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Plan: Have downtown cyclists park west of Avenue D

Doug Ramsay photo

Cyclists hustle up First Street on their ride in this summer file photo.

SNOHOMISH — The city and Historic Downtown Snohomish (HDS) are working on a plan to better point cyclists in the right direction for parking on First Street.
The plan is to give cyclists and other recreation seekers parking west of the Visitor’s Information Center at First Street and Avenue D.
Issues with cyclists parking on First Street, riding away and then coming back and leaving is a sore spot for some First Street business owners.
Designating the parking area has the support of some First Street business owners who attended HDS’s second quarter meeting a couple weeks ago where it was discussed.
“We are working with city staff to see whether we can officially sign and designate (that area) as long term parking. Then, when that is accomplished, we will help to get the word out to various groups such as bicycle groups, fishermen, and other recreational groups that this type of parking is available,” HDS president Ed Poquette said.
City staff confirmed that long-term parking for these folks is already available, however, it does need to be better marked.
“Long term parking already exists on First Street,” city services manager Mike Johnson said. “That gravel area just beyond the visitor’s center on First is all open parking through there.”
City staff plan to put up more signs, because as Johnson notes, “It’s on the opposite side of Avenue D, so right now, if you don’t know it’s there, you miss it.”
Johnson also said they’re looking at a September time frame to install the tire bumpers and more signage for the lot.
Making Snohomish a more cyclist-friendly community is a major goal for both the city and HDS.
“We welcome bicyclists who bike into town,” Poquette said. “They shop, eat, and dine here and enjoy their time in the Historic Business District (HBD). We’d like those parking spaces on First Street and parking on the Avenues between Second St. and First St. to be available to people who are parking for the short term. It is usually agreed that turnover of parking spaces helps businesses gain more sales.”
For the most part, cyclists on First Street are very friendly and courteous to First Street businesses, according to a few business owners.
Martin Mollat, owner of Snohomish Bicycles, has fostered a cyclists’ hangout, and cyclists have been actively participating in early Saturday morning rides that begin and end in downtown Snohomish.
Rock City Cafe is capitalizing on Snohomish Bicycles’ vibe by sharing the same building. The cafe moved from the building of Todo Mexico a few months ago.
Mollat was unavailable for comment for this story.
“We hope that by providing better signage and alternate parking areas, we can invite bicyclists and other recreational long term parkers to utilize those areas,” Poquette said. “Especially if they plan to spend the day away from the HBD and not eat or shop there.”

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