discussion with city staff, etc …

There is a scheduled discussion for candidates with city staff from 10am to 12pm monday (the 22nd) in Olympia.

I wonder how many public restrooms the city thinks it has.

I wonder about the repair rate for parking meters. (In one city the repair rate is multiple times a DAY!)

I wonder how many times, if any the Hyer has voted against the majority, and in what cases, and how many recusals. Has he ever voted against something that came from the ODA. His website “issues” are almost verbatim copies of the CC goals.

I wonder if the city knows what the ODA plan for the parking garage is.

What percentage of the BID land is already controlled by ODA “partisans”

If the Leg and the Port are both talking about adding parking, and private developers are willing to add parking to new buildings, where does that leave a garage?

Why do the census estimates of 300 new people not match the 30 year projection of doubled population?

What plans are in place for providing food and necessities to Oly residents if the price of gas goes up to $5/gallon? Local “victory gardens” might be an answer. How much of the Oly food comes from further than 100 miles?

I wish I had a treasurer (and treasure?), and a staff of researchers. ;)

We need copies of the BID proposal, and the parking proposal (if there is a separate one), and I’d like a copy of:

“East Downtown Development Plan”
and “Olympia Downtown Streetscape Strategy”

I’ve rcv’d a questionnaire form the Christian Coalition of Washington. The questions are all intellectual traps where they want an “for/against/undecided” when a paragraph of context is needed to respond actually.

semantics of nuclear weapons

A friend notes that there’s a semantic argument about how to categorize the USS Olympia. Should it be called a weapons platform powered by nuclear energy?

The difference about the USS Olympia is that it’s not a nuclear weapon, therefore not part of the nuke-free zone, where a nuclear weapon would be. However, it’s moot. It’s moot because the Olympia will not return for at least 2 years during retrofit. It’s moot because the City has no jurisdiction over county port, nor over national security infrastructure. The city does have a part in inviting the ship here, but cannot ban it outright.

It’s a distraction from the the struggle over the militarization of the port, or a bit of slight of hand perhaps. A round about way of trying to de-militarize the port, but it won’t work directly. The unfortunate side effect is that it makes the issue even more divisive and contentious.

The nuclear free-zone wording appears to be almost a carbon copy of the law used in california. Is that sloppy?

parking garage

PDF link

It was intended to be a pay lot:

“Mr. Hall noted projects not included in the draft CFP include a downtown parking garage. He indicated he has heard a request from Councilmembers to add this back on the list of projects included. He stated last year the parking garage was in the CFP and showed funding from parking revenues; however, that won’t be enough to pay for the entire garage. ”

So, in order for it to be competative, the free parking dowtown would likely have to go. That’s a horrible way to make downtown more friendly.


Idea to consolidate the greyhound station with the transit station, possibly use the greyhound lot for a community garage, but the building has a design that some wish to have protected.

Intersting historically defeated garage:

“1950: Local conservationist Margaret McKenny galvanizes the community to oppose construction of a parking garage on the site of Sylvester Park”


The port commission is also talking about a garage, but the important point is: Hockey in Olympia?!

Tuckman owns rights to minor league basketball and hockey teams that would play in the arena and has proposed a covered public ice rink as part of the project.

“This would be too big a deal for us to be making business judgments on without all the research,” Pottle said. “It’s easy to dream and have visions, but it’s more difficult to bring pieces together to make the jigsaw puzzle work.”

Commissioners are considering how the port might support such a project with road improvements or a parking garage.




So, businesses in the BID automatically become ODA members: “Businesses paying the cost would automatically become members of the ODA.”

“At press time, the Olympia Downtown Association board of directors was working to gather the needed petition signatures by the end of July, with the hope of going to the Council sometime in August.”


MRSC’s page on parking and business improvement areas


Partially answering Ryan’s question about patrols:

“Fully staff the downtown Walking Patrol year round. Currently there are four positions designated to the Walking Patrol.”

Oly CC’s “goal” document that includes the parking garage “if feasible”

PDF link

In May 05, the proposal was supposed to have gone out:

“The building block of our BIB is the proposal. Will go out of all 570 businesses within the next 2 weeks.”

PDF link

There’s nothing on the ODA website, that I can find about anything at all. It’s pretty useless. Not very proud of it, perhaps? Or, something else? (And, as I write this it also has broken links.)


The DNA website is equally bare, it turns out.


more brainstorm

Just wanted to add to this notion that: “When the commons is given away, it’s almost impossible to get it back. Just take a look at the failed Seattle Commons as an example of how hard it can be.”

There was an article in the Sea Times about lessons to be learned from Van BC:, er, no, it was in the PI:

Via Cascadia Scorecard, “More Urban Development Lessons from the North“:

the Seattle P-I had another interesting article on the lessons Vancouver has to offer on urban development–making the city both an exciting and a family-friendly place to live. Tips include requiring developers to:

  • create multi-bedroom apartments designed for families
  • provide community centers, playgrounds, neighborhood schools, landscaping, and other public amenities
  • design buildings that create a pedestrian-friendly and visually appealing streetscape–not just a barren street canyon. (Buildings on some streets are kept short to make them feel more homey.)

Seattle’s mayor is in the midst of unveiling plans to create vibrant, dense urban centers by raising building heights, charging developers one fee of $1-2 per square foot to pay for parks and open space and another fee of $10 primarily to build low-income housing.


ISSUE: Parking in Downtown


Neither in spokane nor in Tacoma have centrally located parking garages worked to vitalize the downtown area. In fact, recent suggestions for the Tacoma garage have been to just tear it down.


My opponent thought the parking issue was a myth is 2002. In a recent poll, only 19% of the respondent cited parking problems as the thing they disliked most about downtown. 49% cited homeless, panhandlers and antisocial behaviour. Let’s build a drop-in center with our precious money and address the real downtown issues, instead.


The parking garage is directly connected to the development of the BID.

– is it a good idea for Olympia to abdicate public space to what will become in essence an private mall in downtown?

– the creation of a BID is being tied to the parking garage, this is a way of distracting the public. the BID will remove a section of downtown from direct control by the citizens and the city council, and could turn part of Downtown into a privately controlled mall. If downtown is such a wonderful public resource, and I agree that it is, then why give it away?

– the BID is in an area of downtown that will see the greatest traffic increases. doesn’t it make sense to improve an area that actually needs help more in order to grow?

– the BID will raise the cost of doing business in Downtown. can Olympia afford to make it HARDER for small businesses to survive?


Does this make sense? In order to make Downtown more friendly, we are going to have to increase the cost of parking and make parking tickets even more expensive.

– the parking garage will only make shopping downtown MORE annoying, by increasing the nuisance fees

– increased parking fees to generate revenue is a vicious cycle; the higher the fee, the more careful people will be, and that means less revenue. In order to keep that revenue coming in, parking enforcement will have to become increasingly vicious. Further, the garage itself would likely reduce the opportunity for revenue from on the street parking

– the garage is a publicly funded source of profit for private business. isn’t that why the convention center was a bad idea? In fact, the proposal is to use money from the failed convention center, and that money may not even be available. We could be stuck with a BID, and no garage.

– increased parking fees and ticket fines will only make the parking conflicts in areas like South Capitol Hill more vicious and would encourage the lobbyist that own property there to sue the city. We could lose all parking revenue if we increase fines and fees.


I am the only candidate for position 7 that can even take part in discussions about the parking garage or the BID. My opponent is materially connected to the issue, and will have to ethically recuse himself from the discussions. My opponent stands to gain directly and indirectly from the parking garage because it is connected directly with the Olympia Downtown Association, in which my opponent was president. Further, my opponent has two businesses located within the proposed Business Improvement District.

Even more troubling is that, on my opponent’s watch, the Olympia City Council has already made ethically questionable decisions when the ODA is involved. Can Olympia afford to elect my opponent? Not if a rational discussion, that ethically weighs the issue, is the goal. My opponent was a proponent of the parking garage when he was president of the ODA, and cannot now ethically vote on the issue if elected. Why elect someone that can’t take part in the discussion and decision?

John Griogair Bell is the only candidate for position 7 that can take part in the decision making process on these issues.

a handful of parking garage references

The parking garage is tied to the BID, apparently


In jun 04, ODA proposes using money from the shelved conference center.


The port needs parking too, and can’t make the decision by itself.


The garage funding is now tied to the BID proposal. Multiple spots suggested, and submitted. Looks cheaper now that it did before. Part of the money to be from increased parking meter price and increased parking ticket fees. (Make downtown better be making it more annoying? It’s more of a pain to forget the meter, and funding would be tied to catching people that want to spend money in shops?) An aside, here’s another reference to the population of Olympia doubling in 30 years.

PDF link

Meeting between ODA and CC. Good information, and ideas. Note that Hyer mentioned a shuttle for ’06 session. Another mention of the doubling of population. People are freaked? But, more people, more revenue, at least.

PDF link

an open space for a parking area in the next 6-12 years as 6th ave redone. Mentions “East Downtown Development Plan” so there are long term plans already in place. “Olympia Downtown Streetscape Stratgegy” was to have already come before the CC.

There’s lots of additional bits of info in all these.