Parking changes May 1 for downtown Bellingham, Fairhaven business district

New paid spots, increased rates, different hours
April 13, 2022 at 4:59 p.m.
Updated April 14, 2022 at 11:10 a.m.
Parking rates in downtown Bellingham and Fairhaven will be $1 per hour starting May 1. Fines for expired parking meters will increase to $30.
Parking rates in downtown Bellingham and Fairhaven will be $1 per hour starting May 1. Fines for expired parking meters will increase to $30. (Jaya Flanary/Cascadia Daily News)

CDN Contributor

Several changes to paid parking will take effect May 1, approved by the Bellingham City Council. 

Downtown Bellingham will see hourly parking rates increase from 75 cents to $1 per hour, with rates increasing for longer stays. Parking enforcement will also change to 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

Fairhaven will begin charging for parking at the same rate, $1 per hour, with the same new enforcement hours as downtown Bellingham.

Fines for expired parking meters will increase to $30. 

This increase is to “appropriately cover administrative costs and discourage the misuse of paid parking,” Public Works Spokesperson Amy Cloud wrote in a press release. 

Funds collected from parking fees and fines are plugged back into the business districts. The money is used to finance cleaning, landscaping, graffiti removal, city parking facilities maintenance and support for Bellingham’s Downtown Business Partnership and Fairhaven Merchants Association.

“Charging the right price at the right time is necessary to ensure turnover and access to the finite supply of on-street parking supporting local businesses,” Public Works Director Eric Johnston said in a prepared statement.

Drivers can still access parking garages and parking lots with limited permit parking.

Johnston also said there are no established discounts for seniors. The rates establish a discount for low-income individuals who reside in qualifying low-income housing complexes.

A previous version of this story incorrectly stated a discount for seniors, due to incorrect information provided to us. The story was updated to reflect this change on April 14 at 11:10 a.m. The Cascadia Daily News regrets the error.

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