By: Joanna Small, KIRO 7 News
EVERETT, Wash. – One North Sound city has seen tremendous population and business growth but there’s nowhere to park.
That’s a problem, so the city of Everett is in the midst of a full-scale parking study to determine what needs to change to squeeze everybody’s vehicle into a growing downtown.
Inside the Downtown Everett Association, executive director Dana Oliver has a map of the entire city core.
“Every property on this map is a business improvement area customer,” she tells us, pointing.
Her job is to make every customer as successful as possible, but that’s tough to do if her customers’ customers can’t find a place to park.
“I think parking is the biggest concern of the businesses that exist today,” Oliver explains.
Just take a drive around the county courthouse and you’ll see why: on-street spaces are few and far between and there are three new mixed-use buildings about to break ground.
“There’s got to be some give somewhere in the system to accommodate for any retail businesses located in those new developments for customers to park,” Oliver says.
The self-proclaimed “parking geek” is teaming up with the Tim Miller, an unapologetic “traffic geek.” He’s a traffic engineer with the city of Everett and we talked with him inside the city’s traffic monitoring center.
The city of Everett created a parking task force and is in the middle of a massive parking study.
“We had a consultant help us—they canvassed the whole downtown, measuring 100% of every on-street parking space,” for 12 hours straight on both a weekday and a weekend, Miller explained.
According to the initial findings on a typical weekday more than 67% of the parking spots downtown are occupied by more than 6,350 different cars throughout the day; that’s a 6% increase over the last study in 2015.
And the most congested streets—Miller says—are 85% full on any given weekday.
That could mean a new parking garage or maybe metered parking.
“We are going to look at the timing and feasibility—if the downtown businesses want it—a pay to park type situation,” Miller tells us.
Both Oliver and Miller hope you’ll be as passionate about parking as they are.
“If you are somebody who shops downtown, eats downtown, goes for entertainment downtown,” then please, Miller says, fill out the online parking survey by Sept. 16.
Click here to go straight to the survey: www.everettwa.gov/traffic