Time to address parking in Old Bellevue, Downtown Park | Editorial

As Bellevue's downtown continues to grow, the city needs to focus on parking – particularly in Old Bellevue and around the Downtown Park.

Bellevue’s downtown continues to boom, with more cranes and more tall buildings on the way. Rightly, Bellevue officials are focused on making sure the projects and plans work in the city’s favor.

But central downtown isn’t the only place things are popping. Old Bellevue on and around Main Street and the city’s Downtown Park also are experiencing or are in line for new development. Attention by City Hall is needed here, too.

Fortunately, Bellevue business leaders seem ready to step up to the task.

Merchants in Old Bellevue and the Downtown Park share a common concern: parking. Or more specifically, the lack of enough of it.

Old Bellevue has seen a growth of residential complexes with street-level retail over the last few years with more now on the way. As for the Downtown Park, the city plans to complete the circle and is working with the Rotary Club of Bellevue to design and install an Inspiration Playground in the park’s southwest corner that will provide amenities and activities for youth and adults of all abilities.

Carl Vander Hoek, of the Vander Hoek Corporation, which has a long connection with Old Bellevue, told the Reporter that the development of the Downtown Park and the Inspiration Playground provides the last opportunity to place underground parking there, which would prevent parking from spilling into Old Bellevue and surrounding neighborhoods. He’s likely right.

Support seems to be gathering from the Bellevue Downtown Association, Bellevue Chamber of Commerce and the Rotary Club of Bellevue to address this parking need. City officials also note that Old Bellevue’s strong, recent

development and the playground at the park have changed the area since the city last did a comprehensive parking study of the area.

The city should make this a priority and fast-track a solution.


– Craig Groshart, Bellevue Reporter