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home : opinion : columnists April 29, 2016


5/15/2013 2:51:00 PM
No parking meters downtown!
By Mayor Farivar


The issue of the day appears to be parking, and it is fraught with misinformation and miscommunication, so I thought it was time for a little discussion about what the City Council is actually planning. As you know, the city is in the process of acquiring a large part of the old Leavenworth Fruit warehouse building property to create a parking lot. We will be improving this property with fencing, lighting and striping this summer to create a pay-parking lot on both levels of the site. At the same time the Festhalle parking lot will also become pay-parking. As planned, the lot adjacent to City Hall, (the Old Firehall lot), will also be improved to become pay-parking. That's all the pay parking lots we are creating! Really! Contrary to news reports and rumors, there is no plan to add parking meters downtown. In our recent survey to city residents, we learned that residents wanted us to create additional short-term parking so that they could run to town for errands and shopping, so we are doing just that. In addition to the two short term parking spots in front of the Village Pharmacy, we are adding 8 more one-hour parking spots downtown. Located on Commercial Street, 8th Street, 9th Street, as well as Front Street, these spots will allow locals to find a downtown parking place much easier. We are also designating a couple of drop-off lanes at the swimming pool and to make the pool parking lot 2-hour parking, mostly to coincide with swim lessons and adult swim sessions. Our hope is that this will deter long-term parkers and employees from filling up the pool parking lot all day long. There will be no change in the City Hall parking lot. We are also discussing a method to allow employees to purchase a discounted parking permit that would allow them to park in the lower parking area of the old fruit warehouse.

As you know, the City Council has worked long and hard to find a way to create additional parking in the downtown area without raising taxes or creating a downtown LID. The way we did it is to create pay-parking lots that will be used by our visitors. We fully expect that tourists will pay to park in our beautiful downtown and that the parking revenue will pay for the purchase of the warehouse parking lot, which is a good thing for our town. The bottom line is this...we have created more parking spaces rather than fewer and have added short-term spots for our locals to enjoy. We are trying to solve the Leavenworth parking issues in the smartest way possible. Our success as a community creates change that will affect some of us, and change is never easy for us humans, is it? But let's get all the facts before we jump to conclusions and criticism. Remember, we're all in this together.

Mayor Farivar may be reached at Leavenworth City Hall or emailed at mayor@cityofleavenworth.com





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