Letter | Say no to Mercer Ways parking restrictions
February 27, 2012 · Updated 3:56 PM
The City Council intends to pass an ordinance on March 5 banning daylight parking along most of East and West Mercer Ways and parts of North Mercer Way. The proposed “Dawn to Dusk” policy is difficult on residents because the hours can change so much during the year. If they want to have an evening barbecue in July, their guests can’t park on the street till after 10 p.m. If someone is sleeping over, they better be prepared to move their cars at 4:30 a.m.
Councilman Dan Grausz feels that paving some shoulders has given the city the right to dictate how all of them are used. On Feb. 21, he said that if he’d known they would be used for parking, he wouldn’t have bothered to pave them. He forgets that the paving was paid for by taxpayers — among them the people who live next to these shoulders.
There aren’t many shoulders that are wide enough to park on, but there are some and they are precious. Right now, people can use them to visit friends, pick up their mail or stop at a yard sale. If parents want to wait for the schoolbus or take their kids to a party, they can park without fear of a ticket. If someone is having work done on his house, he and the workers have a place to park.
If the City Council has their way, that flexibility will be gone and the greenery along the Mercer Ways will become blighted with miles of “No Parking” signs. At a time when burglaries are on the rise, the police will be busy enforcing the parking ban.
Councilwoman Jane Meyer Brahm pointed out that city staff recommended AGAINST implementing this policy — and there is no data to support a need for it.
I hope the people of Mercer Island will think about how this policy will harm life in our Island home and tell our Council to vote against it.