News blog for Seattle's Fremont neighborhood


Entries from December 2008

Will the streetcar come to Fremont?

December 3rd, 2008 by Geeky Swedes

The Seattle City Council will vote this coming Monday on whether or not to pursue building more streetcar lines throughout the city, including one that would run from downtown Seattle to Fremont (see map).

Back in July, residents spoke out at a community forum about the proposed expansion. Opinions seemed to be split down the middle. And according to the Seattle Times, the city council is divided and will actually be voting on two separate resolutions on Monday: one against building more lines and one in favor of more lines. If the council decides to move ahead with the project, there is no timeline for construction and some of the funding is still in question. Councilmembers Nick Licata and Tom Rasmussan both have more questions about the project, while other members on the transportation committee are in full support. We’ll let you know what happens.

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Chamber: City parking plan is about the revenue

December 1st, 2008 by Geeky Swedes

With the SDOT due to release its final parking plan for Fremont any day now, the Fremont Chamber of Commerce says the city cares more about making money than managing parking. “Everybody feels this is a revenue-generating tactic from the city,” says Jessica Vets, the chamber’s executive director in an interview with Fremont Universe. “There are paid parking lots all through Fremont, (but) nobody uses them. They’re underutilized.”

The chamber has led an aggressive campaign called “Keep Fremont Free” to protest the city’s plan to add paid parking meters throughout the neighborhood. The city, meanwhile, has called the parking situation in Fremont a “crisis,” holding community meetings and walking tours to get feedback on the plan. “When use of on-street parking spaces reaches 75 percent or higher, as it is throughout Fremont, SDOT considers implementing parking management changes to ensure that parking spaces are available for customers,” explains the SDOT web page on the Fremont plan.

SDOT revised the plan in late October, making adjustments to the map after hearing community feedback (see presentation), but most parking meters remain. Vets maintains that the city’s motivation is not to improve Fremont parking, but drive more revenue, potentially driving away Fremont visitors as businesses struggle with the economy. “We talked to the individual business owners, and they said, ‘This is just not my clientele. The people who shop here, the people who come to my store, they’re not parking meter people,'” said Vets. We’ll let you known when the final parking plan is made available.

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