Changes coming to popular scenic spot in Edmonds
EDMONDS — Sunset Avenue lives up to its name.
It’s one of the most scenic drive-up spots in Snohomish County, with an unobstructed view of the Olympic Mountains, Puget Sound and departing ferries. It’s a popular spot to witness gold-tinged sunsets.
“It’s a fabulous setting,” Mayor Dave Earling said.
Visitors need to prepare for some significant changes. Those include a cut in parking time on the street from four hours to two and a reduction in on-street parking. All angle parking on the street will be converted to parallel parking.
Now there’s a mix of parallel and angle parking.
One of the reasons for cutting the time people can legally park on the street is the current fourhour parking is sometimes illegally extended to day-long parking.
“There’s a concern from the council that some people not only come down and park for four hours, there are people who park, grab their golf clubs and go to the other side and come back,” Mayor Dave Earling said of those parking and hopping the ferry to Kingston.
“I think stronger enforcement will be needed,” he said.
Council member Adrienne Fraley-Monillas said people living along Sunset Avenue have been asking for changes for some time.
“The way it’s been with folks backing up, there’s a fear they will back into somebody,” she said.
The change to parallel parking will result in a loss of 12 parking spaces along the street. “Then it’s a question of how much additional parallel parking we can find on Sunset that won’t interfere with people’s entrances and exists from their driveway,” said Phil Williams, the city’s public works director.
Fraley-Monillas said there also have been complaints that some people park and stay the day. “There’s not much of a turnover,” she said.
Limiting the time people can park will allow more people to visit, she said.
“We’re hoping that the administration heard a clear message from the citizens that live down there that we need parking enforcement or none of this will work,” she said.
The neighbors understand there’s a public right-of-way along the street, she said. “I think they need the security that their rights will be protected, too.”
The three-hour parking limit in the parallel parking zone on the southern end of the street will likely be reduced to two hours as well, Williams said.
The current eight-foot sidewalk width will be maintained. “If you’ve got a baby carriage and two people and maybe the same from the other direction, I think it’s a wise decision to keep it at eight feet,” Earling said.
There’s no timetable yet for when the change for parking hours will occur, Williams said. The city council has to approve a change in parking code and new signs will have to be installed. These and other changes will be proposed as part of the 2017 budget, he said.