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Ross and Burbank

Seattle City Council counting on your parking tickets

FILE - In this Saturday, Nov. 19, 2016 file photo, passengers walk past a couple browsing their smartphones near an Airbus A380 passenger airplane, owned by China Southern Airlines, parked on the tarmac at the Beijing Capital International Airport. American Airlines has agreed to pay $200 million for a stake in China Southern Airlines, the biggest of China's three major state-owned carriers, in a bid for a bigger share of the country's growing travel market. (AP Photo/Andy Wong, File)

The mayor, often criticized for his love affair with any transportation mode that isn’t a car, wants to make it easier to park downtown.

Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn has voiced support for a phone-based system that would allow you to pay by inputting your license plate, credit card info, and time into a parking app. The app would then remind you to pay more if you’re getting close to your maximum time.

Sounds easy?

Well, too easy, according to the Seattle City Council.

Danny Westneat reports in The Seattle Times that he attended a council meeting last week and noticed the majority of its members agreed this system would be a problem for their budget that relies on revenue from parking tickets.

“This is what turns reasonable people cynical about government’s intentions. The idea should be to serve your customers, the customers being the voters,” said KIRO Radio’s Dave Ross.

Co-host Luke is applauding councilmembers Sally Bagshaw and Tom Rasmussen for saying that revenue based on punishment is no way to build a budget.

“I hope that there’s some sort of public outcry over this,” Luke said. “It bothers me deeply that the city council is working to make your life harder.”

Luke notes he sounds a lot like another talk show host on KIRO Radio – Dori Monson.

“You’re finally figuring out that I’m right, Burbank,” Dori said. “Evil, controlling the city.” Listen to Dori’s full rant

Ross thinks the city would actually make more money anyway because a thousand people paying an extra dollar on their phones is more lucrative than catching 100 people and giving them tickets.

Whenever Luke beats the system with 15 minutes here and there, the city loses money.

“Do the right thing, Seattle,” said Dave.

Dori Monson on KIRO Radio 97.3 FM

  • Tune in to KIRO Radio weekdays at 12 noon for The Dori Monson Show.

About the Author

Stephanie Klein

Stephanie joined the team in February 2008. She has built the site into a two-time National Edward R. Murrow Award winner (Best Radio Website 2010, 2012). Email Stephanie at


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