SEATTLE - The Seattle Department of Transportation is planning to turn 250 downtown Ballard spots into paid parking. Also in the works are more time limits for parking the area.
We asked SDOT why they are adding paid parking.
"To create available access to businesses, so folks coming into the neighborhood can find a place to park,” said Jonathan Williams, senior transportation planner with SDOT.
Williams says paid parking is proven to turn around more quickly – and the plans are to help people find parking in Ballard, one of the fastest-growing neighborhoods in Seattle.
"After about 9 o'clock it's impossible. If I leave for lunch my parking spot gets stolen right away,” said Jesse Hoffman, who works as an industrial mechanic in downtown Ballard.
We told him about the proposed parking changes, which SDOT plans to implement this spring.
"I think they're just hitting us where it hurts, really. It's just one of the last free things, down here, is parking, and they're gonna take that away from us now, it's gonna cost businesses too,” added Hoffman.
But SDOT says it proposed the parking changes to help businesses. To see the map of changes, click here.
SDOT says they haven't made major parking changes in Ballard for a decade.
Over the course of roughly 20 meetings, SDOT met with people who opposed and supported their plans. They received hundreds of comments from people in the community and created the parking plan after taking the feedback into consideration.