Bellingham to increase parking rates May 1, change hours

Higher rates and new hours for parking in downtown Bellingham will take effect May 1, along with more expensive parking tickets and paid parking in the Fairhaven shopping district.

In an announcement at its website Wednesday, April 13, the city said:

Paid parking hours will be 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday-Saturday.

Hourly rates will be $1, up from 75 cents.

Expired meter fines will be $30, up from $15.

Paid parking will start in Fairhaven.

New hours and fees were approved by the City Council in January after months of discussions and years of outreach to neighborhood and business organizations.

The price per hour for parking will increase for longer stays in Fairhaven and downtown Bellingham starting next year.

Parking fees are designed to create turnover so that more parking is available, according to previous Bellingham Herald reporting.

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Ross Gerard removes coins from parking meters on Thursday, April 14, in downtown Bellingham. Warren Sterling The Bellingham Herald

Revenue from paid parking funds downtown improvements, including graffiti removal, winter holiday decorations, flowers in summer and weeding of garden beds.

Fees have not changed since 2008.

“Parking garages and off-street lots with limited permit parking are available for residents, employees and others seeking longer-term parking,” the city said at its website.

“Reduced permit rates may be available for certain low-income individuals. For information on off-street, city-owned parking lots or longer-term parking permits, visit,” the city said.

In addition to the parking fee changes:

Parking be free on Sundays and city holidays.

The Commerical Street parking garage will be free after 5 p.m. weekdays.

All parking garages and all city lots will be free from 6 p.m. Fridays to 11 a.m. Mondays.

Street parking will be free from 6 p.m. to 11 a.m. weekdays and all day on Sundays and city holidays.

More kiosks have been installed for using the PayByPhone mobile app.

All meters will still accept coins.

This story was originally published April 13, 2022 2:00 PM.

Profile Image of Robert Mittendorf

Robert Mittendorf covers civic issues, weather, traffic and how people are coping with the high cost of housing for The Bellingham Herald. A journalist since 1984, he’s also a volunteer firefighter for South Whatcom Fire Authority.

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