For unsuspecting drivers seeking parking after 6 p.m. in Olympia to attend scheduled events at The Washington Center and others, I would like to relate a recent experience. After being unable to find a parking place for several blocks around The Washington Center last Thursday night to see the “Rock of Ages” musical, I found parking in a nearly empty parking lot.
Although aware this was a pay-to-park area, the hours were clearly posted on the large unlit signs above the street, with all indications that paid parking hours were until 6 p.m.
Upon my return there was an envelope with a parking violation, with a warning to pay within 15 days or the fee would double. Four other cars also fell into the same trap.
Trying to understand, I walked over to the pay box under the unlit sign above the street, only to see in small print what the fees are for evening parking. Had it been clearly marked and illuminated, I would have gladly paid the $3.
I support the right for private firms to charge obsessive and outrageous fees to unsuspecting, law-abiding citizens trying to support their local arts community, but such practices should be reviewed by the city of Olympia when they clearly take advantage of deliberately vague instructions along with the lack of available parking.