Illegally Parked Motor Homes

homesPatrick writes, in regards to “illegally parked motor homes”:

What happens when one of these vehicles catches on fire, blows up with all the propane and barbecue fluids on board and blows up across from Ivar’s. The City of Seattle will be sued if people are injured and rightfully so since the city knows about this illegal activity and is doing nothing. Many of them do not even have current license tabs! We do not see this occurring in Laurelhurst, or other affluent residential areas. Action needs to be taken. The city and fire dept. should be doing something. Maybe they should be allowed parking near the Mayor’s house and in city council members’ neighborhoods.

I’ve seen a few of these semi-nomadic homes down on Pacific, but my reaction was more of a “I wonder what their story is?” How about you?

(Photo from Google Maps)

  1. wallingfordnerd said,

    i have absolutely no problem with them unless they become an abundant or disruptive problem. i’ve seen that bus for at least a year, and don’t think how i can further reject them more from society like patrick does, but just wonder what unfortunate set of circumstances lead to that. have some empathy, sir.

    Thu, June 19 at 9:25 am
  2. Ben Wallingford said,

    Patrick writes, “We do not see this occurring in Laurelhurst, or other affluent residential areas.”

    Exactly, how could the city allow such an unsafe situation in an affluent neighborhood?

    Thu, June 19 at 9:46 am
  3. Max Kingsbury said,

    I agree that their presence can be annoying or even scary, but consider the people who are living there. What should they do? Where should they live? If your answer is “I don’t care, just not in my backyard” then I think you need to come up with a better answer.

    Thu, June 19 at 10:21 am
  4. Max Kingsbury said,

    Maybe it doesn’t occur there because those locations are inconvenient for people who are living out of their vehicles. They probably prioritize pedestrian access to cheap shopping or government services.

    Thu, June 19 at 10:22 am
  5. DOUG. said,

    This is why I’d rather live in Wallingford than Laurelhurst.

    Thu, June 19 at 11:18 am
  6. iyqtoo said,

    I find the responses to Patrick’s report disappointing, but hardly surprising. That area feels more like a sewer every time I walk by, it’s hard for me to understand why there haven’t been more complaints.
    If the goal is to encourage these tenements for unproductive citizens within the city limits, then we need to amend the Seattle Municipal Code about parking (SMC 11.72.440) to permit them. Until that happens, it’s illegal to park vehicles exceeding 80″ on most public streets between midnight and 6AM and any vehicle longer than 72 hours in one place (and moving it down the block doesn’t restart the clock).
    It’s easy to report ‘Abandoned Vehicles’, but it’s a fair assumption that parking violations are only the beginning. I’m not sure if I were SPD I’d want to send a meter maid down there.

    Thu, June 19 at 11:19 am
  7. patricknygren said,

    But guys…what if they blow up? WHAT THEN!?!?
    Edit: I suppose I should clarify, I’m not the same Patrick from the original post.

    Thu, June 19 at 11:50 am
  8. Connie Campbell said,

    Ask the bus people to clean up their bus no gas cans or propane and no unsightly garbage. Have some rules to be followed, if not in six weeks, they will be towed. These people need help and Wallingford can do it. I do not know the law so this is just a thought.

    Thu, June 19 at 12:57 pm
  9. E30 Memorial said,

    There are areas oversized vehicles can park legally.

    Additionally, the Seattle Municipal Code (SMC) prohibits vehicles over 80 inches (such as RVs, tractor trailers, and larger trucks) from parking on most city streets (any street except those adjacent to Manufacturing or Industrial zoning) between the hours of midnight and 6:00 a.m. (SMC 11.72.440). The Seattle Police Department routinely enforces these ordinances and also responds to specific cases when alerted by complaints from the public – please use the non-emergency number (206-625-5011) to report violations.

    Thu, June 19 at 1:42 pm
  10. E30 Memorial said,

    How many registered sex offenders registered as homeless are living in motorhomes/trailers? By no means am I saying the homeless living in motorhomes are all sex offenders, but it is a way for sex offenders to munipulate the law.

    Thu, June 19 at 1:51 pm
  11. iyqtoo said,

    Yes, I hadn’t realized the zoning along most of Northlake Way is IB (Industrial Buffer), a designation without much description about parking. Sad. So assuming it’s legal for them to park along Northlake overnight, is it still legal for them to stay for greater than 72 hours?

    Thu, June 19 at 2:29 pm
  12. iyqtoo said,

    Steve, I don’t doubt you’re right. Offenders of many descriptions rely on places like that to stay below the radar, especially in neighborhoods where residents with a soft spot for ‘homeless people” don’t trouble to make a distinction between the mentally ill, homeless families and the just plain bums and criminals.

    Remember the mess that used to be under the ship canal bridge north of upper 40th before WSDOT felt compelled to clean it up, fence the highest part and mow the rest? And Peace Park before it was mercifully relieved of the motor homes et al that parked all along 40th when it was redone so nicely a few years back? And the encampments on the hillside below?

    And how about the campers, etc. that clog north side of 40th under the I-5 bridge and up the hill on 5th Ave NE between flushings. Either can be pretty scary places to walk or bike with the only sidewalks lie 3 feet from these mobile encampments.

    For those of us living in that area, cleaning up those cesspools makes a noticeable difference. “Oh, those poor, unfortunate people” does not work for me.

    Traffic along that corridor will increase dramatically when the 520 bridge exit opens to Pacific Ave and the city will finally have to deal with some of this problem, productive citizens will need the roads to get to their jobs in Fremont and Ballard.

    Thu, June 19 at 3:08 pm
  13. Donn said,

    Density! Anything that increases density is a good thing, isn’t it?

    Thu, June 19 at 3:37 pm
  14. Wallyhood said,

    Well, they’ve definitely committed the crime of being homeless, even if they’re not definitely sex offenders.

    Thu, June 19 at 3:58 pm
  15. Cameron said,

    I have a strong negative reaction to what I perceive to be arrogant
    privilege expressed through the following statement: “We do not see
    this occurring in Laurelhurst, or other affluent residential areas.” I agree
    with Doug. That is why I prefer to live in Wallingford.

    Take cover, the buses are going to blow!!!

    Thu, June 19 at 9:04 pm
  16. Fruitbat said,

    Do they have propane? Or “barbecue fluids”? How do you know?
    I don’t think you can take out Ivar’s with a propane tank across the street.
    It is possible that a camper could catch fire from, say, an unattended candle (no electric charging) and the camper [and occupants] burn. Terrible, but not the explosive catastrophe–and tragic lawsuit–you propose.
    Nice thought, but this still just looks like “get the poor people out of my sight.”

    Thu, June 19 at 10:11 pm
  17. Neighbor2You said,

    Hmm, not sure I understand this post, or rather, who would communicate this message to the occupants. The police? Social service agencies? Wallyhood? (j/k on that last one)
    And it still implies enforcement…exactly the action that I think some posters are objecting to. (That conduct may be unlawful doesn’t automatically make it un-Wallingfordian:) if it turns out the vehicles must be relocated, are there other sites in the neighborhood that would be more welcoming?)
    Still, the notion of providing assistance to people in need has a good sound to it. What comes next?

    Fri, June 20 at 6:14 am
  18. Bubba said,

    I think I’ll head down there, buy them lunch and let them know about the lady that subleases out storage space real cheap and get them to move there.

    Fri, June 20 at 9:09 am
  19. suzclyn said,

    I walk my dog in this area on a regular basis. Even though they’re unsightly, the bus occupants appear to be following city parking regulations. I’ve seen parking officers in the area many times.

    I believe it’s considered an industrial zone so the 72 hour/parking of RVs overnight regulations don’t apply. The Seattle Municipal Code (SMC) prohibits vehicles over 80 inches (such as RVs, tractor trailers, and larger trucks) from parking on most city streets (any street except those adjacent to Manufacturing or Industrial zoning) between the hours of midnight and 6:00 a.m.

    I have a bigger problem with the affluent, entitled Audi driver blatantly violating parking laws by parking right on the corner, blocking the crosswalk at 37th & Burke near Cantinetta. I guess it was too much for them to walk 1/2 block more from the nearest legal parking space. But in that case, they were reported for violating the law.

    Homeless or affluent, if a law is broken that’s when action can be taken.

    Fri, June 20 at 12:03 pm
  20. jaydeflix said,

    Do you want the chemistry or the physics answer… because the long and the short of it is ‘The exact same thing that would happen if they blew up where they were parked legally,’ which per SMC 11.72.440, is quite a few places. =)

    Fri, June 20 at 2:45 pm
  21. Frankie said,

    I hate our Nimby arguments, seems like we either have to adopt meth addicts and cherish their specialness, or shoot them from space with lasers.
    The fact is the world is nuanced. There are people on this forum who will defend the aggressive panhandlers at the 45th st exits, even though the majority of them are scum, and equally there are people who would like nothing more than to ship the homeless to internment camps. I make up my mind on a case by case basis based on personal observation and experience. The “homeless” at the 45th St exits ARE generally scum. They are abusive to each other, to passers by and to property around the neighborhood.

    The temporary homes, on the other hand, and I live two blocks away, haven’t caused me any particular problems, are hidden behind a giant grass berm, for the most part, and until I have reason to complain, I am inclined to live and let live.

    Fri, June 20 at 4:08 pm
  22. Bubba said,

    And we are done. Franke wins the Rational Human Award in my book.

    Fri, June 20 at 5:24 pm
  23. nisida said,

    Well SPD moved all of them out from Northlake way for the Fremont summer solstace parade. There is a one 4 hour parking sign posted as well. As of Sunday Morn the 22nd several are back. Big piles of garbage along Northlake in spots they previously occupied and the no parking 2-5AM signs have been spray painted out. The big yellow and silver Gtreyhound busses near Ivar’s? Yup still there, with parking violations on the windshields. The yellow bus has a wood burning fireplace or stove going inside most nights. The kindling is stacked under the bus. These people are flaunting the the law and working the system for sure.

    Sun, June 22 at 7:27 am
  24. robcranfill said,

    Today on Northlake in between Westward and the cruise ship place there was a traffic cop, along with a guy in a red shirt that said “ENFORCER” on the back – official or some kind of wrestling fan? – were talking to a couple folks who kinda looked like they coulda been from the bus thing that’s parked there. Just sayin.

    Tue, June 24 at 9:29 pm
  25. yuppinator said,

    Being as how I just had some of your friendly spd mercenaries for the well-to-do take my R.V. from me (no, not one of the Trash-magnets in case you were wondering…),
    I felt it behooved me to include my two-cents worth. I am a wallingford resident for going on twenty-five years now, and never before have I seen so much complacency
    in the faces of virtually every person that I encounter…so bear this in mind-now that I am once again homeless, you can be assured to see me gracing the playbarn of Gasworks park with all my brothers and sisters. Just remember, YOU PAID FOR THE THUGS THAT PUT ME THERE! So, have fun with that and remember, INEVITABLY, WE ALL HAVE TO LIVE WITH EACH OTHER AT SOME POINT. The crime is a direct result of your “NIMBY-ISM” attitudes.

    Hungry people don’t stay hungry for long…..

    Tue, July 1 at 11:34 pm
  26. cathy wonderful said,

    whew.. there i smor eto the story than listed above. If you were living in your rV for years and avoided detection and/or removal or fines.. you had a long time almost gift. I haven’t seen any big forces removing the buses and others so this must have come from some other source or complaint.

    Wed, July 2 at 8:43 am
  27. yuppinator said,

    yEAH, WE GET A LOT OF THAT RHETORIC. WHAT YOU AND THE GREAT MANY FOLKS IN WALLINGFORD AS WELL AS ALL OVER THE WORLD WHO ARE FORTUNATE ENOUGH TO BE SO COMFORTABLY NESTLED WITHIN THE FUZZY BOWELS OF YOUR HOMES AND CAREERS DO NOT FACTOR IN IS THAT NOT EVERYONE IS SO FORTUNATE…AND BEING AS HOW WE ARE ALL FALLEN PREY TO THE SAME CORPORATE FEArmongers who have convinced so many of you that the poor are to be considered as “other than we-and therefore less” (sound familiar?) it has become not only acceptable, but even preferable to treat one of a different social class as yourself with such utter transgressions and think absolutely NOTHING OF IT. Consider yourselves very fortunate that you are blissfully unaware of the abuse we here on the streets suffer at the hands of your thin blue line of power-drunk gunmen. And, in the event that any of us should try to reach out to you for help or even mercy, we are invariably received by such recycled propaganda of the machine as-“why dont you just go out and get a job?, or my personal favorite-“you’re only poor because that’s what you deserve, having not properly applied yourself”. For those of you out there who ARE genuinely interested in creating a real and lasting peace on this, our only home, I challenge you to come out of your high-tech feudalism long enough to, without any preconcieved notions or prejudices, actually see how we live under your boot.

    Wed, July 2 at 7:04 pm
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