Letters to the Editor

Parking signs by ferry terminal are misleading | Letters | April 1

I moved here in 2010 and recently became one of many people who have been misled into an expensive parking ticket by the non-standard parking signs along Winslow Way in front of the Harbor Square development near the ferry terminal.

All other parking signs in downtown Winslow stipulate what hours and what duration of parking is allowed. All such parking regulations also seem to end at 6 p.m. Yet the Harbor Square parking signs are of a different variety unlike any others downtown and only stipulate “Two Hours Parking.”

This, of course, raises questions in the minds of potential parkers. “Could this possibly mean only two hours of parking be allowed here from, say, midnight to 2 a.m.?”

It doesn’t seem that this could possibly be the case, given the 6 p.m. expiration of parking limits in the rest of Winslow. But apparently it is and those who mistakenly park there are, of course, an easy source of tickets from the Bainbridge Police Department, just a block away on the same street.

Would I have parked there in off-hours if I suspected I might incur a ticket? Of course not.

I was able to appeal my ticket in Municipal Court and have my $50 fine overturned because of the misleading signage. The judge pointed out that this is a common infraction and is also the source of complaints about misleading signage, but has no jurisdiction over such matters.

Isn’t it time to be fair with potential parkers and install standard parking signs outside Harbor Square that say: “Two Hours Parking – All Hours” or even “Two Hours Parking – 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.”

I think this most reasonable change is even more urgent at this time when Winslow Way is undergoing extensive renovations and not losing customers for downtown merchants is a crucial concern for our community. We should be encouraging customers to come downtown, not discouraging them with misleading parking signage.

John D. Marshall

Bainbridge Island

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