Council decides on parallel, angle parking combo

After listening to roughly 75 minutes of public testimony regarding parking in the downtown Monroe area, the Monroe City Council voted four to three in favor of pursuing a parking alternative that incorporates both parallel and angle parking.
The public hearing was held on Tuesday, March 31, at Monroe City Hall. Twenty business owners and residents provided testimony, offering their support of one of three parking options presented by the city. The first option maintained the city's current angle-in parking configuration; option two featured a conversion to parallel parking, with a net loss of 18 parking stalls; and option three incorporated a combination of both angle and parallel, resulting in a loss of six parking stalls.
Both options two and three incorporate widened sidewalks, to better facilitate a pedestrian-friendly environment in the downtown area.
The majority of the public were in favor of keeping the angle-in parking, option one, based on concerns over the lost parking spaces that would come with any transition to parallel parking. One speaker was in favor of option two and a handful of attendees expressed support for option three.
Parking in the downtown core is being reconfigured as a part of the Main Street Plaza Project, which was initiated as a utilities project. Largely funded by a Washington State Department of Ecology grant, the first phase of the project will begin toward the end of the month.
The project will be mirrored along West Main Street from Lewis to Blakeley streets. The project does not include any alterations to the roadway.
When the construction is complete, the north side of Main Street will feature angle-in parking and the south side of the street will feature parallel parking. This configuration is similar to Main Street in Sultan, which also features angle-in parking on the north side of Main Street, with parallel parking to the south.
When it came time to vote, Councilmember Kurt Goering passed a motion to select option one, in alignment with the majority of the public testimony. His motion, which was seconded by Councilmember Kevin Hanford, failed to pass, with Councilmembers Patsy Cudaback, Jeff Rasmussen, Jason Gamble and Ed Davis dissenting.
Rasmussen made a subsequent motion in support of option three, seconded by Cudaback, which passed four to three. Councilmembers Jim Kamp, Hanford and Goering dissented.


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