PARKING: Another West Seattle Junction change

Early in the pandemic, West Seattle Junction businesses helped pioneer 5-minute on-street parking spaces for quick stops to pick up takeout food/beverages and other merchandise. After months of continuing to work with the city, The Junction has secured final approval for converting some of those spaces to 15-minute spots – for business visits when 5 minutes is not enough but an hour is overkill. Signs have been going up – the one you see above is along westbound SW Oregon west of California SW, by Brunette Mix (WSB sponsor), Café Mia, Dumplings of Fury, and Mystery Made. You’ll also find the 15-minute signage at several spots along California, Alaska, 42nd, and 40th, as the result of a business survey; 5-minute spaces remain in some areas too.

57 Replies to "PARKING: Another West Seattle Junction change"

  • Al King April 13, 2021 (12:22 pm)

    My junction visits are usually mid to late morning. On the west side the lots are REALLY empty after the pay parking was started.  While i understand the economics of why they did it sure looks like they’re not getting much revenue.

    • Donna April 13, 2021 (1:50 pm)

      I will do everything possible to avoid paying these disgusting meters!!

      • heartless April 13, 2021 (6:21 pm)

        By “everything possible” do you just mean, uh, not pay?

        That seems perfectly attainable and quite simple. Best of luck.

      • Ice April 14, 2021 (11:07 am)

        I am going to go ahead and guess that you don’t have this attitude when you buy gas, pay for insurance, pay the cost of maintenance or pay the interest on a car loan (if you have one). It’s funny to me that people act like paying 4 bucks to store their vehicle for a couple of hours is an affront on their human rights.

    • Joe Z April 13, 2021 (2:41 pm)

      I assume people are using all of the free underground parking in the neighboring buildings or the free street parking on neighboring streets instead. 

      • ACG April 13, 2021 (7:20 pm)

        I do use the underground parking for example if I’m shopping at the QFC or Whole Foods. But if I am not shopping at one of the businesses in the building, then I do not park there. That would be rude. Therefore I will not park in one of those underground lots if my shopping is at the other Junction businesses. On a side note- I also want to make it clear that a lot of the individual businesses I’ve spoken with did NOT want the lots converted and had no say on having Diamond Parking monitor the lots. Please don’t punish the small businesses who are working hard to serve our community. 

    • My two cents ... April 13, 2021 (3:33 pm)

      Well, potential downside to no one using the pay parking lots will be for subsequent development of the property. 

      • KM April 13, 2021 (4:44 pm)

        Here’s hoping for development!

        • My two cents ... April 13, 2021 (6:38 pm)

          @KM …. based on the location/zoning and access to the Metro  options, any new development will probably result in either more housing without the 1:1 ratio for resident and car … or additional retail with limited parking. If people are frustrated with paid parking lots,  I can only imagine the reaction to even harder   To find “free” parking spaces. 

      • JohnW April 13, 2021 (8:32 pm)

        The potential upside of people not using the parking lots is housing for people.  
        Let’s tear down the parking lots and house the homeless.

        • Calires April 13, 2021 (10:38 pm)

          Do you really think those lots would be redeveloped with low cost housing?  Most of the actual low cost housing around the Junction has been demolished and replaced with market rate housing.   On my block we’ve lost about 30 units of low cost rental units and have gained an equivalent number of $700k+ units.  It absolutely amazes me that people still fall for this fallacy.

          • JohnW April 14, 2021 (7:13 am)

            No I don’t expect those lots to be developed for homeless housing.
            But that was also not the case in Capitol Hill micro-housing developed for market rate but recently sold for housing the homeless due to the shutdown and changing rental market.  
            The housing the homeless  idea is certainly aspirational.
            Calires probably understands the workings of the market to realize that unsubsidized market rate rentals will not be “affordable.”  
            I would like to hear what those 30 units were charging  as “low cost housing?”  
            Based on location, the underlying value of the land with the accompanying increase in taxes, it would be interesting to hear what Calires considers “low income housing” in the Junction and  “low income housing” in the context of how commenters express outrage at the $1,000 micro-units.

  • Al April 13, 2021 (3:04 pm)

    Now that the lots cost money, I don’t see myself ever driving to the junction for a sit down meal. And if takeout is all I go there for now anyway, I say make all of California 15 min max. It sucks that sit down dinner isn’t free parking anymore, but I’d at least like to feel confident I can always reliably pick up takeout without being forced to pay to park. 

    • Jort April 13, 2021 (3:17 pm)

      Parking is $2. This isn’t a new mortgage or car payment. It’s $2. I recommend to just pay it and move on with your life and pick your battles. Or eat cold food at home out of some strange sense of indignity about the travesty of paying below-market rates for storing your private vehicle for a few hours on someone else’s private land. It’s $2 to park.

      • Krash April 14, 2021 (9:11 am)

        From all the complaints, I assumed the parking fees were like they are in other parts of Seattle.  $2 is reasonable if it is for enough time to eat, shop extensively, or go to Arts West. With all the new deelopment in the greater Junction area, restaurants will be filled with walking residents nearby, if their menus adjust to the tastes of that demographic. I’ve often thought we need a roving tram of some sort that runs up and down California from Harbor Ave/Alki, say, to, perhaps, Morgan Junction. Free ride or a buck. West Seattle would be open to most all. I am in my mid 70s and I often walk from my house near Hamilton Park to the Junction. A tram/trolley would be great, especially at night or when the weather is crummy. For $2 I will gladly park in the lots, if that number is real. 

        • JohnW April 14, 2021 (10:15 am)

          What about that gondola idea?  Re-imagine…, a network of gondolas and  chair lifts serving all of our communities?

    • JohnW April 13, 2021 (3:18 pm)

      Simple solution Al.
      Monetize all parking with a good-to-go like  system that charges for car storage per minute and can be demand driven to always provide a few available places.  
      The take-out issue has newly emerged due to the shutdown and app developments, but non one in my opinion should be able to park without paying (including those who park in the vehicle travel lanes and turn on ’emergency flashers’ as they do their service)
      Free parking is an oxymoron.

      • Skeptikal April 15, 2021 (11:22 am)

        So are free gondolas and chairlifts.  In fact virtually all public transit is subsidized, and much of it quite heavily

    • Peter April 13, 2021 (3:24 pm)

      I want to thank you for helping reduce the amount of time I’ll have to wait to get a table, I appreciate it very much. 

    • Foop April 13, 2021 (4:16 pm)

      I can’t imagine justifying not sitting down for $60 dinner and drinks at a local gem over $3.That said I’ve never had much issue with street parking. Admittedly parking during peak dinner time is rough and I don’t wanna pay $3 to spend 5 minutes grabbing my $10 teriyaki, so I’ll drive around a bit for that.

      • JohnW April 14, 2021 (10:31 am)

        I like two drive around a bit also, but I do so burdened by frugality and the knowledge of the actual vehicle costs (not to include environmental ‘costs’).

         The average cost to own and operate a medium-sized car has risen 4.8 percent since last year to 56.6 cents a mile, or $8,487 a year, according to AAA’s annual coststudy.
        The amount was based on 15,000 miles of driving each year.”  AAA

        So when I think about circling the Junction, idling my gas vehicle stopped through several long traffic lights and pedestrian crossings and the mile or so of circling that ‘hidden’ but real cost comes tp mind.  
        At 68 and still walking, I park in the first available space on the outskirts and walk a block or two to my Junction destination.
        Such a strategy often saves time as well as gas and wear and tear on vehicle.

        This is a secret I reluctantly share with those drivers seen circling the blocks repeatedly.  

        It has always worked for me.

    • Amy April 13, 2021 (6:04 pm)

      So paying $3 to park pushed you over the edge to never dine in (think past pandemic) or shop at any of the business in the Junction? 

  • Oh stop it April 13, 2021 (3:48 pm)

    It’s $2!! That will cause you to never sit down for a meal in the junction? lol. The money goes to the west seattle junction association too. 

  • skeeter April 13, 2021 (4:04 pm)

    I refuse to pay for parking.  If the business I am going to visit does not provide free parking then I ride my bike.  Paying for parking is just a waste of money for me.  Though I can see how some folks see value in paid parking if biking, walking, or transit is not an easy option.

  • shotinthefoot April 13, 2021 (4:20 pm)

    I hope the 5-15 minute pick up spots stay in place post-pandemic. There are many times I’d want to pick up take out from a junction restaurant but ultimately decided against it knowing that parking would be impossible. 

  • Anne April 13, 2021 (4:26 pm)

    Really disappointed in the reactions of those that say they won’t shop/dine in the junction if they have to pay to park, For decades the junction businesses payed taxes on the lots – so we could park for free- & I’m really grateful that lasted as long as it did.The sad fact is- they just can’t afford it any longer. So far I’ve been able to find street parking either in 2hour spots or the quick pick- up spots. But have also payed in lot for longer dinner stops. I’m going to continue to shop & dine in person-when I can. When I can’t I’ll order online for goods & meals. Just did that last week at Click- shopped on their website —order was ready for me to pick up within an hour- but could have chosen delivery too.What I don’t want to see happen is those lots sold to developers. 

  • Al King April 13, 2021 (4:28 pm)

    Johnw.  Parking SHOULD be charged 24/7/365 EVERYWHERE in the city?? How much per hour do you suggest?

    • JohnW April 13, 2021 (6:02 pm)

      As in my comment.
      you park, you pay 24 hours a day.
      just like every one renting an apartment with parking, parking is not free.  If I own a house with a garage full of stuff and I park on the street,
      I should pay same as the renter without available parking.  
      That said the rates would very with demand pricing i.e. overnight fees in the mostly vacant  Arbor Heights  streets might be smaller than the heavily in demand Junction Area.  
      This would eliminate all of the unfairness that continues to bandaid the problem, RPZ have created.

      What is wrong with everyone paying their share for a limited public resource ?

      • heartless April 13, 2021 (6:19 pm)

        Yes, obviously.

        This is one of those few great and painfully obvious solutions to a problem people continually whine about.  

        People should pay for the public space they use to store their vehicle.  

      • Patricia April 13, 2021 (6:32 pm)

        One problem is that the city does not own all the parking places. Another question, Why should I pay to park in front of the house I own? I pay taxes on those streets already, so paying to rent a spot in front of my house is not going to happen. 

        • heartless April 13, 2021 (8:05 pm)

          Because you don’t own the space in front of your house?  

        • JohnW April 13, 2021 (8:45 pm)

          Patricia, you are mistaken about the street in front of your home.  
          It is not your property to do as you wish with.  It is indeed the property of all of us.  
          It is public property.  
          The taxes you pay are on your private property.  
          You do not pay for the portion street in front of your home any more than I do.  
          Why don’t you simply do the responsible thing and park on your own private property?  
          Why did you choose to live in a home without vehicle storage? 

      • My two cents ... April 13, 2021 (6:45 pm)

        @JohnW under your plan or approach, wouldn’t it result in a more regressive tax plan and adversely impact the segments that are just getting by?  Please note that not everyone can bus, walk, rideshare,  or bike to their employment location. 

        • JohnW April 13, 2021 (7:57 pm)

          That is the same argument for not enforcing any laws including  driving  and parking.  
          This is a predictable consequence of our failing system.  
          Of course not everyone needs a single occupancy car for work, but driving has not yet been sanctioned like gun ownership in our country.   
          The people who cannot walk, ride, ride share, bus, taxi or Uber and require a car for work can simply park off street in their garages and driveways.
          The plan would not be a regressive tax any more than existing meters as neither meters or good to-go  fees are taxes.  
          What a regressive  tax plan is the one we currently have, with some of the highest gas taxes in the country.  
          This is an unfair burden on the working poor.  
          Just the weekly swing in gas prices are an unfair unpredictable challenge, especially since the working poor also drive aging cars with higher pollution and poorer gas mileage.   

        • heartless April 13, 2021 (8:06 pm)

          This is easily avoided by subsidies, rebates, etc., much as we already do for various other services.

  • Al King April 13, 2021 (7:14 pm)

    Johnw. Transit riders do not pay the actual cost of transit. Bike riders do not pay the actual cost of bike only paths.  I’ve yet to hear anybody demand that  trucks delivering good to stores pay for parking while they unload. I’m fine with EVERY road user paying their FAIR share but the impression is that cars pay more than others.  

    • JohnW April 13, 2021 (8:10 pm)

      Agreed, no walkers or bikers, bus riders , light rail patrons pay the actual cost of the roadways.   That is balanced by the omitted fact that cars, trucks and motorized vehicles also do not pay their actual cost.   And motorized vehicles cause the most damage and maintenance issues to our roadways systemWe are discussing the issue of too many cars taking up all of the “free” on street parking leading to congestion and limited availability for access to businesses.   

    • skeeter April 14, 2021 (11:34 am)

      Al King – the majority of the costs of our local roads in Seattle are paid for by sales tax, property tax, and B&O tax.  People who walk and bike are using very little road space and are subsidizing those who drive cars.  

  • S. Martel April 13, 2021 (7:34 pm)

    I live in the Junction. I already have to pay for a Zome sticker. Now I have to compete with everyone who doesn’t want to pay the $2. It changes the value of my home.

    • JohnW April 13, 2021 (8:14 pm)

      S. Martel,
      No-one is making you buy a zone sticker.  
      You are apparently choosing to park your vehicle on the street in congested area that your neighbors lobbied for and received a controversial Zone Parking Program.  
      Why not save the money, like everyone in Fauntleroy seems to do, and park in you garage or driveway?  
      Off street parking is closer, more convenient and safer than street parking.

      • Susan April 14, 2021 (1:22 pm)

        you are assuming everyone has a driveway or garage.  we do not and thus have no other choice but to park on street.  not owning a car, sadly, is not an option, given how long my bus commute take compared to driving (1.5 hours compared to a half hour each way). In addition, we bought the home we could afford, and in our price range ones with off street parking were few and far between.

        • JohnW April 14, 2021 (5:06 pm)

          No I am assuming if you buy a house without any parking and you need it, you should take responsibility.  As it is, you are claiming a public benefit that others do not enjoy.  The savings on purchasing  such an old home can be used to update your home to the automobile age.  Alternatives are renting a parking spot from neighbors or if the the city starts charging for street parking, paying the city for the use of the street.What is not fair about that?

  • steve April 13, 2021 (7:51 pm)

    Bikes should have to pay too. Right? Don’t they take space?  Baby strollers?  Waiting dog? Monetize everything. It’s the Amreican way! Wait, but then it’s unproportionally fair to those with low incomes. Hmmmm. What about seniors who have paid more taxes in their lifetime?  OK, I’ve changed my mind. Everything free! Just charge the restaruants more in taxes to pay for it, but make their rent free. Solved.

    • JohnW April 13, 2021 (8:58 pm)

      You betcha Steve, 
      When the streets are so clogged with parked bikes that no places are available, like the current car parking situation, then we should charge for bikes.  
      I could also envision user fees for baby strollers and dogs, but only if and when they completely block the roads and sidewalks,  a true nightmare and a virtual impossibility.  
      Seniors like myself may have paid more taxes over time but those years of taxes are matched by years of use of the public services like roads.

      • exhaust-ed April 14, 2021 (7:32 am)

        Absolutely no to charging for these alternative and less harmful transportation modes. There needs to be incentive for more to choose to bike or stroll.

        In many places in Europe, you see more bicycles on the roads and parked, than cars. This is transportation that makes good sense in cities, and it should be free.

        • Auntie April 14, 2021 (5:12 pm)

          I wish people would stop talking about how many bicycles you see in Europe. Those cities are flat! They do not have Queen Anne Hill, Capitol Hill, Admiral Way, etc. I’ve been to those cities to which I am guessing you refer and biking on the level makes sense. Trying to bike in Seattle takes more fortitude than I have!

          • exhaust-ed April 14, 2021 (10:01 pm)

            Hills are not unique to Seattle, though I know there are towns in Europe that are indeed pretty flat, so yes, biking is easier some other places than here.

            Paris has some hills… Montmartre, for one.

            Luckily, the invention of the e-bike solves the hill problem fairly well. Also, some people utilize light rail or busses in conjunction with biking.

            To clarify, I am not suggestion necessarily that people bike everywhere all the time. For those who can, that’s awesome. But I do think many more people could bike around for more local needs. Like meeting a friend for coffee, picking up a few things from the market or store, going out to dinner, etc. Even this small shift would be healthy for the city.

            Just came across this article which shares some good insights, might be of interest to some:


  • J April 13, 2021 (7:53 pm)

    I have no problem paying for parking. What I have a problem with is getting a parking ticket when I accidentally mixed up one letter when adding my temporary license permit. Working with Diamond Parking to fix the problem is enough to turn me off for a loooooong time.

    • JohnW April 14, 2021 (7:24 am)

      Have you ever filled out a restaurant or credit card charge incorrectly.  If you mistakenly transfixed two figures on a tip, would you hold it against the restaurant?  
      I imagine dealing with the seemingly loathed Diamond Parking is no worse that challenging a parking ticket in court?
      I learned early and all too repeatedly, that  my incompetence will always amaze me.

  • exhaust-ed April 13, 2021 (8:56 pm)

    Glad I am no longer chained to a car, being able to switch over to biking has been liberating, and parking always free. If you can, do it. Remember the ‘kill your television’ movement? Maybe it’s time for a ‘kill your car’ revolution.

  • Calires April 13, 2021 (10:50 pm)

    I have no problem paying for parking.  I have a problem spending 5 minutes going to the meter and going back to my car to put the ticket on my window when I’m spending 3 minutes to pick up something from Bin 41 or Lika Love or other businesses that I order from online.  If they could do it like the tunnel I’d have no problem.  Email me the bill or have a Diamond Parking app, I’ll happily pay online.

    • WSB April 14, 2021 (12:02 am)

      There is an app.
      (Pointed to from The Junction’s explanatory post:

    • Susan April 14, 2021 (1:27 pm)

      exactly! I rarely spend more than a few minutes at a store in the Junction.  I don’t eat there but do quick pick ups of needed items.  I prefer to shop locally than online, but having to pay an extra $2 for a quick trip to a store is not helpful.  happy to pay if I need to stay longer, say a half hour or more.  the Junction is discouraging people from this kind of shopping.

      • WSB April 14, 2021 (2:47 pm)

        Which is exactly what the 15-minute zones are for.

  • anonyme April 14, 2021 (12:23 pm)

    I’m always amazed and dumbfounded at the amount of personal emotion and anthropomorphization around people and their cars.  It’s time that cars (and corporations) were treated like what they are – things, not people.  I’m for paid parking EVERYWHERE.

  • WSite April 19, 2021 (10:21 pm)

    It’s 2 freaking bucks an hour! Stop complaining. The Junction businesses had been paying for it for YEARS and did they ever complain to you how much they were paying? No. So stop complaining and support our local businesses. Geezus.

Sorry, comment time is over.