Posted on October 9, 2022
Redmond, WA – Yesterday, over 2,000 protestors in Redmond marched from Marymoor Park to Redmond City Hall to demand funding for a parking lot construction project. Demonstrators gathered under a sunny October sky to fight for what they argue is a straightforward decision.
The 1.8-mile hike shut down the Sammamish River Trail, leaving bike traffic at a standstill. “I’ve got to get to work, you know, but I agree with them,” said Dankia Perkins, an engineer at Microsoft who’s been biking to work since 2019. “Marymoor Park needs another parking lot. Maybe even two.”
Marymoor Park is home to just ten publicly accessible parking lots. The protestors argue that the city has an obligation to fund an extension of Lot B, effectively tripling that lot’s parking area. The project would pave over the Peter MacNair activity field, providing ample parking spots for parkgoers.
“I live downtown and seriously dread the parking situation every time I go to Marymoor,” said Tarek DuGriese, who attended the march after hearing about it on Stack Overflow. “I’m always crawling through the park at two miles per hour, literally praying to God for a spot to open up.”
“I have never seen anyone enjoying that field, even in this great weather,” said Karen Smith, a mother of two and homeowner from Education Hill. “It’s either totally empty or there’s like three birds there. Why not make it a parking lot so our kids can get out and play in Marymoor?”
After reaching Redmond City Hall around noon on Saturday, the protestors chanted and demonstrated into the evening. Picket sign slogans stated “Pave Our Park!”, “More for Marymoor”, and “Parks are for parkades”. One woman even towed an asphalt paver to the City Hall parking lot and carried a sign that said “I’ll just do it myself”.
Redmond police stayed on the scene for the duration of the protest to ensure everyone stayed off 85th Street, which runs past City Hall.
“It was a completely peaceful protest, no issues with vehicle traffic, nobody causing any problems,” said Bark Yarkle, Redmond’s police chief. “Nobody really does anything in Redmond anyway.”
The Redmond City Council released a statement in response to the protest: “Redmond City Hall is open to receive comments from the public Monday through Friday from 8 am to 5 pm.”
We reached out to Redmond Mayor Redford Munder for a comment. “Marymoor is a King County Park. The City of Redmond doesn’t have jurisdiction to make this type of decision,” said Munder. “The protestors would be better off marching to King Street Center in Seattle to talk with the County DNRP.”
Errata 10/9/22: We mistakenly wrote that Marymoor Park has nine publicly accessible parking lots. The true number is ten, which has been corrected in the article.