Study: There is plenty of parking in Seattle

Jul 16, 2018, 2:52 PM
seattle parking...
(KIRO 7)
(KIRO 7)

There are more than two parking spaces per person in Seattle, according to a new report.

The report by the Research Institute for Housing America (a branch of the Mortgage Bankers Association) says there are 29 parking stalls per acre in the city. Far more than the 13 people per acre.

RELATED: Seattle parking trick will expire under new pay-by-plate system

The data for Seattle is part of a parking inventory of five U.S. cities, which also include New York, Philadelphia, Des Moines, Iowa, and Jackson, Wyoming.

“A review of existing parking occupancy studies in each of the five cities revealed ample parking,” the report states of the five cities.

When it comes to Seattle, “Parking utilization has been falling … for at least ten years, with daily occupancy ranging between 43 and 64 percent in the seven Seattle neighborhoods where data were available.”

Additionally, parking inventories “reveal a lavish amount of parking.” There are an estimated 1.6 million parking spaces in Seattle, according to the report.

There are three types of parking split almost evenly in Seattle, according to the report. Though the bulk of Seattle parking is off-street. Of the parking types:

  • 32.2 percent is on-street
  • 32.7 percent is off-street in a structure
  • 35.1 percent is off-street surface parking

Seattle has the most off-street structured parking than the other four cities studied.

Seattle parking

The Seattle Department of Transportation manages approximately 12,000 paid on-street spaces in 20 business districts, according to a recent report.

The number of paid parking spaces in the city is growing. Seattle manages parking using a “performance pricing” model. In short, the city varies parking prices in different areas of town. In theory, drivers will consider parking prices and move their cars, which in turn will free up spaces for other drivers.

In 2017, Seattle decreased or increased parking prices around town to influence this dynamic. The city also upped paid parking times in popular areas such as Ballard or Capitol Hill. Capitol Hill now has the latest paid parking times in the city — to 10 p.m. The popular nightlife hub is short on parking. With later paid parking times, and higher fees, people will be more encouraged to leave the bars, get into their cars, and move them.

The parking study may neglect a few realities that locals are well aware of.

Not all areas of Seattle are created equal when it comes to parking. For example, residents in the neighborhoods around Roosevelt High School know that parking might as well not exist when school is in — students like to drive to class. Areas around popular working hubs experience the same problem.

Also, parking in Seattle isn’t just for residents. Crowds of workers commute taking three freeways, multiple highways, and various ferries to get into Seattle for the day. Not to mention the crowds that drive into the city for nighttime events.

And finally, while there are plenty of residential places to live in Seattle, that doesn’t account for Seattle’s unaffordability problem. With more than half of residents earning less than $50,000 a year, it is not uncommon for people to fill rentals with more tenants that rooms.

Local News

KIRO 7 News Staff

77-year-old Bellevue woman stops home intruder in landslide neighborhood

Thieves hit the neighborhood impacted by the Bellevue landslide but didn’t get away with much, thanks to one brave 77-year-old woman.
1 day ago
national guard...
Stephanie Klein

National Guard arrives to Harborview Medical Center to help with COVID testing

A Seattle hospital official says the arrival of 10 army soldiers on Friday is a huge help.
2 days ago
End restrictions...
Nick Bowman

UW modelers: State might finally be able to end ‘major restrictions’ once omicron wave passes

Modelers at UW's Institute for Health Metrics & Evaluation believe that we could be nearing the end stages of major virus-related restrictions. 
2 days ago
Long term care insurance...
Nicole Jennings

Analyst’s advice for Washingtonians who got private long-term care insurance

An Association of Washington Business analyst explains the outlook for private long-term care insurance now that the WA Cares tax will likely be delayed.
2 days ago
COVID tests...
MyNorthwest Staff

Washington households can order at-home rapid COVID tests at no cost

The state Department of Health is going live with its portal to order free at-home COVID tests that ship directly to households.
2 days ago
MyNorthwest Staff

Bobcat watches from side of road as WSDOT crews plow SR 20 near Colville

WSDOT crews had an unexpected observer while plowing snowy roads near Colville earlier this week, with a bobcat watching them work.
2 days ago

Sponsored Articles


Compassion International Is Determined to ‘Fill’ a Unique Type of Football ‘Stadium’

Compassion International SPONSORED — During this fall’s football season—and as the pandemic continues to impact the entire globe—one organization has been urging caring individuals to help it “fill” a unique type of “stadium” in order to make a lasting difference in the lives of many. Compassion International’s distinctive Fill the Stadium (FtS, fillthestadium.com) initiative provides […]

What are the Strongest, Greenest, Best Windows?

Lake Washington Windows & Doors SPONSORED — Fiberglass windows are an excellent choice for window replacement due to their fundamental strength and durability. There is no other type of window that lasts as long as fiberglass; so why go with anything else? Fiberglass windows are 8x stronger than vinyl, lower maintenance than wood, more thermally […]

COVID Vaccine is a Game-Changer for Keeping our Kids Healthy

Snohomish Health District SPONSORED — Cheers to the parents and guardians who keep their kids safe and healthy. The dad who cooks a meal with something green in it, even though he’s tired and drive-thru burgers were tempting. The mom who calms down the little one who loudly and resolutely does NOT want to brush […]
Experience Anacortes

Coastal Christmas Celebration Week in Anacortes

With minimal travel time required and every activity under the sun, Anacortes is the perfect vacation spot for all ages.

Delayed-Onset PTSD: Signs and Symptoms

Lakeside-Milam Recovery Centers SPONSORED — You’re probably familiar with post-traumatic stress disorder. Often abbreviated as PTSD, this condition is diagnosed when a person experiences a set of symptoms for at least a month after a traumatic event. However, for some people, these issues take longer to develop. This results in a diagnosis of delayed-onset PTSD […]

Medicare open enrollment ends Dec. 7. Free unbiased help is here!

Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner SPONSORED — Medicare’s Open Enrollment Period, also called the Annual Election Period, is Oct. 15 to Dec. 7. During this time, people enrolled in Medicare can: Switch from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage plan and vice versa. Join, drop or switch a Part D prescription drug plan, […]
Study: There is plenty of parking in Seattle