It’s important to have a unified voice to communicate the concerns of the community. Whether it’s about parking, or impacts from the streetcar, we are stronger as a whole, and have been effective in shaping policy and protecting this unique ethnic business district.
Access and on-street parking continue to be a major issue for the C-ID. In 2012, the City extended the paid parking hours from 6pm to 8pm in Chinatown and Japantown. Responding to concerns raised by businesses, the BIA worked closely with City leaders to roll-back these evening parking rates for two-thirds of our over 400 on-street parking spaces. This type of responsive advocacy is critical at a time when development pressures are changing many of the ways people are able access the neighborhood.
In 2013, when the City was considering extending Center City Initiative programs like LEAD and MDT to other parts of Downtown, the Chinatown-International District was at the table, and has since been fully included in these city initiatives. As Mayor Ed Murray continues to add police resources to the City, continued pressure and advocacy will be critical for the Chinatown-ID to be first in line for increased foot patrols and police presence.
The construction of the First Hill Streetcar line through the Chinatown-International District (and subsequent relocation of the maintenance facility and spur line to the neighborhood) caused significant impacts to the District. The CIDBIA and SCIDpda, in conjunction with partner organizations advocated on behalf of the impacted businesses, residents and stakeholders to hold the City accountable for the major disruptions shouldered by the community.