Good turnout of merchants and customers at White Center public meeting on the bike corral 8/26. Thank you to Sili Savusa, Executive Director of White Center Community Development Association, for leadership and Sokha for moderating the lively discussion. Thanks to Theresa and Jason Beaulieu, Lyanne, Joe, Marlowe, Isabel, Charity and family, Matt, Aaron, Gregg, Alex, Billy, Lynn, Don, and others who showed up to support the owners of Proletariat Pizza and Cafe Delia and let the other merchants know why a bike corral will make it easier to be their customers and will add customer parking to the business district on 16th.
This was a repeat of the required public meeting held at Luso’s on June 17 for the grant that was awarded in March.
Several merchants have concerns about losing two car parking spaces, As Joe pointed out, if 12 customers park bikes instead of parking cars, in the same space as two cars, that actually frees up 5 to 10 car parking spaces for others to use.
Merchant concerns, especially from Smoke Town tobacco store and Stan’s Adult Superstore, were loss of car parking; the number of vagrants in the alley that make it feel unsafe for employees to park there; the lack of County enforcement of the 2-hour time limit that results in non-customer all day car parking in many spaces on the block. Some of the all-day parking is by shop owners and employees who choose not to park away from the businesses. Brian, who owns the record store, went out looking this afternoon and sketched two alternative bike rack locations at curb bulbs,
Sili Savusa described next steps to reach a community solution, including sitting down with Theresa and Brian to look at the design that was submitted for the grant that was approved last March (!) and comparing it to the ideas from Brian and others tonight.
All agreed that there are deeper issues of law enforcement, homelessness, crime, lack of Sherriff Department staffing and county neglect of White Center business district that go way beyond the bike parking issue. Elizabeth Gordon invited participants to attend an upcoming North Highline Unincorporated Area Council meeting with the Sherriff’s office to give them the message of what White Center wants to see most to address the issues.