Following up on this morning's news: Mayor Ed Murray has issued the emergency order that will officially allow his administration to quickly open two parking lots where homeless people living in vehicles can park safely. He's also announced where those lots will be.
The safe lot model, which requires residents to abstain from drug use, is similar to that of the two tent encampments the city has allowed.
Here's exactly where these lots are planned:
• In Ballard: The Yankee Diner parking lot at Shilshole Ave. NW and 24th Ave. NW. That lot is owned by Seattle Public Utilities, according to the mayor's office.
• In Delridge: The Glass Yard lot at West Marginal Way and Highland Park Way SW. The city is in the process of buying that lot from the Washington State Department of Transportation.
The mayor's office is promising to open the two lots, which will hold about 50 vehicles total, within 30 days.
In a statement today, Murray called the lots "temporary locations that can be managed to provide a safer environment for those living on our streets and have less impact on our neighborhoods."
The news comes after a shouty neighborhood meeting at which residents of neighborhoods including Magnolia, Ballard, and Queen Anne requested a "moratorium" on RV parking in their neighborhoods and a lot similar to what the mayor is proposing here.
In the meantime, the city will set up temporary safe parking zones, where people living in their vehicles can park and have access to garbage pick up. In other zones, the city will step up parking enforcement.
The temporary safe parking zones will be:
• In Ballard: NW 45th at 14th Ave. NW
• In Interbay: W Armory Way at 15th Ave. W
• In SODO: 3rd S, south of Edgar Martinez Dr. S
Those are the same three parts of town Murray's office chose for the first three city-sanctioned tent encampments. In Ballard and Interbay, those camps were met with significant negative neighborhood response but have since been successfully opened. Months later, the city is still dragging its feet on opening a third encampment. Mayoral spokesperson Viet Shelton says a private land owner—whom he won't identify—is now interested in offering up land for a third tent encampment that could be larger than what the city is able to offer. He says more details will be released about that in coming weeks.
The city has been in a state of emergency due to homelessness since early November.