Letters to the Editor

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TACOMA: Parking fine a deterrent to business

Letter by C. M. Shotwell, Puyallup on Oct. 19, 2010 at 5:02 pm with 18 Comments »
October 19, 2010 5:03 pm

As a resident of Puyallup, I know the value of supporting and shopping at local businesses. I prefer to help our local economy by doing so. I extend this to Tacoma, although I am not there as frequently.

Last week I had the opportunity to visit a locally owned art store near Commerce and Jefferson in Tacoma. I found a parking space on the street and went in. I was in the store less than five minutes, and the store employee mentioned the new parking regulations.

As an infrequent visitor to downtown Tacoma, I was not as aware as I should have been. I ran out of the store intending to comply with the new parking fees and found a yellow ticket on my window: a $25 parking violation. My $5 art paper just cost me $30.00.

I am not excusing the fact that I should have been aware of the new regulations. I did feel that the “parking monitor” must have been lurking in the corner, just waiting for the opportunity to dispense a fine; it was too coincidental. The fine seems excessive for the violation.

Unfortunately, in the future, I will think twice before shopping in Tacoma again.

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Leave a comment Comments → 18
  1. I feel that any one issued a parking fine of any amount, should find a more friendly area to do business.I agree with your premise of someone lurking nearby,ready to write you a ticket.But from some of the comments that have been printed,it seems the Business Owners think the ticketing is a good thing.There are too many places that do not have this problem of discourging patronaging.

  2. Novelist3 says:

    Mr. Shotwell-
    Don’t blame all of Tacoma for the mistakes caused by those running downtown. There are plenty of places outside of downtown where you can find the goods and services you need- without someone lurking in the shadows, ready to ticket you or smash your car window in.
    Just let downtown shrivel and die as it seems it wants to do- there’s no reason to mourn it.

  3. tree_guy says:

    We just paid the JayRay PR firm $50,000.00 to make sure that everyone in the area was “on board” with the new parking requirements and that there would be no surprises. Apparently the letter writer was surprised about the requirements. Does this mean that the city will be getting it’s $50,000.00 back?

  4. “I found a parking space on the street and went in.”

    You found a space because of the new parking regulations. Otherwise that space would have been taken up by an all day, every day, parker.

  5. OldLefty says:

    I love how people can’t come up with a quarter to avoid a $30 ticket.

    Get a truck license plate (pay the fee) and park in loading zones for free. Of course, even there, you have a time limit.

  6. OldLefty says:

    Why all the fuss over paid parking Downtown?

    We plugged meters all over 7th and St. Helens/Broadway, etc. from 1970 to 1974 when the Trib moved to the new plant.

    Metered parking is nothing new in Downtown Tacoma.

  7. shaun9778 says:

    Any business owner that thinks this is a good thing either doesn’t know how to run a business or owns the type of business that doesn’t depend on repeat quick “in and out” type customers. Of course paying to park is a deterrent. Especially when there are so many commercial shopping areas within 5-10 minutes from downtown (unlike bigger cities like Portland and Seattle where paid parking makes sense). I live downtown and I find myself LEAVING the downtown core for things like lunch, coffee, banking etc. I find that the inconvenience and risk of getting a $30 fine is reason enough to drive five minutes to “old town” to go to a cafe.

  8. reformedliberal says:

    People need to be reminded of how and why this came about, every time the subject comes up.

    REMEMBER: the city found that the parking shortage was caused primarily by employees of downtown businesses.

    Instead of doing the sensible thing – asking business owners to control their employees – the city chose to install parking meters… ostensibly, for the benefit of the business owners.

    Oh, but it’s not about revenue. It’s about “invigorating the downtown core.” Uh, and helping the businesses, too… you know, the ones that wouldn’t lift a finger to help themselves cure their own self-inflicted parking problems.

  9. crenshawsepulveda says:

    Do the parking enforcement people get a bounty for each ticket they write? These guys are dead serious at the job of finding overtime and non-paying parkers.

  10. pazzo242 says:

    Come-on…hasn’t anybody been to Seattle over the last 10 years. They’ve had the electronic meters, where you put a tag in your window, it seems forever. And to think a parking checker is stalking you is the stupidest thing I’ve ever had.

    So don’t go Downtown anymore…that many more parking spots I will find for my 25 cents

  11. “As an infrequent visitor to downtown Tacoma, I was not as aware as I should have been.”

    Yes, you should have been aware. It’s been front page news for months now.

  12. “Instead of doing the sensible thing – asking business owners to control their employees – the city chose to install parking meters… ostensibly, for the benefit of the business owners.”

    It was the majority of the businesses that wanted parking meters. So don’t blame the city.

    If you don’t like them, don’t go downtown. The parking meters are not going to stop me based on the few times I actually go downtown.

  13. Sumner401 says:

    In the store less than 5 mins?
    I seriously doubt that.
    More like 1 hour and 45 mins.

  14. nwcolorist says:

    I live in the Proctor district. It has everythimg I need, all within walking distance – grocery store, banks, restaurants, post office, library, art gallery… I could go on.

    Even with free parking, for me there’s very little downtown that’s worth making the trip.

  15. yabetchya says:

    Where did horton go?

  16. fanciladi says:

    Oh, I remember the Tribune on 7th & Broadway…I used to work there for a while…Composing Dept. I think it was. Rode the bus back then…I think…was quite a while ago…….oh, well…and I do remember the parking meters!

    I hope they never put parking meters at the mall……..oh, I had better not say that…don’t want to give them any nasty ideas…LOL…

  17. fanciladi says:

    Oops…7th & St. Helens…

  18. It seems the letter writer took the gamble that she wouldn’t receive a ticket since it was only going to be a short time that her car was parked illegally. Sorry…..sometimes you get caught.

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