News blog for Seattle's Fremont neighborhood

 

How Mayor McGinn’s 2012 Budget Could Affect Fremont

September 27th, 2011 by master

The Mayor has released his proposed 2012 budget (.pdf) to the Seattle City Council and Fremont will be affected if it is passed as is.

Parking:

Earlier this year, the Seattle Department of Transportation decided to keep parking rates at $1.50 in Fremont to make sure parking was accessible. The goal was to have one or two available spots on each block at a given time. After doing research, the good news is that it looks like the $1.50 per hour rate is doing well here and will not go up (click here for pdf.).

Nearby in Ballard, proposed changes for 2012 include raising the rates in the core of Ballard back to $2.00 per hour.

Light Rail:
The Mayor is proposing a one-time use of $1.5 million “for planning related to high capacity transit in the five corridors identified in the Transit Master Plan.”


Here is a look at the light rail corridor from Ballard  through Fremont to downtown, as mentioned in the Transit Master Plan.

Community Centers:
From the proposed budget:

Under this recommendation, community centers are clustered into five geographic groups (Northeast, Northwest, Central, Southeast, and Southwest), with each team managed and programmed in a coordinated fashion, with partially or fully restored hours at the current limited use community center sites (Alki, Ballard, Green Lake, Laurelhurst, and Queen Anne).

We are continuing to sift through the proposed budget (.pdf) and will update this as we learn more.

There will be two public hearings about the 2012 budget. The first is October 4th, the second is October 26th. Both hearings are at 5:30 p.m. in the Council Chambers (City Hall, 600 Fourth Avenue). If you’d like to speak, sign in time is 5 p.m. The city council will be voting on the final budget in November.

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SDOT Wants To Know What You Think About Seattle Paid Parking

August 10th, 2011 by master

After adjusting the city’s paid parking rates neighborhood by neighborhood across town (and decreasing rates in Uptown), the Seattle Department of Transportation wants to hear what you have to say about the city’s on-street paid parking system. SDOT is conducting an online survey about paid parking, as part of a project to make paid parking more available downtown and in certain neighborhoods.

You can find the survey here (I just did it, and it took less than 10 minutes).

By the way, SDOT has a parking map that lists every paid, permit, carpool, time limited, no parking and unrestricted zone, as well as parking garages and lots. You can zoom in by address, intersection, major landmark, or neighborhood.

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Reminder: Pay Those Parking Tickets, Avoid The Boot

June 20th, 2011 by master

Seattle really doesn’t want to boot your car. They’re really hoping they don’t have to. So they’re reminding you one more time, please pay your outstanding parking tickets, sir or madam.

Originally we reported that “The Booting” would begin on July 5th. However it looks like that deadline has been moved up to July 1st. And once the boot goes on, it’s going to take a lot to get it taken off.

A scofflaw is someone with a vehicle that has four or more overdue unpaid parking tickets. Starting July 1, scofflaw vehicles parked in public right-of-way will get their wheel locked with a boot. If a vehicle receives a boot, full payment of all past due tickets and the boot fee must be paid within 48 hours or the vehicle will be towed. Full payment includes the initial parking fines, default penalties, collection fees and interest. If towed, full payment plus the boot and tow fees must be made before the car is released from impound.

To see if you have unpaid parking tickets and to pay them, go to www.seattle.gov/scofflaw or call (206) 684-5600. Payment can also be made in person at The Seattle Municipal Court at 600 Fifth Avenue in downtown Seattle, Monday through Friday between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.

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Beware The Boot, Pay Your Parking Tickets

June 2nd, 2011 by master

It goes without saying you don’t want to let your unpaid parking tickets pile up. However if you already have, the city of Seattle is going to give you a little bit of incentive to get them squared away.

Starting July 5th, any vehicle that has four or more unpaid parking tickets will be “immobilized,” which is a fancy way of saying you’re going to get The Boot.

Once booted, to get the vehicle released you will have 48 hours to pay all parking tickets, default penalties, interest, collections agency fees, and a boot fee. If you do not pay within 48 hours of being booted, the vehicle will be towed and impounded. To release the vehicle from impound, you will need to pay all fees and fines, plus tow fees.

Finally, if your vehicle is not claimed from impound within 15 days, it will be sold at auction to help pay your debts.

Yikes.

So what if you’re not sure about any unpaid parking tickets? Check the Seattle Municipal Court – Public Information Web Site to see if your vehicle has unpaid tickets and then get them sorted out poste haste!

Image via City of Seattle.

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Fremont Parking Rates To Remain At $1.50/Hour. Rejoice!

January 28th, 2011 by master

Let’s get caught up.

On January 14th, we heard about rising parking rates all around Seattle, including a $0.50/hour hike here in Fremont.

Yesterday, word came down that the City Council wanted to put those rates under review before they went into effect. Rising rates in some neighborhoods might have negative effects on local businesses and they want to conduct their own analysis. Fair enough.

Late yesterday the SDOT came back with their own modified rates after some deliberation. While some of the major traffic neighborhoods downtown will still see their rates climb, a few other neighborhoods are seeing those rate increases go away. Fremont is one of those neighborhoods.

Fremont’s parking rates will remain at $1.50/hour rather than rise to $2.00/hour. That keeps Fremont parking rates level with nearby ‘hoods Ballard and University District.

I don’t know which one of you complained but good work.

The City Council is tentative in its approval of these revised rates since they remain very high in certain neighborhoods. As far as Fremont is concerned, however, it’s a win.

Everyone, re-commence parking.

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Seattle Totally Just Kidding About Those Parking Hikes (For Now)

January 27th, 2011 by master

Two weeks ago we heard about rising parking rates all around Seattle, including a $0.50/hour hike here in Fremont. Most of you were displeased. And you weren’t alone.

The city was listening to you and other neighborhoods, some of which are facing a new $4.00/hour parking rate, and is putting these revised rates under review before making them official.

At a lunch-time forum at City Hall, Councilmember Tim Burgess said the City Council has asked for a review of a parking study used by the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) to set the new rates.

Mike Estey, SDOT manager, said staff were “scrubbing the numbers, the data and methodology” in the wake of criticism that the rates would hurt small businesses and were based on peak-occupancy, not typical parking availability.

No word on what changes might be in order and whether or not this affects Fremont specifically (most comments are directed towards downtown), but at least for the time being you can expect to see the same-old $1.50/hour rates in town.

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Fremont Parking Rates On The Rise

January 14th, 2011 by master

Get used to seeing slightly-higher parking rates in Fremont starting next month.

The Seattle Department of Transportation has announced on-street parking rates for 2011 and those rates are rising. Based on the results of a parking occupancy study, the Fremont parking rates will be going up from $1.50/hour to $2.00/hour.

The goal of the new parking rates is to adjust available parking so that one-to-two spots are readily available on a block at any given time. Right now peak occupancy for Fremont’s 80 paid parking spots is 80%. The city would like to lower that to 78%.

Fremont is not, however, one of the nine neighborhoods “with active nightlife and high evening parking demand” that will have paid parking extended until 8 p.m.

The new rates still keep Fremont in the lower bracket of Seattle neighborhood parking costs. Three neighborhoods, including Pioneer Square, will see their rates rise to $4.00. Nearby neighborhoods Ballard and Green Lake will not see a rise in current parking rates ($2.00 and $1.50, respectively).

City crews will begin implementing the new rates as of Feb. 1, rolling them out neighborhood by neighborhood through March 30. New graphics on all parking pay stations will clearly highlight the revised rates, in addition to providing information about other parking rules and how to use the machines.

For additional information on 2011 on-street rates and rules, please visit the SDOT website.

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Fremont library, parking fees discussed at city budget hearing

September 29th, 2010 by master

Plans to remove the on-site librarian from the Fremont library and increase parking fees were just some of the topics of discussion at Wednesday’s public hearing on the city budget in Northgate.

“The library changes and improves lives,” said Tony Provine of Friends of the Seattle Public Library.

A crowd lines up to speak at Wednesday night’s budget hearing in Northgate

Under the mayor’s plan, the Fremont library and 7 other smaller libraries will be converted to “circulating libraries.” The Fremont library will continue to be open 35 hours per week and offer collections, holds-pickup, and computer access. But access to specialized services will be provided online or by telephone access to staff at the Central Library. Programming will be primarily focused on youth and provided by librarians from other locations. At all library branches, a one week systemwide closure (the week before Labor Day) will continue in 2011.

“We ask you to consider restoring some critical library service hours,” Provine told the City Council.

During Wednesday’s hearing, residents also voiced both support and opposition to the mayor’s parking plan.  Metered parking would go up 50 cents an hour in Fremont and you’d have to pay until 8pm Monday through Saturday (currently 6pm).  Sunday parking would no longer be free.

“Although Fremont is a vibrant and thriving neighborhood, we are aware of the loss of sales over the last year due to the addition of pay stations,” Jessica Vets with the Fremont Chamber of Commerce told us.  “At the moment Fremont has only 72 paid street parking spots, thus an increase in rates and an extension of time will only minimally affect the neighborhood.  The fear that Fremont retailers have is that SDOT will extend the paid parking into more of the neighborhood.”

To see more on the mayor’s proposed budget, click here.

The next public hearing on the budget takes place Wednesday, October 13 at South Seattle Community College at 5:30pm. The City Council has also set up a web page where you can submit ideas to balance the budget and vote on other suggestions.

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REMINDER: Parking Meeting Wednesday

May 18th, 2010 by master

The Fremont Chamber of Commerce urges you to attend tomorrow’s parking meeting, which includes the new Director of SDOT. The Chamber wants those who oppose the parking stations to join with them in making their points – again – to SDOT.

“This is an opportunity to voice your opinion to the City about your neighborhood; without your voice to the Wednesday, May 19th meeting, there is no strength to Fremont’s voice.

Join us in a united voice to SDOT to remove the parking meters in Fremont. Our voice in 2009 reduced the number of meter from over 700 to 72!!! Come out again to support your neighborhood.”

It’s $15 with an RSVP, $20 without. It includes breakfast. Reserve online.

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Fremont Parking Meeting

May 3rd, 2010 by master

The Fremont Chamber of Commerce is revisiting a hot topic amongst local residents and businesses: paid parking.

At the Lake Washington Rowing Club (910 N. Northlake Way), on May 19, from 8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m., the new Director of SDOT, Peter Hahn — along with Parking Enforcement officers, parking designers and other City staff — will discuss paid parking in Fremont, which has long had a strong base of opponents, including the Chamber. A short presentation of the status of parking in Fremont today (from the City’s perspective) will be followed with a Q&A.

Breakfast will be provided with the $15 it costs to RSVP (which climbs to $20 without an RSVP), so if you’re interested, please register ahead of time here.

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