Non-residents to pay to park downtown

By Sara Bruestle | May 26, 2015
Courtesy of: City of Mukilteo The city is installing 20 automated parking machines for its paid parking program, which launches June 1.

Mukilteans can now pick up passes to park for free at Lighthouse Park.

A pilot program that allows residents to park downtown for free with a pass and that charges non-residents an hourly rate for parking goes into effect June 1.

Mukilteo City Council finalized plans in March to implement paid parking for non-residents downtown. As long as they have a parking pass, residents won’t pay to park.

Ever since the city renovated Lighthouse Park, it has become very popular. More than 1,000 vehicles go through the park each day on the weekends in the peak season.

Visitors know there isn’t enough parking to meet the demand on a sunny Saturday.

“We’ve heard from a lot of residents that they don’t go to the park because of the difficulty of finding a parking space,” said Patricia Love, community development director. “This parking program is set up to help create some turnover and allow more residents access to the park.”

Hourly paid parking will go into effect at Lighthouse Park along Front Street, Park Avenue and First Street. Non-residents may purchase up to four hours of parking at a time. Overnight parking is prohibited.

“If you’re enjoying Mukilteo sights and sounds [for more than four hours], all you would need to do is go back and pay the meter for a new ticket,” Mayor Jennifer Gregerson said. “If you get on a bus or ferry or train, and you’re not in Mukilteo, and you can’t pay for a parking ticket, then you’re in trouble.”

Non-residents will pay $2 an hour to park between 4 a.m. and 10 p.m. from May 1 to Sept. 30 (peak season) and $1 an hour to park between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. from Oct. 1 to April 30 (off season).

Front Street, Park Avenue and First Street will have paid parking between the hours of 8 a.m. and 8 p.m.

Visitors will pay with coin or card, print out a parking slip and put it on the dash of their car.

Unauthorized vehicles in the park before or after these hours may be ticketed or towed.

Residents can pick up a yearly parking pass at City Hall or Rosehill Community Center for unlimited parking downtown. The placard can be transferred between two vehicles.

Mukilteans have been asking for years for a program that includes a free pass for residents so they can park at Lighthouse Park without “double taxation.”

Since 2010, the city has looked into paid parking as a way to relieve traffic and congestion downtown. This is the first plan the council has implemented in the last five years.

“This is a long time coming for our residents,” Councilmember Steve Schmalz said. “We’ve gone back and forth on this for years. I am so thrilled that we’re finally moving forward.”

Yearly maintenance and operation of Lighthouse Park costs about $285,000. With the program, revenues over the first year are estimated at upwards of $42,000.

Net revenue will go toward pedestrian improvements and projects on the Tank Farm.

“There are a lot of unknowns with revenues, so the council has asked that this be a pilot program,” Love said. “We’re bringing it back to them in November, to go over pros and cons and to potentially tweak it.”

The city has plans to install 20 automated parking machines – the first of which were installed on May 15 – and plans to hire two park rangers to enforce parking and park rules.

It cost the city $175,000 to install the machines. The park rangers will be paid $43,000-$52,000 each a year.

Lighthouse Park has 337 parking spots, plus 32 boat-trailer spaces for use of the boat launch. An additional 100 stalls are reserved for commuter parking.

No changes will be made to boater parking fees. Vehicles with handicapped parking placards will also park for free. Paid commuter parking remains first come, first served.

Some parking will be free on Wednesdays June through September for the Mukilteo Farmers Market.

In addition, free parking on some streets in Old Town, such as Lincoln Avenue, will be reduced from a limit of four to two hours between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m.

Want a parking pass? Mukilteans must complete an application and provide proof of residency (such as a driver’s license or vehicle registration showing a Mukilteo address) to receive a free placard.

Fill out an application and pick up a pass at City Hall (11930 Cyrus Way) or Rosehill Community Center (304 Lincoln Ave.).

The passes are not required until paid parking launches on June 1.

Only one pass available per household. Pass may be shared between two vehicles registered to and under control of the resident. Passes are valid for one year.

Call 425-263-8060 or go to www.ci.mukilteo.wa.us for more information.

Comments (0)
If you wish to comment, please login.