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Parking monitors to fix City Hall walk-offs
Bellevue City Hall has changed the way it does parking to discourage nearby retail and restaurant employees from taking advantage of its limited spaces, and soon lot enforcement will include weekend event rates.
City Manager Brad Miyake told the City Council on Monday the city was forced to switch from gates to parking monitors a few months ago following an "astronomical" increase in the rate of people, mainly downtown employees, parking at City Hall and leaving their vehicles there while they worked elsewhere, returning for them at night when parking fees are waived, said Frank Pinney, assistant director of Civic Services.
The city tapped PRIME Parking Solutions from a list of respondents to a request for proposals and has been using the company for parking enforcement at City Hall under a pilot program.
Pinney said the city and PRIME have negotiated how to reduce costs moving further, which will include the company installing an automated pay station at the garage in September for weekend parking fees and using a parking monitor to collect.
Mayor Claudia Balducci noted the parking problems at City Hall had gone beyond a mild annoyance in the past several months. She said the change in parking enforcement has caused some confusion among violators, reporting they were not notified of the new enforcement measures after months of taking advantage of what they may have assumed was free parking.
Pinney said new signage will replace a mix of the city's and PRIME's postings at the City Hall garage, which should alleviate the confusion. Those who are incorrectly cited will need to contact a phone number on their ticket to explain they were at City Hall for city-related business. Their license plate numbers will be recorded, added Pinney, should the complainant turn out to be a repeat offender.