Huge Rant to parking patrol in junction lot outside Fresh Bistro

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    We went out for drinks and dinner at Fresh Bistro tonight and my friend parked in the parking lot next door, not realizing you’re not supposed to park there. The waiter at Fresh Bistro told us that the parking lot was off limits so my friend went out there NOT 10 MINUTES AFTER PARKING HER CAR to move her car and she had a ticket! She was so distraught she had to go home.

    I realize there is a sign there saying no parking for Fresh Bistro parking but really, it was dark and she didn’t notice. Is this ticket even enforceable? I don’t think so. I understand there are several businesses who have hired somebody to patrol their parking lot and I will never go to those businesses again. (I won’t post their names because I know the rules about rants)



    How does someone know where you are when you are parked in that lot? I think they should give a warning ticket first and then a real ticket. Maybe Fresh Bistro needs to post a sign on their door (like Zippy’s) that warns their patron’s not to park next door. At least they aren’t towing right now.



    well I understand the frustration, you must understand the situation that the other businesses are put in, they have limited parking that is theirs.. 5, 10 , 15 min… doesn’t matter, it could possibly mean a space gone for their customer.


    While it’s easy to be mad at the actual owners of the parking lot, how about being upset at the the establishment you went to for not providing adequate parking for their customers.


    I had the same thing happen to me a few years ago in bellevue, once I noticed the sign, I realized I was in the wrong, paid the ticket and learned my lesson.



    Fresh Bistro does have a sign up. My friend noticed it after she parked there. She was parked only 10 minutes.



    Let me get this strait. Fresh Bistro has chosen not to provide parking for their guests. The parking lot management has made signs that clearly state the parking lot is not for Fresh Bistro customers. And these “other businesses” that are paying for the parking lot to be managed and limited parking spaces are at fault? Your rant is a joke.

    And on a side note, the ticket may or may not be enforceable. I know that our parking management group @ work (for game days) do not enforce tickets left on cars. However, they are collecting a revenue stream from the paying patrons. But I do know that I have gotten a ticket before (at the US Bank parking lot off of California) and that ticket did end up being enforceable. I had a collection calling me all of the time and it nearly affected my credit by not paying the ticket when I first received it.



    I feel bad for your friend, but at least they are only ticketing rather than towing. My sister and I parked at a lot in the U District years ago, ran in to a restaurant to look for a friend for 5 minutes, came back out to the car and there was a tow truck behind it ready to tow it b/c we didn’t want to pay the fee to park for a few minutes. Thankfully we convinced the driver to leave the car alone and we quickly left!

    I suppose the parking lot could improve their signage about the restrictions, and Fresh Bistro could put a larger sign on their door about it as well as post it more clearly on their website. I don’t eat there, but do go to Rocksport and want to be able to park in that lot since Rocksport pays for it.



    That made your friend so distraught she had to leave?



    maplesyrup – this part made me laugh out loud. I pictured someone going into a hyperventilating fit and having to sit down with her head between her knees until she composed herself enough to drive home.

    Why should Fresh Bistro provide a parking lot for their patrons? Part of the philosophy behind Fresh Bistro and many other WS businesses is to reduce our impact on the planet. So wouldn’t encouraging patrons to drive and park at the restaurant be counter-productive? There’s plenty of parking available in the Junction at the three free lots or on the street.

    And finally, businesses who have private parking have every right to enforce restrictions as they see fit. Obviously it’s caused enough problems for their own customers that they’ve had to resort to hiring enforcement; this should tell you that they’re not going to make exceptions.



    I just walked by Fresh Bistro the other day and they have a sign that is very clear so I am unsure why your friend did not immediately turn around and move her car. I could be mistaken but I thought it also indicated you could park in the lot across the street underneath the Safeway parking lot.

    I used to work in the junction and businesses that have parking places fiercely protect them with good reason especially considering those businesses lost parking to build the building Fresh Bistro is housed in.



    1) my friend was upset because she had dug up just enough money for a piece of cake and a drink at Fresh Bistro. Not easy if you’re unemployed.

    2) It was dark and she didn’t see the sign. Also, my other friend and I parked on the street and neither of us saw the sign that was posted saying not to park in that lot.

    3) Maybe this rant should be about the junction not having enough parking.



    It’s pretty clear there needs to be better signage on this parking lot for night time. It’s hard to miss the sign in the day but I haven’t been there after dark.

    I’m sure this is not the only time something like this has happened. Unfortunately the owners of the lot are probably able to pay the security guard/tow truck that trolls the lot plus money to spare with what they’re making ticketing folks so they’re not motivated to change anything.

    Fresh Bistro must know this leaves a really bad taste in the mouth of customers, even just seeing the nasty sign during the day makes me think – “Yay – community businesses working together – good job Junction Business Association!” </sarcasm>

    Sorry to hear about the ticket! I don’t regularly patronize the other businesses that ‘own’ that lot and are much less likely to the longer this issue goes on. (more beer and nachos for others, I guess.)



    A few of the women at this gathering may have gone to other businesses for a night cap after our initial gathering but due to their actions of ticketing our friend. I don’t think we will be visiting these establishments anytime soon.

    I don’t think 10 minutes is enough time to know if the person will be coming to your place of business or not.

    They need to create more parking so business can focus on what their service is instead of watching parking spaces.



    There’s lots of parking in the Junction. It’s not all free, and it’s not all right in front of every store, but if you’re willing to walk a few steps there’s almost always a place to park. Think about how far you have to walk when you shop downtown. Junction parking is closer than that, and even the pay parking is cheaper than elsewhere in the city.



    I’m not rolling in cash but not hurting for it either, but the last thing I’d want to do is pay for a damn parking ticket because of a simple mistake. Every penny counts, so I think Bonnie’s friend should at least call the parking lot owner to try and argue the ticket.

    FWIW- I perused the Fresh Bistro menu posted on their door the other weekend, and seeing the prices made me want to hyperventilate. I doubt I will ever step foot in that restaurant- too expensive for my tastes.



    m, that is why we were just getting dessert and drinks (or appetizers and drinks, since I am not a dessert person)

    There are plenty of times when I’m in the junction I go to one place and then head to another. for instance, I could see going to Jaks and then afterward head over to West 5 for a drink. Or maybe somewhere else.



    is there someone in the lot at all times? (how did they know she went into the fresh bistro?)

    when i first moved out here from north carolina, i was shocked that most businesses dont have dedicated parking. the idea of paying for parking to go to a store boggled the mind. ah, city living!



    Thank you, KBear, for reiterating that there is *plenty* of parking in the Junction. I don’t know what else people expect; a giant garage? I usually walk the mile from my home to the Junction, or hop a bus, but when my husband and I drive we never have to look more than a few minutes for a spot, even on a Saturday night at 7:30-8:00ish during the dinner rush.

    The lack of personal responsibility really annoys me. I don’t know if it’s truly a more recent phenomenon, as many hypothesize, as I’m only 25 and wasn’t around in “the good ol’ days,” but I know to accept the consequences for my actions. I’d also never assume that I could park in a certain lot before thoroughly scanning for signage stating otherwise.



    A high end restaurant which has no provisions for parking is not just reducing their impact on the planet, they are paving their path to that future bankruptcy.

    You can get away with that in an urban core where people walk from their offices or apartments or take cabs, but WS is still a bit more suburb then city center. When there is a cab stand or a hotel in WS, then you can get away with making no deals with your neighbors or not validating paid parking.

    Of course if the rest of the city (and a few businesses on that particular block) had not killed the monorail, parking would be moot and there would be fewer abandoned holes in the WS landscape.

    Every building plan I have seen recently seems to be counting on non existent public transit methods or sharing the shrinking number of free parking spaces.

    I don’t leave the house very often, but when I have tried to use the bus to get to the junction, it takes two hours and involves walking nearly a mile to do what I can do in 10 – 20 min with a car.

    I did not need a car downtown. But this is not downtown and businesses are dreaming if they think the infrastructure will just magically appear based on their puny input into the tax base.

    What is the city building at the moment? A wider freeway/viaduct to bring more cars to WS. Metro is focused like a laser on transporting people from downtown to the burbs and back. That is not how a city transit system is built. That is how a county transit system is built which transports dollars out to the burbs where the parking lots are.



    This almost happened to me too, I was almost in the door and saw the sign that said something like “the second you walk in the restaurant you WILL get ticketed”. I looked around and saw that there was a man in the parking lot watching me and already aproaching my car.

    It reminds me of the guy that used to sit in the Jack in the Box parking lot on Capitol Hill… They hired him to sit in his car for hours at a time and ticket people. Pretty intense!

    About parking in and around the junction, it’s never been a problem for me… In fact that’s a big part of why I LOVE West Seattle. The free parking lots usually have space and it they don’t I’ve never had to park more than a few blocks away.



    the parking lot patrollers are VERY stealthy. The don’t wear uniforms of any kind..They’re paid to be invisible. The litteraly watch you park, look to see if you put $ in, and watch where you walk to. You never know they’re there. –

    I got nailed at the lot by Bikram Yoga place..At night. in the Rain. the numbers on the pavement are BARELY readable. I put $ in, but I was one slot off. I ran across the street to Petco and back. 5 minutes MAX. $38 ticket. I saw the jackass walking to the other side of the lot, following about 30ft behind someone who just parked. I tried to get him to open up the cash box and SEE that the $$ was in the slot (and there was no car next to mine), but all he said was ‘sorry. too late’.

    my advice.. WALK the extra 50 yards..DO NOT EVER park in ANY ‘paid’ parking lot in WS. It’s blatant theft.



    I live close enough to walk to Fresh Bistro, however, I am familiar with that lot as I pass it all the time. The lot (I assume) put up a sandwich-board type sign that says no FB parking, and if you do, you will be ticketed the minute you walk out your door. It’s on the end of the lot so you’ll walk past it as you go to FB’s entrance. There is also another sandwich-board sign that has Fresh Bistro’s logo, and has an arrow pointing across the street (lower paid level below Jefferson Square) for parking. There is also at least one large white sign in the parking lot itself (on a pole) that says something to the effect of “Parking for …” and lists the names of the businesses that you can park there for. FB is not listed on that sign. I think that both the lot and FB have been very clear about where you can and cannot park. It is the driver’s responsibility to look for signs that let them know if they are legally parked, be it in a lot, on the street, etc.



    Didn’t the Admiral Safeway used to have someone patrolling their lot?



    if you park at a pay lot, pay by check and put your plate # in the memo line, as well as the spot # if applicable. That saved my cookies a few years back when our good buddy Joe Diamond tried to ticket me. I told them to look again, there was clearly a check that paid for parking my car. If I had paid with cash, I would have had no recourse against the lying bastards and been stuck with a $35 parking ticket.



    Very good advice JenV. I got a ‘warning’ one time a few years ago at the Seattle Center parking garage with an envelope with instructions to send my money in. I was able to call them and tell them I wrote a check and gave them the check number. They took the info and I never heard back. I really only wrote a check though because I didn’t have cash and it saved my butt.



    The nightmare Jefferson Square parking lot is also now being patrolled and ticketed, I got one there for parking for longer than 2 hours even though I was patronizing businesses in Jefferson Square at that time (nails, grocery shopping, Bartells, book store). No recourse on the ticket since they’ve clearly posted the 2 hour limit, $38 bucks I had not planned on spending. Enforced by our good freinds at Diamond Parking. Speaking of which, Diamond parking is changing up their pay kiosks downtown. I had written the check, went up to deposit it in the slot to find that there was no slot, just an electronic machine for my debit or credit card. That was fun but at least it prints a receipt with the information on it that you have to put in your car window.

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