for the business parking availability will prompt SDOT to review using more of California through the junction as “loading zone” 20 min or less type of parking and handicapped parking spots.

      I already get kind of frustrated with people hunting for parking spots along California… maybe make it like Queen Anne Ave with back-in parking on one side but two very open through lanes.

  • Tiro January 15, 2021 (3:35 pm)

    I don’t mind having to pay for parking – certainly easier than circling the block forever as in other neighborhoods.  I am a little annoyed that right now you can only  purchase parking by the hour.  As just noted, if you have only a 15 minute errand, the price is steep – I pulled out of the lot and was fortunate to find a free spot on the street nearby.  But I would gladly have paid for 30 minutes of parking even for only a short errand – that might even have encouraged me to get a coffee or something else while I still had time on the meter.  I wonder if the WSJA can work with Diamond on this…

  • Brian January 15, 2021 (6:23 pm)

    Zipped down to Beer Junction for a six-pack.  No, not gonna pay $2.49 to park for 5 minutes on a $10 purchase, so looked for street parking — absolute madhouse, nothing available.  Oh, the pay lots are virtually empty.  And for the naysayers who say there’s no such thing as free parking, my answer is: QFC, mission accomplished.  Sorry, Beer Junction!  Love ya and will stop by next time I do a walk to the junction.

  • Reed January 15, 2021 (7:48 pm)

    All of this whining over a few dollars, truly amazing.

    • Rick January 15, 2021 (10:25 pm)

      Then pay my few dollars. Every day. Every time.  Since it’s only a few dollars. You’re so good with my money. Must be a d.

      • Reed January 16, 2021 (4:58 pm)

        I will do you one better. How about I give you a bicycle or a pair of walking shoes? I can have my 83 dad show you how to use both to run errands in the Junction if you’d like. Alternatively, I could also offer you a lesson in patience that you can use to find free street park.

  • Beth January 15, 2021 (11:09 pm)

    Does Diamond Parking own the land where the two free lots were (behind Pharmeca; behind Beer Junction)?

    • WSB January 16, 2021 (12:03 am)

      The lots are managed by Diamond but not owned. They’re owned by the consortium Trusteed Properties and leased by the West Seattle Junction Association.

  • Eldorado January 16, 2021 (7:20 am)

    The fact that Diamond is running these lots is the worst part. I WILL NEVER PAY A DIME (or two dollars and forty-two cents) in a lot which they manage. Never. 

  • Ken January 16, 2021 (10:42 am)

    The WSJA really should have given a bit of a thought process regarding the parking situation and the company that would be managing the lots.  As others have said, I would NEVER spend a dime doing business with any lots managed by the scam artists known as Diamond Parking.   On top of that, it’s sort of a slap in the face not to at least offer something like 15 minutes or 30 minutes free parking.  Even some of the huge parking garages around the city offer 15 minutes free.  I previously worked at a Junction business and the owner posted a list in the employee break room of all the businesses in the Junction who had refused to contribute for the parking.  If all of them had chipped in fairly, it might not have come to this.    

  • Josh January 16, 2021 (2:10 pm)

    I paid today on my phone and it was easy.

  • OL January 16, 2021 (4:22 pm)

    As others said, the $2 minimum is ridiculous.  I would like to pay for the time I park, not “subsidize” Diamond by paying for more time than I am there.  That’s fair!I also wish they would make allowances for the Sunday Farmer’s Market.  Street parking becomes even more limited due to the market presence.   We NEED to support the farmers, so doing away with them isn’t the answer.  How about free parking during market hours?  I’m sure a lot of folks won’t bother to go to the market if they have to pay to park.The neighborhood streets are going to be overrun with parked cars.  Is this really how the Junction is supporting the neighborhood? 

  • AMD January 16, 2021 (5:29 pm)

    What happened to all the “think of the small businesses!” rhetoric people were coming up with when trying to justify driving on the lower bridge at all hours of the day?  Or un-doing the road diet on 35th?  Or getting rid of “stay healthy” streets?  Or having time-restricted street parking?  But now that it will help small businesses for you to pay a couple bucks to park, screw them I guess?  If your support for small businesses ends the second it’s slightly less convenient for you to drive, you didn’t really support them to begin with.

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