Posts Tagged ‘Parking’

The City listens at May 19 Parking Meeting

May 21, 2010

The Fremont Chamber hosted a panel from The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) and the City of Seattle Police Department in Parking Enforcement for the May 19, 2010 monthly meeting. Headlining the speaker was Director of SDOT, Peter Hahn. Accompanying Mr. Hahn from SDOT were Mike Estey and Mary Catherine Snyder. Director of Parking Enforcement William Edwards was joined by George Murray, Supervisor for parking in the Fremont area at the meeting.

The meeting focused on parking issues in Fremont; the main thrust of the discussion was on the parking pay station kiosks that have been in Fremont for almost a year now. The Chamber has taken a hard stand that the pay stations are not working for Fremont businesses and should be removed.

The Meeting started with networking and some pointed discussions between the City and individual Fremont business owners. The formal presentation began at 8:15 am with introduction by Marko Tubic, president of the Fremont Chamber. Peter Hahn led the discussion with  his refreshing frankness about transit and how he “does not have a philosophy” as much as he serves at the pleasure of the Mayor and is trying to make transportation of all sorts in Seattle better. The biggest issue he sees is the lack of maintenance that has been hurting the City for years. He feels the City’s resources should be spent on bringing what we have back to good as a top priority. He noted that he got the message from talking with people earlier that pay stations are not liked and that Fremont does not support a road diet on Nickerson. Overall Mr. Hahn kept his comments short to allow more time for questions.

Mary Catherine Snyder followed with a short presentation of statistics, where it was noted that Fremont has the lowest hour pay rate in the City of $1.50 per hour and that Fremont’s paid spaces have the highest occupancy rate in neighborhoods of 47% (Ballard is 34%, Greenlake 41%, University District 35%)… to the City this is apparently good. They do not see a less that 50% utilization as a problem and something that needs to be changed. There was discussion about statistics and their accuracy, especially given the wide range of many of the City’s study areas.

Director William Edwards then spoke about the focus of parking enforcement and the need for balance between too much “hard” enforcement and not enough. The policy of the department is to create turn over and move people when they have been parked too long, without being overly rigid and ticketing people when they are a few minutes over time. He was concerned to hear of aggressive behavior on the part of his officers, and he would like to hear details of instances where officers are rude to drivers.

The floor was then open to questions.

Many excellent questions and discussions ensued.

Here is a summary, made by Peter Hahn of the points made:

1. Remove vegetation obscuring parking signs – immediate action.

2.  Address the lack of clarity in parking signs – we’ll start looking at this.

3.  Reduce the times in which parking is taken away by contractors who are “planning” to do work, but have not yet started – we’ll be looking at this.

4.  Potentially re-examine the RPZ and the inhibiting impact on important events and festivals – we’ll look for ways this can be re-opened.

5.  Remove the kiosks.

6.  NO to Nickerson road diet.

The Fremont Chamber is putting together a Transportation Committee to discuss parking, road diets, bus routes and more. If you are interested in joining the group please contact Jessica at 206-632-1500 or director@fremont.com

You are welcome to join the Fremont Chamber for our monthly meetings, on the third Wednesday of each month. Our themes for the meetings change each month. Upcoming meetings include:

Picnic in the Park on June 16, noon, Speed Networking in Gasworks with a Turkish Picnic lunch by Sureyya.

Marketing for small business, July 21, 5p – 7p at Om Culture, a panel discussion of how to best use online tools and networking to grow your business