Here we go again —


Here we go again —

I know this is going to sound like one frustrated editor, but here we go. The city of Mt. Vernon Washington is considering building a parking structure because "there’s not enough convenient parking downtown."  Who says so, the merchants, that’s who.

Read about it here and weep, weep, weep.

It worked like this -=- the County was charging $15 a month for its employees to park in 255 spaces downtown, off street.  The employees aren’t dummies. They would rather park on street where its free. (Do you see where this is going). The solution — remove the $15 and allow the employees to park for free. Now about 70% park free off street  and the rest, 75, I did the math, take up valuable on street parking all day.

So the solution to the convenient parking problem in Mt. Vernon — Simple — build more parking. What do you think the chances are these folks charge for parking in the structure…Parking that isn’t needed now, it seems.

Oh, how many of you who have been following my rant for the past few months believe for a moment that many of the employees of the stores located in the downtown district don’t park for free right in front of their store — or better yet, just to keep it clean, in front of the competitor down the street.

Oh yes, the plot thickens — They seem to be needing more parking for the courthouse (added another judge) and for the Jail (expanding).  I am confused as to the jail — I guess they want to provide free parking for the local criminals while they are in court or serving their time.

Did you get the last line in the story?  How are we going to pay for the new structure.

OK, one more time — you in the back row begin the chant…

Charge more for on street parking than off street parking.

Lets hear it from the mezzanine

Charge what parking costs, set the price so 15% of the spaces are available most of the time.

Now you in the front row:

Unbundle parking from the cost of the building so people can make a choice.

Now everyone all together

Take all the money generated from parking and make the neighborhood a better place to visit. Better lighting, security,. streetscapes, storefronts, etcetcetc

By George they’ve got it. But will the folks in Skagit Valley, home of Mt. Vernon Washington.

Oh, when you look at the article —  notice the picture — Not only is there an open space in front of the camera, the lot where they are going to put the new garage has at least 10 empty spaces that I can see. And this is a community with a major parking availability problem?


John Van Horn

John Van Horn

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