Monroe may extend parking hours to encourage shopping

MONROE— The City Council is considering allowing people to park downtown for up to four hours to give shoppers more time to spend money in local businesses.

The proposal would affect 62 parking spaces on W. Main, and two blocks of W. Fremont Street, which currently have a two-hour parking limit.

“It will give people the chance to shop around and take time to eat too,” said Lynn Gose, executive director of Downtown Revitalization and Enhancement Association of Monroe, a nonprofit focused on attracting customers to downtown’s businesses.

Some parking spaces at Hill and Ferry streets that used to be all day will change to four hours if the change is approved.

Public comments on the proposal are being heard at tonight’s City Council meeting, set for 7 p.m. at 806 W. Main St.

The city’s pitch is similar to a study done by the downtown group in 2009, where they surveyed business owners and did traffic studies, Gose said. The city also did a study in 2007, which recommended four-hour parking limits.

Part of the proposal also includes setting shorter limits for a few spaces, to keep them available for quick trips. New 15 minute limits are proposed for about a dozen spaces on Main, Lewis and Fremont streets.

Last year, the Monroe Police Department issued 123 parking tickets to those who overstayed the two-hour limit downtown, spokeswoman Debbie Willis said.

Alejandro Dominguez: 425-339-3422; adominguez@heraldnet.com.

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