We’ve seen the absurd ways that cities subsidize parking. In Seattle, they’ve gone full-circle, using eminent domain to seize a parking lot and turning it into…a parking lot:
Myrtle Woldson, 103, owns a long-term parking lot near the Seattle waterfront valued at $7 million. When the city approached the Spokane resident about allowing it to lease space to help ease the parking crunch during construction of the Highway 99 tunnel and the seawall, she declined, city sources say. Now the City Council is moving to condemn the property to provide more short-term parking for businesses, tourists and shoppers.
Around 100 on-street parking spaces will be lost during the Alaska Way Viaduct construction. To “mitigate” the parking loss, Seattle proposed leasing Woldson’s parking lot. Woldson already provides parking — just at a market rate. Woldson declined the lease offer as too low. So rather than meet her price, Seattle will just seize her lot through eminent domain.
Seattle is also considering whether to build a parking garage on the lot. Because if there is one thing the waterfront lacks, it is parking: