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Parking Rates

Joshua McNichols
11/17/2008

Seattle's city council plans to vote today on whether to increase parking rates. The fee increase would bring in about 13 million dollars over the next two years. KUOW's Joshua McNichols has more.

TRANSCRIPT

TWO DOLLARS AND FIFTY CENTS. THAT'S HOW MUCH IT'LL COST TO PARK DOWNTOWN FOR ONE HOUR. RIGHT NOW, DRIVERS PAY A DOLLAR FIFTY. OTHER NEIGHBORHOODS LIKE BALLARD AND SOUTH LAKE UNION WILL SEE A SMALLER INCREASE TO TWO DOLLARS, UP FROM A DOLLAR TWENTY–FIVE.

YOU MAY THINK STRUGGLING RETAILERS WOULD BE UPSET. WOULDN'T A PARKING RATE INCREASE DRIVE CUSTOMERS AWAY?

SCHOLES: "We think a modest increase would be appropriate."

THAT'S JOHN SCHOLES. HE'S WITH THE DOWNTOWN SEATTLE ASSOCIATION. SCHOLES SAYS IF STREET PARKING IS TOO CHEAP, PEOPLE PARK IN THOSE SPACES ALL DAY. THEY'LL COME OUT EVERY COUPLE HOURS TO RENEW THEIR PARKING STICKERS. SCHOLES SAYS THERE'S JUST TOO MUCH DEMAND FOR STREET PARKING SPACES.

SCHOLES: "They just don't turn over enough and aren't available enough for people who want to come down to shop, and to run errands and to have that convenience."

IT'S ESTIMATED THE FEE INCREASES WOULD COVER MORE THAN HALF THE CITY'S 19 MILLION DOLLAR BUDGET SHORTFALL OVER THE NEXT TWO YEARS. THE COUNCIL PLANS TO DISCUSS PARKING RATES IN ITS BUDGET MEETING TODAY (MONDAY).

FOR KUOW, I'M JOSHUA MCNICHOLS

© Copyright 2008, KUOW

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