Last week, Council Members Burgess, Rasmussen and Clark met at Delicatus to listen to over 40 Pioneer Square residents and business owners talk about our many concerns for the neighborhood and how we feel the city should be helping.
On Tuesday, Sally Clark, Tim Burgess, Tom Rasmussen, and Richard Conlin sent a letter to McGinn outlining action items that they feel should be looked at, with some being “implemented immediately.” You can read the letter in its entirety here, but if you’re not in the mood to read the 3-page letter of support for our neighborhood, here are some excerpts that highlight the important parts:
These neighbors want to partner with the City’s government to protect and revitalize Pioneer Square at a time of significant disruption and uncertainty. Their concerns have become more acute because of the work underway related to the Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement Project and the soon-to-begin construction of the new Pioneer Square-Capitol Hill streetcar line and the Qwest Field North Lot residential-retail-business complex.
They agree that due to all of these impacts, steps should be taken to protect our unique, historic district. Some should be “implemented immediately,” while others “may require further feasibility analysis.”
1. Adjust as necessary and as quickly as possible the boundaries of the neighborhood parking area to accurately reflect the boundaries of the PSq neighborhood.
2. Work with King County Metro to move on-street transit layover parking and work with the Fire Dept and other city Depts to find parking in alternative locations in order to free up more parking spaces in the District.
3. Maintain the current on-street parking hour end time of 6pm and adopt Sunday management policies that will create a higher turnover rate.
4. Waive Business + Occupation taxes on “Retail Trade” businesses located within the PSq Historic District through 2015.
5. Add extra police foot patrols in the District during afternoon and evening hours with special attention given to weekends and to noise enforcement between midnight and 3am. Focus police resources to provide concentrated deterrence in designated hot spots, especially areas that serve as open air drug markets.
6. Provide wayfinding to public toilets, explore re-opening the restrooms at Fire Station 10 for managed use by the public and explore the merits of developing other public restroom options in the District, including the possibility of requiring special event operators to provide adequate portable toilets throughout Pioneer Square.
7. Evaluate street cleanup services, street light maintenance and sidewalk and street repair, including street median maintenance, to make certain service levels are adequate.
8. Waive special event permitting fees to promote street and park activities and increase coordination with other downtown and Int’l District events to reduce competition and to create synergy that will attract more visitors to the District.
I think this is a big step for these City Council members to push for these changes in our neighborhood. While I’m disappointed that the rates are only capped and not going down from the $3.50 level, we have a big win by keeping our hours at 6pm.
Up next: I live-tweeted the Mayor’s press conference yesterday, and will post more info soon on what the Mayor’s office has to say about our neighborhood and the steps they’re willing to take after receiving the suggestions from City Council.