Downtown Parking Pay Stations on Labor Day

Industrial Parking Meters of the World Unite!
posted Sep 7, 2010
tacoma, parking, labor day, unions, robots, eric anderson, tacoma
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FUN FACT: Did you know the red agitator who wrote the Solidarity Forever song lyrics is dead and buried in the City of Destiny? 

Hello seeker! The premise of this Tacomic is a simple one. What if the new pay stations around town, networked together forming some kind of hive/borg A.I. (artificial intelligencer), formed a union--Amalgamated Civic Parking Engineer Pay Station Union International  Local 666 (A.C.P.E.P.S.U.I.)  AND THEN IMMEDIATELY began picketing the retarding 2 Hour time limit on all their contracts?  All HELL would beak loose that's for damn sure, however civil the discussions were online

The best thing about researching this cartoon has to be reading about A PATRIOT'S HISTORY of paid parking downtown on this incredibly 3rd-party-consultant-enriched new downtown parking website

by Erik on 9/7/2010 @ 12:44am
San Francisco is doing it right in implementing parking meters in two areas where Tacoma is failing to do so in the soon to be activates parking pay stations:

1) Little or no time limits on meters:

At most SFpark meters, time limits for regular parking will be four hours; some meters will have no time limits at all.

The SFpark pilot will emphasize the use of demand-responsive pricing to achieve parking availability goals, so short time limits may not be necessary or desirable. Easing time limit restrictions makes parking more convenient for drivers, but it does not mean that everyone will park longer. Extended time limits simply allow some people to park longer if they want to. No restaurateur wants her customer to skip dessert or coffee because of a parking time limit.

2) Parking rates are based on demand for parking and vary according to each area each month:

SFpark will charge the lowest possible hourly rate to achieve the right level of availability in both garages and at metered spaces. This project is not about raising parking revenue; its about making parking easier to find. SFpark is designed so each block and each garage maintains have about, on average, 20 percent...

Here is SF video:

by Crenshaw Sepulveda on 9/7/2010 @ 1:59am
The least the city could have done is to turn all of these pay stations into free wireless hot spots. We'd have some pretty good coverage downtown if we could get the internets off these things.

by fredo on 9/7/2010 @ 7:00am
"Parking rates are based on demand for parking and vary according to each area each month:" erik

apparently the price of parking can go up or down as demand requires and this is believed to be a good thing.

interesting that enlightened people can embrace this useful marketplace example of supply and demand but they can't see that the same mechanism could end unemployment! If we would begin letting the price of labor be set in the marketplace (like in the San Francisco parking arrangement) we could achieve very high rates of employment.

Conversely we could decide that there is a minimum parking rate in our society that we can never waiver on. You pay $8/hr. to park, even if every parking space is available.

by morgan on 9/7/2010 @ 8:02am

by The Jinxmedic on 9/7/2010 @ 8:14am
$8/hr to park? In Tacoma?

by Mofo from the Hood on 9/7/2010 @ 8:38am
The Commonsense Plan for Protest of Parking Meters in Downtown Tacoma: Using Technology to Live the Good Life.

Chapter 1
Sometimes when things get a little heavy in Tacoma, I feel that I just gotta get away. Lately the City formulated a plan to take more of my hard earned money---parking meters downtown.

What to do? Simple. Just drive my car in the opposite direction.

by NineInchNachos on 9/7/2010 @ 9:23am
comments from my facebook!

- - -

Morgan Alexander wrote: VOTE FOR NO TIME LIMITS!!!

- - -

Daniel Lucus Rahe wrote: " know I've made some very poor decisions recently, but I can give you my complete assurance that my work will be back to normal. I've still got the greatest enthusiasm and confidence in the mission. And I want to help you." - droids in history.

by cisserosmiley on 9/7/2010 @ 10:41am
Can we just start saying it like it is,,,if you feel it it getting heavy in DOWN town come to UPTOWN!!! Using development models from regression analysis that are retrospective evaluations of historic large cities like SF are not accurate to use in a T-Town comparison. Demographic selections need to be more concise-comparison cities have to be of near the same size, geographical layout, similar socio-economic demographics, and regional placement...without these demographic controls the error term in any calculatable formula is both UNKNOWN and once known it is wildly HUGE. What does that mean for us lowely T-Town sons n daughters??? Please use data from Everett NOT F'in SF u idiots!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Until then come UP to the no pay area of upper sixth ave.
Welcome to UPTOWN!!!!!!!!!!!!!

by Marty on 9/7/2010 @ 10:46am
UPtown = University Place?

by KevinFreitas on 9/7/2010 @ 10:48am
I'm cool to have to pay for parking here and there but the time limits are stupid. 4 hours seems a much better upper limit. It's not all day but it's plenty of time for someone to enjoy a few things downtown during a day. Makes more sense to encourage walking/link ridership this way than encouraging people hop in their cars to get from place to place once already downtown. I'm guessing the city already paid for the two hour signs but that's what stickers are for.

by cisserosmiley on 9/7/2010 @ 10:52am
No to U niversity P lace YES to UPTOWN...up the hill, out of the parking pay mess, up sixth avenue, on the hilltop, south 12th st., 26th n proctor, 6th n proctor, all great UPTOWN destinations...and quite frankly MUCH MORE TACOMA THAN DOWNTOWN HAS BECOME?????????????????????????

by Droid16 on 9/7/2010 @ 11:07am
I love the solidarity from the fire hydrant.

by NineInchNachos on 9/7/2010 @ 11:16am
new TACOMIC comment from my facebook :

Jessica Smeall commented on your link.

Jessica wrote:
"i am so concerned about this. so much song & dance! why is this REALLY happening...i wouldn't care so much except i have explored opening my art shop at sanfords, and now i'm worried, b/c i know tacomans, and they will drive away to: 6th ave, proctor, old town, stadium, university place, ruston, the mall, eastside 38th, south tacoma much amazing opportunity for these merchants. i'm exploring other directions now. thanks, city leaders. you've made my decision easier. "

by cisserosmiley on 9/7/2010 @ 11:19am
you guys forgot freighthouse that a metered downtown area or is it free?

by NineInchNachos on 9/7/2010 @ 11:20am

"What’s causing the need for paid parking?

Currently, employees and students “chain park,” moving their cars throughout the day to avoid ticketing. This is not only illegal, but it results in low turnover of parking spaces every day of the week, and a growing frustration by downtown visitors who have difficulty finding parking for short-term visits.

Implementing paid parking will create a market-driven system that opens up parking spaces regularly throughout the day, which leads to increased visitor traffic for merchants and ultimately, increased business. Over time, this change is expected to also instill greater vibrancy into downtown and enhance the potential for business growth. It’s a win for downtown and its businesses and ultimately it’s a win for residents as Tacoma becomes a stronger, more vibrant city as a result of this change."

by NineInchNachos on 9/7/2010 @ 11:21am

"Are there time limits on the parking slots?

Yes, there is a time limit of 2 hours for every parking spot. This limit is based on customer parking surveys that show most stays are around 90 minutes."

by NineInchNachos on 9/7/2010 @ 11:22am
EARTH TO TACOMA. don't you want people to be here longer than 90 min?

by cisserosmiley on 9/7/2010 @ 11:43am
For Jessica Smeall and NineInchNachos:
Thank you for the giggle, but the notion of accepting "chain parking deterance" as a real factual reason for pay parking is silly and juvenile-well it's probably a lie. Again, using SF growth models points to T-town leaders? wanting to become SF. Lets become Tacoma-use data from like areas. "Towns" the size of Tacoma could become larger cities, but implementing large city policy in an attempt to become more like big cities is folly. If Tacoma was twice the size of Seattle and was 1000 miles south of here it would be ok to use parking data from SF. Was there a city wide sampling of Tacoma with apropriate "reward -v- risk" scenarios? Question #1 Do you want your city to grow to SF size? or just be a good healthy city?

by Marty on 9/7/2010 @ 11:43am
The key to vibrant retail in any neighborhood is turnover of new customers coming and going.

The new times are not for ALL the parking downtown. I think the intent is to have the short term (less than 2hr) parking turnover, while long term parkers (2+ hours) park in gargaes or off street lots where turnover is not as vital to merchants.

Overall, it is big step forward from the tragically broken system of 1 hour or less.

by cisserosmiley on 9/7/2010 @ 11:53am
I thought the key was people living, working, shopping, and eating in the same neighborhood...or was that yesterday's masterplan for re-Tacoma. Pay parking as a model is incongruent with live,work,shop n eat urban models,,,

by Erik on 9/7/2010 @ 12:02pm
Yes, there is a time limit of 2 hours for every parking spot. This limit is based on customer parking surveys that show most stays are around 90 minutes."

A useless piece of information when staying longer is illegal.

If Tacoma's case the city states in theory that they wish to implement a market based approach but then tack on the worst of the old system.

If there is a 15 percent vacancy and spaces available, there is no need to chase out potential customers out of downtown based on alleged "chain parking."

by fredo on 9/7/2010 @ 12:02pm
"Overall, it is big step forward" marty

The implementation is still 2 weeks away so it's hard to say if the meters are a step forward or a step backward. If DT becomes more vibrant and businesses in proximity to the meters become more prosperous, then I think it will be fair to say the meters represent a "step forward." However, its too early to make an evaluation.

by Marty on 9/7/2010 @ 12:19pm
The only thing everyone seems to agree upon is that the system of one hour or less is broken.

by The Jinxmedic on 9/7/2010 @ 12:23pm
In order to keep people from parking on the street for less than two hours (which is really rushing things if your plans include dinner- great move, guys) I would suppose they really need to build that new parking garage where the Luzon used to be, or that $750,000 parking lot. That will fix it.

by The Jinxmedic on 9/7/2010 @ 12:24pm
In order to keep people from parking on the street for less than two hours (which is really rushing things if your plans include dinner- great move, guys) I would suppose they really need to build that new parking garage where the Luzon used to be, or that $750,000 parking lot. That will fix it.

by The Jinxmedic on 9/7/2010 @ 12:24pm
In order to keep people from parking on the street for less than two hours (which is really rushing things if your plans include dinner- great move, guys) I would suppose they really need to build that new parking garage where the Luzon used to be, or that $750,000 parking lot. That will fix it.

by Marty on 9/7/2010 @ 12:56pm
Enforcemnt in DT and the Business Districts ends at 6pm so shouldn't effect your dinner experience.

by NineInchNachos on 9/7/2010 @ 1:01pm
So frisco is too big. How about olympia? Their parking is bad ass and they just have the old style coin meters.

by cisserosmiley on 9/7/2010 @ 1:08pm
Agreed, Olympia is a better data mine for regression analysis when the goal is inference about Tacoma...and I always park easily with their old school coin meters. But to accurately re-model Tacoma's spreadout landscape we would have to include the part of Olympia just south of the capitol with all the car lots and strip malls-no parking meters there, but still booming.

by The Jinxmedic on 9/7/2010 @ 1:27pm
Thanks Marty, I was thinking that the 6PM thing was going away.

by ixia on 9/7/2010 @ 2:12pm
Wishing we had a parking problem does not make it so. It could just be that parking is the only problem we don't have. Please council and manager: stop fussing over what is a non-issue. Stop it with the parking obsession and focus on how to get people there in the first place!
Examples are abounding. Bombay Bistro could not open their restaurant until they added a second parking lot across the street. That lot has been empty! empty! ever since. Before that lot had a residence on it that paid taxes every year.
Spending money on parking meters where nobody parks imo borders on insanity.

by NineInchNachos on 9/7/2010 @ 2:17pm
"Bombay Bistro could not open their restaurant until they added a second parking lot across the street. That lot has been empty! empty! ever since. Before that lot had a residence on it that paid taxes every year. "

sounds like a parking problem to me yo.

by cisserosmiley on 9/7/2010 @ 3:26pm
The building the bombay is in has been much busier over the years with other businesses in it. Remember Hoagies Corner from the late 1980's...good sammies, all my friends worked there, way more cars than now and only one parking lot. Or more recently the Happy-Mart...corndogs and happysticks anyone? They were bumpin and only one lot. Maybe Tacoma leaders are focussing on social engineering when they are charged with administration of citizens needs?

by jenyum on 9/7/2010 @ 6:32pm
Now I do love the city and I am super grateful we have been able to reopen our business but it is a fact that we were using less than half our space for the first 3 months because we were required to have three times more parking spaces than legal building occupants.

This does not make sense. If we were to pick a parking regulation to change, why not start with the regs that are keeping buildings around the city vacant?

by NineInchNachos on 9/7/2010 @ 6:42pm
Marty! Listen up.

by Jesse on 9/7/2010 @ 6:58pm
I think the city should concentrate on making Tacoma a great place to have a business, live, shop, etc., and leave the whole parking thing up to the market. Keep the meters on the streets but get rid of all the other parking rules for developers and businesses.

What are they worried about anyways? A city so vibrant there's no place to park? I wouldn't call that a problem.

by jenyum on 9/7/2010 @ 7:46pm
Oh, Marty knows. He was really wonderful when we were pulling our hair out over this. Tacoma needs more Martys.

by ixia on 9/7/2010 @ 8:15pm
Somebody was working on opening an Ethiopian restaurant just up the street from us. The building was almost ready. But our fair city shut it down for insufficient parking. Man! The whole neighborhood was thrilled about Ethiopian food. So yeah, the parking hysteria can get personal…

by NineInchNachos on 9/7/2010 @ 8:20pm
OK Marty is aware, David Boe I'm sure is aware. Who else on the council do we need to enlighten?

by NineInchNachos on 9/7/2010 @ 8:21pm
@ixia, My cartoon completely failed to address the outdated parking requirements. Looks like it's back to the drawing board for me.

by wildcelticrose on 9/7/2010 @ 8:49pm
Jenny said - "If we were to pick a parking regulation to change, why not start with the regs that are keeping buildings around the city vacant?

VERY good point!

by jenyum on 9/7/2010 @ 10:30pm
Did you know that if you wanted to open a skating rink in Tacoma, you would have to secure 6 parking spaces per every 1000 square feet of floor area? For a typical skating rink of 18,000 square feet, that's 108 parking spaces.

How many parking lots in Tacoma do you think actually consist of that many parking spaces, outside of a grocery store or the mall? How many people actually drive themselves (and only themselves) to a skating rink? Is this a really hot singles activity?

It's even worse for restaurants. Eating and drinking establishments must have 10 parking spaces for every 1000 square feet of floor area. How many hole in the wall 2000 square foot restaurants do you see (in Tacoma, outside of downtown at happy hour or 6th ave in the evenings - these areas - the areas that are actually the busiest - are exempt anyway) with 20 people eating at any given time, and how likely is it that each of those 20 people drove their own individual cars?

It's great that Tacoma has made some progress on this by exempting mixed use centers, but it's long past time to take a look at the whole parking code and question any and all studies that tell you that you actually need all this parking. When we asked about it at the city, we were told that parking studies would actually show that these numbers were warranted. Well, I question where these studies were done, what the population density/demographics/walkability factors were there and under what economic conditions were they conducted?

Tacoma is not a suburb connected only by a loose network of big multilane streets with no sidewalks, consisting of strip malls and cul de sacs. And thank god for that! So let's stop planning our parking like that's what we are and let some businesses open up.

by Erik on 9/7/2010 @ 10:40pm
Great post jenyum.

Tacoma addressed some of the off-street parking when they revised the mixed use centers and part of the downtown.

However, Tacoma still retains, as you point out, huge blighting suburban 1960s era off-street parking requirements which keep attractive appropriate houses from being built as they were originally and many businesses from being able to go into area.

Fairly recently, Neighbors Coffee on the east side was hounded by the off-street parking requirement and barely was able to open because of it.

There are many commercial properties not in the mixed use centers or in the wrong parts of the mixed use centers which are condemned to be blighted because of these outdated regulations.

Take a drive out to Midland or the west part of 6th Avenue and take a look at the car centric blightful one story car centric commercial buildings which cover 20 percent of the lots.

These areas are unwalkable, unphotographable and used only in the most utilitarian manner. Worse, much of there bad form was required by the City of Tacoma.

by jenyum on 9/7/2010 @ 10:41pm
...but I also wanted to say, if you are looking to open up a business in Tacoma and you are getting this parking parking parking thing from the city, don't give up. If you dig, there are a lot of loopholes and creative solutions. We actually ended up leasing 40 something night time parking spaces from our neighbor across the street for a couple of bucks because we know we'll never need to use them.

Being close enough to a bus stop will reduce your parking requirement. Being close enough to a bus route that runs frequently will reduce it even more. Putting in bicycle spaces will also reduce it.

Don't take the first answer you get, keep asking questions, and be persistent. It's still easier than trying to open up in Lakewood where you have to get sewer and engineering approval and whatnot, or other parts of Pierce County where you have to draw up an impact plan.

by fredo on 9/7/2010 @ 10:45pm
Reading through the comments I detect a lot of discontent with the way the business of the city is being conducted. Did any of you complainers vote for any of the following council members?

Spiro. Manthou (term ending soon)
Lauren Walker (term ending soon)
Joe Lonergan
Marty Campbell
Jake. Fey
Marilyn Strickland
Victoria Woodards

I routinely call my councilman Mr. Manthou and advise him to shape up and I suggest the rest of you do the same.

by Jesse on 9/8/2010 @ 8:05am
Hopefully on-street paid parking is the first step toward eliminating parking regulations for builders and businesses and having the market determine parking spaces and prices.

Otherwise, I really don't see a need for meters.

by NineInchNachos on 9/8/2010 @ 8:25am
thank you for the astounding comments my friends. This is really eye opening stuff.

by KevinFreitas on 9/8/2010 @ 11:06am
@jenyum -- Really great first-hand perspective and tips. Thanks!

@fredo -- Too true. Civic involvement is the only way to make sure our councilmembers and city government know what we want and see as the best choices for our city.

by NineInchNachos on 9/8/2010 @ 11:12am
Fredo, and to all...

It's an open secret that Council Members love getting emailed copies of the Tacomic along with an individual's personal take on the matter.

by The Jinxmedic on 9/8/2010 @ 12:14pm
And not just the Tacomic, either.

by fredo on 9/9/2010 @ 7:27am
This just in, another example of our broke city spending money like a drunken sailor:

City Manager Eric Anderson ďż˝ on recommendation of a citizensďż˝ task force largely made up of downtown merchants ďż˝ approved in June a $50,000 contract, plus expenses, to JayRay to conduct a public relations campaign through October.

Read more:

by NineInchNachos on 9/9/2010 @ 8:08am
interesting Fredo interesting...

from the TNT:

Made up of 12 citizens affiliated with downtown businesses or merchant groups, the parking task force that recommended JayRay has volunteered much time and effort to ensure the city’s new parking system is implemented effectively.

Steph Farber, longtime owner of LeRoy Jewelers and one of the panel’s three co-chairs, said the group considers public outreach critical to relaying three key messages:

That all parking fees and fines are going back into the city’s parking program and not into the general fund; that the system is “customer friendly” and easy to use; and that the purpose of charging for parking is meant to benefit visitors to downtown by creating parking availability.

Read more:

Did you know LeRoy Jewelers is a huge client of JayRay?

by NineInchNachos on 9/9/2010 @ 8:28am
To bad for Rusty George... guess his firm had no contacts on the citizen panel thing

"The panel recommended the contract with JayRay over a cheaper proposal from Rusty George Consulting, which estimated total costs at less than $21,000."

by fredo on 9/9/2010 @ 8:29am
This can't be a coincidence, can it? The company hired by the city to promote the parking plan is the same company hired by one of the parking panelists to promote his own company?

by jenyum on 9/9/2010 @ 8:57am
Lay off Steph, he's a good guy who has done a lot for Tacoma. Whatever the reasoning in accepting the contract I don't think smearing Steph Farber is cool.

by Crenshaw Sepulveda on 9/9/2010 @ 9:11am
Corporate welfare, fredo, corporate welfare. No doubt the city already has plenty of people on staff that could have done this without awarding a contract, or money, to any company. Will JayRay take a page out of LeRoy's play book and come up with a billboard that says "Parking in the Rear when you should be Parking up Front"?

by jenyum on 9/9/2010 @ 9:24am
Well, as the article states most of the city's PR people (who aren't actually "pr" people, they are "communications" people who do some PR - there's a difference) are attached to particular utilities and can't work outside of their area of funding.

by NineInchNachos on 9/9/2010 @ 9:31am
I want the job where you get 50K to set up a twitter and facebook account.

by NineInchNachos on 9/9/2010 @ 9:32am
what is the standard for conflict of interest here. I mean boe was investigated and wasn't even paid?

by Crenshaw Sepulveda on 9/9/2010 @ 9:35am
There is no way this waste of the public's money can be explained away. No way, what so ever. How hard is it for a city communications person to set up a Facebook page. Give me a break most of those characters are probably playing Farmville all day anyway. How hard is it to promote paid parking? There are pay stations. You park. You pay. Don't pay you get a ticket and you pay a fine. Telling people how much fun paid parking is will not really change this one bit.

by jenyum on 9/9/2010 @ 9:40am
NIN: so do I.

by NineInchNachos on 9/9/2010 @ 9:44am
I love Steph. We bought or wedding rings from them... but dude. this just looks bad yo!

by ixia on 9/9/2010 @ 9:47am
50 K sounds like an awful lot of money to try to sell something that was not used much even when free.
I could not find Tacoma parking on facebook (RR Anderson of course is there). My twitter account has Tacoma in its name, but parking did not find me. This outreach did not reach much it appears. Maybe it was meant to be an inreach all along. A circular pad on the shoulder so to speak.

by jenyum on 9/9/2010 @ 10:00am
It's @TacomaParker:

That background image is way too big, btw. They are following 10 people.

If there is a Facebook page I can't find it.

You could pay me $500 to manage your Facebook and Twitter campaign and I would think that I took advantage of you. This is why I am destined to spend my later years on a streetcorner holding a torn cardboard sign that reads "will blog for food."

...but in all seriousness, I'm sure JayRay has big time tv/radio/news contacts, these are things worth paying for.

by jenyum on 9/9/2010 @ 10:09am
...but since I've worked with big organizations on things like this I'm sure there is a Facebook page all ready to roll out but somebody has to meet with somebody who makes a lot more money than the person who created it and then they have to talk to somebody else, after they re-write the "social media policy" and they need to have another meeting but the dude who makes the decision will be out all afternoon at some charity function and the poor "social media strategist" is stuck spinning his/her wheels fielding phone calls from people who wonder why everything is taking so long -- while reading this thread and making stabbing motions at the screen.

Probably the Twitter account was created but nobody ever gave anybody permission to follow anyone other than those 10 people, and since follow requests are how you actually tell people about a Twitter account, there it sits. to you, my (likely) underpaid social media strategist comrade, I feel your pain.

by ixia on 9/9/2010 @ 10:09am
“JayRay has big time tv/radio/news contacts, these are things worth paying for. “
Has anybody seen or heard anything on TV or the news or the radio? And would the city itself not have a decent contact list for a press release?
50 K because JayRay know people who know people?

by NineInchNachos on 9/9/2010 @ 10:11am
wonder if LEWIS KAMB is one of the JayRay contacts. The story writes itself! Go Meta!

by Crenshaw Sepulveda on 9/9/2010 @ 10:17am
I just checked out the twitter link. Some really impressive tweeting there. I'm sure the city is getting their money's worth. Some serious love for paid parking is swelling inside me. On the other hand that could be last night's visit to the taco truck. Exactly how much TV coverage and production are we going to get for our $50k? I doubt for $50k JayRay could get us 30 seconds of youtube footage of a kid farting into a paper sack.

by ixia on 9/9/2010 @ 10:31am
from a parking tweet:
"Parking is like sleeping. We all have to do it. "

by NineInchNachos on 9/9/2010 @ 10:54am
it's like zen teachings!

"Downtown Tacoma parking will only cost you 75 cents an hour. I think candy bars cost more than that!"

by NineInchNachos on 9/9/2010 @ 10:55am
this is nice..

by NineInchNachos on 9/9/2010 @ 10:57am
also found the facebook

by ixia on 9/9/2010 @ 11:00am
a black hole?

by jenyum on 9/9/2010 @ 11:01am
Wow, I searched and searched for that Facebook page and all I kept getting was this cartoon!

by NineInchNachos on 9/9/2010 @ 11:03am
your tax dollars at work! lol
50K could fill a lot of potholes... lolz
21K could fill a lot of intern positions at Lusty Gorge.... meh

by ixia on 9/9/2010 @ 11:04am
RR the omnipresent

by NineInchNachos on 9/9/2010 @ 11:08am
you want to really get a chuckle read the teabagger zombie army comments on the TNT article

"This is criminal huge waste hate never driving downtown again strickland worked for jayray blah blah"

50K is a drop in the bucket!

by jenyum on 9/9/2010 @ 11:14am
Their page is set to only show their own posts (by default) but if you click on "others" there's some really old spam. Personally, I always set my pages to +others because otherwise they tend to be sterile and lifeless.

I really like the new Tacoma Public Schools facebook page, they are letting conversations happen naturally, and I know that they are reading and responding because I've received emails about things I've posted there.

by Crenshaw Sepulveda on 9/9/2010 @ 11:24am
Brilliant work here:!/tacomaparke...

by jenyum on 9/9/2010 @ 11:32am
Eh, in the end paid parking is a weird thing to "like." It could be the most exciting paid parking page ever and it's probably not going to get much play.

What about a "Tacoma Parking Talk" page? Some people may actually like talking about parking. (I guess we do.) I could at least suggest my friends like that page without imagining them all raising one eyebrow and thinking: really?

by jenyum on 9/9/2010 @ 11:48am
Somebody fix the pixelation on the top banner:

A nicely designed little site, otherwise.

Also for 50k I think we should be getting a favicon.

by NineInchNachos on 9/9/2010 @ 11:55am
here is a contribution to the parking sad draper meme flaming people's twitter accounts this morning...

by NineInchNachos on 9/9/2010 @ 11:56am

via @halleyrebecca

by fredo on 9/9/2010 @ 12:20pm
"Lay off Steph, he's a good guy who has done a lot for Tacoma. Whatever the reasoning in accepting the contract I don't think smearing Steph Farber is cool." jen

Nobody smeared Steph Farber. The issue was raised about the selection of JayRay. Was the selection of a company Farber is closed associated with intentional or coincidental? I think that's a question that deserves an answer. For the record, $50,000 in taxpayer funds changed hands.

by fredo on 9/9/2010 @ 12:45pm
The plot thickens.

Apparently a former employee of JayRay Communications is none other than our honorable Mayor

Marilyn Strickland!

by Crenshaw Sepulveda on 9/9/2010 @ 2:12pm
Another reason for the city to have given the contract to Rusty George, Rusty George has no influence.

by jenyum on 9/10/2010 @ 9:39am
Well I guess JayRay interns don't read this forum, because the spam was still on the TacomaParker Facebook page this morning. I just flagged it.

by Crenshaw Sepulveda on 9/10/2010 @ 9:59am
Yeah that work as home business is such a scam. I want to get in on this business of setting up a facebook page, not really monitoring it and make $50k.

by NineInchNachos on 9/10/2010 @ 10:22am
funny TNT article comment ALERT:

"truthpunch wrote on 09/09/2010 02:34:21 PM:

I'm a PR agency professional with 12+ years of experience. In my opinion, JayRay dramatically inflated their budget proposal. This just makes me angry and gives PR firms a bad name. 50k = approximately 400 hours of work in the PR world. This did NOT take 400 hours of work. Honestly, the bid from Rusty George sounds more reasonable, but still seems like it could have been done for less. I challenge JayRay to outline the work they did and defend this pricing.

I guess there's a reason JayRay can afford waterfront offices in Tacoma -- because they scr*w clients. The worst part, that's taxpayer money, so essentially they scr*wed us."

by Crenshaw Sepulveda on 9/10/2010 @ 10:34am
Let's say I own this fancy jewelry store and I do some business with this fancy pr firm. Say I steer a nice contract the way of this fancy pr firm. I'd pretty much expect a discount on my next contract with this fancy pr firm. Let's face it, material like "Same Sacks Marriage" doesn't come cheaply. I'm just grateful that JayRay didn't handle the campaign for Norm Dicks. I'm terrified to think of what we would have be subjected to.

by captiveyak on 9/10/2010 @ 10:36am
The city has folks who monitor public works twitter accounts. nearly every city does these days. i bitched on twitter about slow phone services at the city of renton and got a dm the next day offering an apology and asking what i needed.

a pr firm really is kind of extravagant in the first place. and pr firms are by nature extravagant - much like architects (no offense, Mr. Boe. I'm a surveyor, remember. I'm obligated to feel that way).

by fredo on 9/10/2010 @ 10:50am
crenshaw agree with your recent postings, nice job!

by NineInchNachos on 9/10/2010 @ 11:02am
"Check out today's TNT. This story raises the question: What's the cost of not communicating? Your thoughts? "

by NineInchNachos on 9/10/2010 @ 11:28am
this caliber of orchestration isn't cheap!

by NineInchNachos on 9/10/2010 @ 11:35am
mix and match!

Tacoma Parking Advisory Task Force members

JayRay Client List

by Crenshaw Sepulveda on 9/10/2010 @ 11:51am
I'm sure the economy is hitting the PR industry hard. Maybe they are cutting back to one martini lunches and that is a real shame. I'm sure JayRay was thrown this bit of business as a form of corporate welfare. Those with money look after those with money and don't have problems spending the public's money to help the wealthy through the rough patches. .

You'd think JayRay would be doing some professional level work for the money. The twitter and the facebook is pretty close to theft of public funds in my book. For $100 bucks a day they could have gotten Angela Jossy to do this and she'd be working her ass for for the city, you can bet on that. The idea to hire this firm or any other firm to do this work is pretty close to insanity in this economy.

There is a woman that has been sleeping in my door way for the last few nights. I'm wondering how many bed nights this $50k could have provided if it were given to a homeless shelter. How many pot holes could it have filled. How many library books could have been purchased. We need not feel sorry for wealthy owners of PR firms. Shame on all involved with this fiasco.

by jenyum on 9/10/2010 @ 5:47pm
(snapping fingers and nodding head)

You know what, for Angela Jossy I'd even suggest my friends "like" paying for parking.

by villacaffe on 9/10/2010 @ 7:28pm
Cross your fingers...and walk to The Villa. I'll let you know right away how parking meters affect my lil business. R
P.S. Burning the extra calories will earn you a pastry....

by jenyum on 9/11/2010 @ 3:36pm
OMG the spam is *still* there.

I sent them a Twitter DM. We'll see how that works.

by Crenshaw Sepulveda on 9/11/2010 @ 6:10pm
If Angela Jossy were running this for the city I can assure you the spam would not be there today and the city would not be out $50k.

by NineInchNachos on 9/11/2010 @ 8:36pm
maybe for $70k they'd man their facebook account on weekends. What do you want Tacomamama... the sun, moon and stars?

by NineInchNachos on 9/11/2010 @ 10:30pm

Where can I find a place to park !!?


Seven adjacent surface level parking lots in downtown Tacoma forming a "dead zone" in the heart of the city.

In the middle of Tacoma's "downtown" is a sea of surface level parking lots where there should be buildings. Half full at that. These areas used to have buildings on them.

Essentially a desert for pedestrians. This part of Tacoma functions little differently that the anonymous parking lot for Walmart. Tacoma's version of Sea-Tac.

Yet, many of them are mandated by Tacoma's antiquated parking requirement which favors surface level parking lots over buildings.

# # #

by Erik on 9/11/2010 @ 10:45pm
Nice picture!

by L.S.Erhardt on 9/11/2010 @ 11:28pm
Firstly, Seattle has a two hour limit. That doesn't seem to hurt them.

Secondly, T-Town now loses it's distinction as the largest city on the west coast without meters.

And thirdly...
You know, I had an interesting idea spawn from this meter issue.
The city sets the price. We could monitor prices to see just how "valuable" a business/event/service is. Low prices would indicate that either the city perceives little value in said business OR they have a vested interest in it.
Conversely, a high price indicates the city sees immense value (thus profit) OR wants it eliminated.

I'm wondering if we'll see $10/hr parking in the area around Frost Park on Fridays.

by Erik on 9/12/2010 @ 1:22am
You know, I had an interesting idea spawn from this meter issue.
The city sets the price. We could monitor prices to see just how "valuable" a business/event/service is.

Nice. We should monitor the parking occupancy rate around Frost Park on 9th and Pacific/Commerce to see how close the price is set right.

by Dave_L on 9/12/2010 @ 11:25am
"How about Olympia"
Since you asked, I couldn't believe how laughably cheap (or free) Olympia parking meters were, but the rates are going up and coincidentally, parking pay stations have just sprouted up.

by Crenshaw Sepulveda on 9/12/2010 @ 2:26pm
Did Olympia hire a fancy PR firm to promote the PayStations at $50k? or do they have more common sense in Olympia?

by NineInchNachos on 9/12/2010 @ 6:04pm
good gravy! thanks dave!!

by jenyum on 9/13/2010 @ 1:34pm
50k doesn't get you a monitored Twitter account either, I suppose. It is 1:18 on Monday and there's no response to my DM, the spam is still on the Facebook account, and there has been one canned sounding update.

Also, since we're counting now, it would be nice if their Facebook and Twitter icons were correctly sized to be legible and recognizable in a small format.

*I would never do this to anyone if there weren't so many tax dollars being spent on this. As they'd say on Project Runway: "It does not look expensive."

by NineInchNachos on 10/25/2010 @ 3:33pm

(here for posterity - THANKS DAN! )

+ + + + + +

Subject: A secret e133 article that will remain on the cutting room floor...
Thought you'd enjoy this.


A month has gone by since paid parking returned to downtown Tacoma. In the course of that month, the Vice President has been greeted by a Welcome Figure in Tollefson Plaza, medical cannabis rocked the news cycle, and Kings Books got a new owner. Now that these newcomers have had time to settle in and get accustomed to our city, we at Exit133 decided to sit down for a little chat with one of these Parking Pay Stations to hear its impressions so far. But we also wanted to ask difficult questions about the role of Parking Pay Stations in society and the economy.

E133: Let's start out with something easy. In "Subterranean Homesick Blues," Bob Dylan sang, "Don't follow leaders / Watch the parking meters." The Beatles also sang about parking meters in "Lovely Rita." Which is your favorite?

PPS: Really? You're going to start out like that? What kind of paper did you say you write for? Is this some kind of stupid joke?

E133: How many potholes could have been filled with the money taxpayers spent on you?

PPS: *yawn*

E133: Well, now that we've got you a little loosened up, let's move on to issues of policy. Let's be frank: you've had 30 days - an entire month! - to rectify the parking and revenue problems faced by the City. Why isn't everything perfect yet? Why can't I eat a lollipop on the rooftop of the clocktower with my pants on my head?

PPS: I'm glad we're finally getting to the meat of the issue, Dan. You see, my colleagues and I came into this situation with a lot of optimism, a lot of fresh ideas. And yes, there are some _serious_ "challenges": we face. I'd give myself a solid B+.

E133: Are you ever concerned that you might put private parking lots out of business? I mean, this new parking system is government-owned and government-run. Isn't that a little socialist?

PPS: Dan, this is a system that _helps_ private business by increasing parking rotation and maintaining reasonable availability. By exploring this funding model, the City is under less pressure to look for other sources of revenue. This also benefits local business owners in an extremely challenging fiscal cycle. Check out this report on the value of the City's bonds and the outlook on its finances. (report "here": )

E133: You didn't answer my question.

PPS: I'm not a socialist, Dan.

E133: Can I see a copy of your birth certificate?

PPS: It's already been displayed at many of the dozens of public meetings the City held on the downtown parking issue. I'm sure you were in attendance. Weren't you?

E133: Let's move on. If this new parking system was actually effective, wouldn't we be seeing some green shoots by now? Why is the parking spot I'm standing in empty? Why aren't five Thomas Friendmans lining up in Priuses to swipe this spot from me?

PPS: If $0.75 is all it takes to get Thomas Friedman to go away... And besides, if all those empty spots were full before I was installed, does anyone really believe those drivers were actually patronizing downtown businesses all day?

E133: Seriously, "Lovely Rita" is one of my favorite songs.

PPS: Okay. I really need to get back to creating parking dead zones. It was good to talk to you, Dan. And remember: *Downtown Tacoma Parking: I Hope You've Got Change.*

by Erik on 10/25/2010 @ 4:16pm
Interesting. A substantive exchange on parking issues. At least some of the discussion is. Too bad it didn't make it.

Some areas of downtown do look like someone nuked the area:

The city has conceded that some changes need to be made so they are not charging the same rate in a remote area of downtown with in front of UWT.

We will see how long they take.

by captiveyak on 10/26/2010 @ 3:56pm
I am a profoundly substantive person.

I will be returning to the concept of interviewing parking pay stations. I am just waiting for the right opportunity. No one else is doing this kind of journalism in Tacoma -- this daring, probing kind of journalism that dares to speak truth to the Pay Stations.

by NineInchNachos on 10/26/2010 @ 7:00pm
Cast off your waffle chains CaptiveYak!

by NineInchNachos on 2/18/2011 @ 2:02pm

2 hr parking limits.. you can't explain that..

by The Jinxmedic on 2/18/2011 @ 2:22pm
Mrs Jinxmedic and I have pretty much stopped going downtown during parking-meter hours, it's just not worth the financial risk. We will make an occasional show of support for the AMOCAT's new Saturday hours, but that's about it.

by jenyum on 2/18/2011 @ 4:56pm
Parking is free by Amocat! Don't let parking hours stop you.

by L.S.Erhardt on 2/18/2011 @ 10:26pm
I have started using a trifecta approach:
1) walk to downtown
2) park by Amocat or at Frost Park
3) park @ T-Dome station & ride the Link.

Why? Because I have enough need/desire to go downtown. And once that IGA opens, I'll have an alternative to Thriftway.