Mayor Mcginn and the Seattle City Council – I’d hate to tell you that “I told you so”, but…………… I TOLD YOU SO!
Raising parking rates and extending parking hours in certain parts of Downtown Seattle was not just ill-timed, but idiotic. Everyone realizes that the city has budget issues, but during the recession, when the city decided to raise parking rates and extend the “paid” parking hours to generate revenue, many residents of our city were scratching their heads like me. Now the repercussions of that decision are starting to surface.
I don’t know specifically who broke the story, but both the Seattle Times and Komo News Radio covered it today. There are 7 community groups and over 70 restaurants that have written the Mayors office to beg for a retraction of the increased hours/fees. To be honest, I don’t blame them. According to the Seattle Times, some business owners are citing as much as a 50% decline in business. I can’t imagine that much of an impact, but lets be honest, does the increase in revenue for the city outweigh the health and stability of Seattle’s restaurant community? Even Tom Douglas, a famous Seattle restaurateur is at odds with the city over the parking change.
Speaking from a condo perspective, as I said before, I think this has hurt our community. Higher rates and longer hours were a bad idea. You may recall a post I wrote last year that highlighted the differences between Downtown Bellevue and Downtown Seattle. Seattle is headed in the wrong direction, while Downtown Bellevue is laughing all the way to the bank. Healthy business = Healthy tax revenue. Do the math.