Jan. 29, 2015
“Public transportation is important to the infrastructure of our state and urban areas, but low, middle and fixed income families should not have to pay fees to park in their own neighborhoods,” Hasegawa said. “This was a problem created by Sound Transit and the City of Seattle. Though $65 per vehicle doesn’t sound like much to some people, these fees have a definable impact on working families who are already seeing the cost of living rise as their neighborhoods become more gentrified. The fact is, people are being priced out of their own homes.”
Following the light rail construction, south Seattle neighborhoods near Sound Transit stations saw parking fees implemented to discourage commuters from taking up residential parking spaces during the day. The effect however, is that those who live in impacted neighborhoods are now facing fees their close-by neighbors do not have to pay.
“The people who live in these neighborhoods still need their cars to get to their jobs,” Hasegawa added. “It only makes moral and economic sense to not further burden working families, including immigrants and refugees, who are just trying to make ends meet. This really is a social justice issue.”
Hasegawa introduced the bill in 2014 as well, but it did not make it through the House.
To view the hearing and testimony, please click here.
Feb. 2, 2015
OLYMPIA – Sen. Bob Hasegawa, D-Beacon Hill, released the following statement regarding exemptions from Restricted Parking Zones (RPZ) in Seattle:
“I am glad the City of Seattle has agreed to take into account the needs of low-income citizens with regards to restricted parking zones in Seattle,” Hasegawa said. “It is unfortunate they didn’t bring up their waiver program when my bill was in committee, but I look forward to them continuing exemptions and getting the word out that waivers are available to those who can demonstrate hardship.
“I really see this as a social justice issue. It is easy to disregard RPZ fees as small, but nickel-and-diming people in my district and across Seattle is making it impossible for working families to make ends meet in this city.
“It is great an equitable solution is available for people who need an exemption, and I encourage anyone who is interested in receiving one to contact the Seattle Department of Transportation.”