Letter to the editor: Disabled parking spots lacking on Main between fountain and 6th


Either Edmonds is populated by young, agile folks with boundless energy – or it just doesn’t notice those of us with some years and various mobility issues.

On a short walk yesterday I noticed that there are no disabled parking spots on Main between the fountain and 6th. That’s a long hill, folks, and that stretch contains some of our most popular eating places. The closest  disabled spot up the hill is hidden away on the corner of 6th and Dayton, in other words, two blocks from, say, Mar-Ket. That’s a long hike back if you’re disabled or in a wheelchair that needs pushing (or braking on the way down). And it’s a long hike, or push, up to, say, Kelnero, from the few disabled spots on 5th or lower Main.

Who thought a single reserved space, on a corner with no shops, and a block from Main was a good idea?  Did anyone “plan” this, or was the spot just dropped any old where as an afterthought?

Now go to the new Civic Field – at least four disabled spots, and just to prove that some planners can actually plan (Yes! Even in Edmonds!) these spots are adjacent to a good, well-marked disabled ramped curb. So it can be done.

Now how about making it safe and easy for Edmonds’ older and/or mobility-challenged actually to be able to shop and dine on 6th above the fountain? We patronize restaurants and bars too! Or would like to…

Nathaniel Brown

  1. Nathaniel, this is simply not true. There is a disabled parking spot in front of Moto’s Pizza, about 30 feet from the fountain.

    You are lucky to be among one of “the walking” here in Edmonds. But you should not be spreading falsehoods. Thankfully, those of us who rely on these spaces know where to find them.

    1. I’m not often accused of lying, so perhaps I may point out that I wrote “there are no disabled parking spots on Main between the fountain and 6th,” that is ABOVE the fountain. Moto’s Pizza is below the fountain.

      Even had I been wrong, an mistake is not “spreading falsehoods.” I believe you owe me a retraction.

      1. There is literally a disabled parking spot two storefronts away from the fountain, Nathaniel. But because of your flawed logic, you choose to ignore it. You refer instead to the closest parking spot “hidden away on the corner of 6th and Dayton, in other words, two blocks from, say, Mar-Ket.” No, this is not true. The parking spot in front of Moto’s is closer to Mar-Ket, as well as the nearby restaurants (including those across the street!). Your letter, though I assume to be well-intentioned, instead has the effect of detracting differently abled individuals from visiting the Local businesses that make Edmonds great. I believe you, sir, owe all of us a retraction. Good day and may God bless you.

        1. I referred to “The closest disabled spot UP the hill.” That is not in any way a question of “flawed logic.” It is simple fact. The Moto parking spot remains BELOW the fountain. This is a situation which genuinely “detracts,” or actually prevents, some from from patronizing local businesses, as adverted to below.

  2. I agree with Nathaniel, Edmonds needs to mark a few more spots near the Fountain. Let’s treat the Seniors gently please. Y’all who can walk shouldn’t complain about a bit more exercise. A lot of Seniors don’t “shop local” because the spots are so hard to find.

    1. Thank you Nathaniel for bringing this up about the woefully inadequate handicap parking in downtown Edmonds. There’s been much talk about being underserved and the handicapped parking is a perfect example. Maybe the mayor could request a couple hundred thousand dollars in consulting fees to add a space or two more.

      1. Surely the Council could spend at least that much on a preliminary, refundable deposit on parking spaces, before even starting on consultants! We could then eliminate some parking spaces by putting in some planters or something that would attract tourists.

  3. Hi Nathaniel, Great points. Typically ADA requirements for parking is 1 for every 25 stalls. If start at the fountain and go in all directions and treat each direction as a set of 25 stalls we do OK for ADA stalls when going South, West, and North but we do not meet that standard going East up Main Street. It looks like we need 2 ADA stalls between 5th and 6th ave along Main Street.

    One of the key questions that was going to be addressed with the parking study was ADA stalls. But council did not proceed with that study but could easily do the early steps of that study for a fraction of the proposed $95k for the whole study.

  4. I believe the Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility Commission has multiple times presented a list of issues to staff about us being dramatically out of compliance with ADA guidelines across many areas of the city. This is a pretty big liability that the city carries every year. It will be expensive for us to wait for someone to sue us over all of the safety issues instead of spending the time and energy to get ourselves into compliance. Perhaps the city should actually put in the effort to listen to their boards, commissions, and other volunteer groups instead of just doing the bare minimum performance of hosting the meetings (or at least the “meetings” that they don’t cancel because they don’t think people are coming).

    1. Thanks Chris. I too hear from the DEIA Commission about Edmonds’ non-compliance with ADA, how we’re neglecting our elderly and handicapped communities. Perhaps City Hall should focus more on basics, on essential city services, before launching expensive new projects like 20 miles of “greenways” and redeveloping the Burlington site.

      Let’s get the sewage plant operating as designed, and fix that leaky roof over the library. And storm drainage fixes on Shell and Perrinville creeks. Edmonds needs to focus on the essentials, including getting compliant with ADA. First things first.

  5. While the point made by Mr. Brown is a good one (we have a disabled driver in our home) the block he is concerned about is a difficult stretch of street for handicap parking. The parking areas are so narrow that a full size vehicle that is touching the curb still has a driver side mirror that will extend over the white line that demarks the parking area. For the same reason, it is hard to get in and out of a vehicle on the driver side – it cannot be done while a vehicle is passing, and this is a busy stretch. And it’s has a slope.
    So, I don’t know if the City considered those issues in not designating spots in that block. But even if there were spaces added, we would not likely use those.

  6. Just a few short months ago we were all having to convince our Mayor and Council that parking spaces converted to permanent restaurant dining rooms was a bad idea. That in itself took some doing. Current professional city planners are educated in college to be at war with the personal transportation concept (cars) in general, so I suspect just fighting to retain any kind of parking in our more and more congested downtown will be a constant in the coming years. If you will all recall, one of the “visions” being preached to us by the powers that currently be, is turning downtown into a European style walking mall. If you don’t walk well, that’s just tough “nuggies” I guess. Tourism is everything and the Edmond’s Dream must be fulfilled.

  7. I recently moved back to Edmonds after living here for a few years in the 80’s. But, I am now an older – “elder and wiser Boomer” – living further from downtown with a disability requiring the use of a cane or walking sticks. I still need to drive and park in town because I found out that Community Transit doesn’t serve much west of Hwy 99 other than around Edmonds CC. To enjoy the waterfront area I can usually find regular parking down toward the Marina because the disabled parking for the Senior Center is usually taken. But, I usually can’t find parking up the hill in the main business area when I want to enjoy some time there. And please remember that our large Boomer generation has now gotten to where we are still healthy but unfortunately we are starting to deal with mobility issues…and also a lot of younger disabled people eat and shop in town. So, the shortage of ADA compliant parking is not sufficient. And I really hate the thought of a class action lawsuit being needed to just do the right thing. Like they say, “just walk a mile in our shoes”

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