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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

June 9, 2009 at 3:11 PM

Parking in Seattle

City should do more to alert drivers

Editor, The Times:

The headlines Monday could have read “Boss Hogg rides Again” or “Is this Seattle or New York City?” [“Hey, Seattle: Where’s my car?” Times, page one, June 8.] While the parking issues listed are legitimate — that is, the need to keep First Avenue clear of parked cars at rush hour — I don’t think the city has done near enough to prevent mistakes.

Why do we need to go the extra mile? How would you feel if you were a tourist at the start of a day-or-two stay in Seattle and you came back to find your car (or rental) not there?

I certainly would feel foolish after looking up at the sign, if I could see it, and realizing what I had done but I would also not be at all happy with the fancy new electronic parking kiosks for “letting” me put more time on than I could use.

With the old coin-operated meters, if there were parking restrictions there would be the same sign that is posted above the kiosk mounted right on the post below the meter where you would see it while you are putting the money in. They also all had custom stickers in front of the time dial that gave the parking times.

In short, it was much harder to mess up.

— Tom Kesterson, Seattle

Just another moneymaker

Restricted Parking Zones (RPZs). Coming soon to your neighborhood! [“Big change proposed to parking-zone process,” NWSunday, June 7.] Just another way for the city to collect fees.

Why not just put parking meters in and have meter readers cruise through those neighborhoods? What the city doesn’t recognize when they allow huge condo/apartment complexes to be built, is how many people will need to park cars. It takes two incomes to pay rent or a mortgage, so that usually means two people commuting to jobs, hence two cars. Not everyone wants to ride the bus, walk, bike or carpool it. The neighborhoods around these giant complexes absorb the extra cars, making it next to impossible to shop or visit the business districts.

For some reason, the stations of our soon-to-be-used light-rail system don’t have parking lots. Guess where people using the system are going to try and park? (See above paragraph.)

More fees will be created from the neighborhoods that will now require parking permits and from tickets issued to people not having the permits. People living in and around the light-rail stations will soon be heard repeating something Oliver Hardy said so well back in a 1930 film, “Here’s another fine mess you’ve gotten me into.”

— Steve Drake, Seattle

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