Political Buzz

Talking WA politics.

NOTICE: Political Buzz has moved.

With the launch of our new website, we've moved Political Buzz.
Visit the new section.

Tag: Parking

April
23rd

Tacoma: City stands to make more than $4 million over first five years under terms of parking contracts for State Farm

State Farm hasn’t even arrived yet, but already the company has been good to the City of Tacoma.

Under separate parking agreements approved by the City Council Tuesday, the city stands to make $4.2 million over the next five years by leasing more than 800 permits for the insurance company in three city-owned downtown garages that now largely stand vacant.

The two five-year deals will boost the city’s dismal parking occupancy rates from just over half full to about 80 percent of capacity, city parking officials said Tuesday.

More importantly, they added, the deals will erase an $850,000 subsidy from

Read more »

Feb.
18th

Strickland a parking offender? Yes, even the mayor gets her share of tickets

When the Tacoma City Council retreated to the Urban Waters building one recent Friday, Mayor Marilyn Strickland drove to the city’s new eco-friendly palace on the east side of the Foss Waterway and parked nearby.

But sometime during the ensuing 7-hour session of brainstorming and agenda-setting that she and her fellow council members engaged in, her honor lost track of time.

Tacoma Mayor Marilyn Strickland

Strickland’s sporty gray Scion, parked in one of the few available spots near the building (city planners purposely limited the amount of parking near Urban Waters to encourage alternative transportation modes) garnered attention from a fellow city servant: a Tacoma parking enforcement officer.

“I parked in a two-hour space and didn’t think about moving my car,” Strickland told me today.

So, waiting for the mayor at her car when the council’s retreat disbanded was a gift from the city: a $25 parking ticket.

Strickland wasn’t the only council member so lucky that day.
Read more »

Aug.
24th

Tacoma: The pay station cometh

Motorists take note: The anticipation (or to some, perhaps dread is the word) is nearly over.

In a few minutes from the the time these words are posted, contractors will install the first parking pay station in downtown Tacoma, signaling the soon-to-be end of free parking in the city’s commercial core.

In all, over the next few weeks, about 150 such pay stations will dot the streets of downtown before the city throws the switch and begins charging for parking on Sept. 20.

Initial parking rates are to be set at 75 cents per hour, with a two-hour limit on each space. Revenues garnered from pay station fees and over-limit fines are to be put back into the city’s parking fund, which eventually is projected to sustain the program.

For the past couple years, we’ve written much about the city’s pay-for-parking plan as part of a grander mobilization and transportation strategy for the future of downtown Tacoma. (For more details and context, check out these posts here, here, here and here.) We’ll continue to write more as the city’s pay parking system draws closer.

In the meantime, here’s a press release issued Monday by JayRay Communications heralding the installation of the first few pay stations:

Over the last several weeks you’ve been hearing about paid parking coming to
downtown Tacoma, and tomorrow you’ll see the first visible signs of that
happening. At 10 a.m. in front of Paddy Coyne’s, which is on the east side
of Pacific between 8th and 9th, the first parking pay station will be
installed. Installation takes only about 15 minutes, so if you miss that
one you can move up to 7th Avenue between Pacific and Commerce and watch the
second one being installed.
Read more »

July
19th

Mark your calendars: Free parking ends in Downtown Tacoma on …

September 20.

That’s the date when the City of Tacoma will throw the switch on some 160 newly-installed parking pay stations, effectively ending free parking downtown.

Karrie Spitzer, City of Tacoma spokeswoman, said today the city’s parking task force is still finalizing details on exactly where each pay station will be installed, and what the per-hour pay rate will be (the most recent estimate was 75 cents per hour).

But Spitzer said the plan is still a-go for the city to begin installing pay stations in the first half of August, with the “go live” date on

Read more »

April
19th

Downtown Tacoma parking update: Pay stations by early fall

UPDATE: New information was added to the bottom of this blog post.
————————————————————————————————–

So, when will those paid parking stations begin popping up in downtown Tacoma?

We’ve reported on the subject several times over the past couple years, but haven’t heard much lately.

Feed me, Tacoma!

Today, City Manager Eric Anderson gave me an update: Expect installation of the first pay stations in early August, near the UW-T campus.

Then, over the ensuing weeks, upwards of 200 pay stations will be installed and operational throughout downtown, roughly in an area between 9th and 21st Streets to the north and south, and Market and Dock Streets to the west and east.

“We’ll have them all in place by early fall,” Anderson said.
Read more »