Not Quite a Done Deal

On Tuesday, the city discussed its proposed parking kiosks for downtown. No
one there asked the question I asked in the previous blog entry: Is this too

One reason I would guess that was the case was because everyone acknowledges
there is a problem that requires a solution sooner rather than later.

Jerry Soriano made a valid point in that nothing will work if nothing’s
enforced. But I’ve had a different experience in parking downtown. I’ve been
ticketed twice. There have been other times when I deserved tickets and
didn’t get them, so it’s not perfect.

Nonetheless, it may not be so much a problem of people beating the system,
it could be that they’re working within a system that allows them to create
the problem downtown has. All the discussion was about people who switch
spots every two hours (except for some conversations about people who have
“handicapped” placards who may not actually need them), not much about
people who park too long.

That may be why resistance to the issue was more about details and wasn’t
outright opposition. Business owners agree parking is a big problem. There
were a couple who outright objected, but I don’t get the sense the
opposition is united. That may change next week. The Bremerton Area Chamber
of Commerce’s board may weigh in on the issue. Before they do, they’ll be
talking with business owners to form an opinion.

For this parking kiosk thing not to happen, the council would have to decide
not to purchase the machines it already budgeted for last year. The
operation wasn’t expected to have a positive impact on the city’s books this
year, but would have created $333,000 next year. Wherever the administration
was planning to put that money (ostensibly to improve the appearance of the
downtown streets), it would not go.

4 thoughts on “Not Quite a Done Deal

  1. I, too, attended the meeting on Tuesday night along with a co-worker. I think we were both a bit surprised to hear that not a few but many of the downtown town businesses employees were guilty of parking and reparking. We are directly across from the Kitsap Sun and watch some of the same empoyees do this on a regular basis. I thought they were unique ,but apparently not. We have been in our location for five years and we love it. Parking has not been an issue in the past, and there are seven of us, because I’ve rented 3 spaces from Tim Ryan’s lot on 6th and Pacific (we all alternate work days so this has worked out well for us.) The lot is due to be demoloshed along with the building on the corner of Pacific and 6th. As of July I’ll have to lease 3 spaces from Diamond in a lot that is across an alley and 6th street. Most of us are female and the safety issue has and is affecting my business as one contractor has not renewed her lease and another is weighing her options as to whether it would be a hardship on her income if she were to not work in our downtown office anyone.
    I am for the implemantation of the pay for parking system. The sooner we start the sooner we will have better lighting, more attractive streets and sidewalks and hopefully more interested retailers wanting to open in our desirabe downtown.
    I learnewd that most of the non-profit’s are staffed by volunteers and it was suggested by the Mayor that public trasnsportation be utilized. I don’t know that if I was volunteering if I’d be willing to tack on an additional hour each way to get to my volunteer job as that is usually the minimum amount of aditional time it takes to use P.T. counting getting to and waiting for the bus. Plus, these volunteers are mostly retirees as I understand it. That adds a whole other dynamic to the P.T. issue.
    Also mentioned was someone who asked how is suppose to keep someone from paying and parking and paying and parking and leaving their car in one spot all day. I can tell you. It would cast approximately $21.00 a day to park ofr 8 1/2 hours, equalling $84.00 a month. Why would someone pay tis when they can pay $75.00 at a nearby Diamond lot.
    Ryan, the marketer, mentioned thier goal was to get employees off the streets in towns like Trukckee, Ca. and Baltimore, Md. and into the garages and they succeeded.
    My question is do we have garage space for all those who, with proper safety lighting in the garages on the streets, would use these garages?

  2. Council was clearly asked a week in advance that very question (Is it too early?) I asked that along with “At what point did cited example cities implement their kiosks?”

    Also, prove to me, the parking problem. I’ve been doing business downtown for five years now and have never had a problem finding parking on the streets. Adding an additonal bill to an already marginal place of business is absurd at this point.

    It’s not like the enforcement will get any better. The city has been effectively pitched on meters before their time.

  3. The whole parking kiosk plan comes from standard government reactions to fixing symptoms and not underlying problems. The problem of employees of the local businesses taking the street parking stems from a lack of affordable parking options elsewhere. I am fortunate in having an upper management position in a downtown business and the company pays for my parking each month, but we have 60+ employee’s who do not have that benefit. They are forced to spend the first one to two hours each day working just to pay for parking, or they play what I call “Parking Roulette” and the space switching game.

    One employee stated it to me very well when he told me getting a $15 parking ticket from time to time is still cheaper then $80 – $100 per month for a parking pass. This kiosk plan will just make it harder for the downtown businesses to attract employees for lower paying jobs.

  4. I’ve lived here in Bremerton for 10 years and I can honestly say that I would never pay to park downtown. I also commute everyday to Seattle as the supply of livable wage jobs here in Bremerton are few and far between. I agree that something needs to be done about the ‘Parking Roulette’ but I don’t think we need to go the Seattle route and charge people to shop or do business downtown. If you do that, the people that do come downtown now won’t and the other people like myself waiting for the ‘revitalization’ to be done will never come. I see this as just another tax or fee that the city is trying to get out of everyone. I would think that if you own a business downtown and you wanted workers, you’d provide parking for the workers and if not at least pay for their parking. It’s the thinking that people have a bottomless supply of money and they will keep paying these small increases that is going to destroy Bremerton. I wish I recieved raises that kept me at the same income level to keep pace with all the tax increases and fee increases that I have to pay for each year but I don’t. Instead of spending $300,000 on parking kiosks how about using that money to fix the sidewalks and lighting to calm the fears that some have expressed about the safety of downtown. I see this as another signal that The ‘Leaders’ of Bremerton want the less affluent people to just leave as it doesn’t fit in with their vision of the ‘revitalized’ Bremerton. I would also like to point out that the income figure for the income generated by these parking spots seems inflated. I know that there is no easy answer but we can do better than charging for street parking.

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