Will cutting Bellevue parking requirement hurt the economy?

Aug 30, 2018, 5:30 AM

Bellevue parking...

(Sounder Bruce, Flickr)

(Sounder Bruce, Flickr)

In the last few years, Seattle has moved to eliminate parking requirements for new developments, citing the potential impact on affordable housing. Now there are efforts to cut Bellevue parking, too.

But Bellevue City Councilmember Jennifer Robertson believes that moving towards this system is not the solution to affordable housing. Rather, it will hurt the economy and traffic.

“Parking is what makes a city livable,” Robertson told The Jason Rantz Show. “The city has superblocks, so that means we have much larger pieces of property with fewer blocks between, and not as much on-street parking. If a development is going to generate parking, that developer should provide parking on site.”

For the development to be successful, it has to take into account the impact it will have on the surrounding area. Robertson believes critics of the parking requirements are overlooking the greater impact on the local economy.

RELATED: Bellevue’s new parking rule will keep drivers moving

“Bellevue has the highest retail sales per capita in the State of Washington. A lot of that is our shopping district in the downtown,” Robertson said. “People don’t generally go shopping on transit. Some do, but if you’re going to be laden with a lot of packages, you’re going to want a vehicle to take you to-and-from the shopping area.”

Bellevue parking and the poor

Eliminating the requirement could burden additional properties, increase congestion, and cause an uptick in greenhouse emissions from drivers circling. And while Robertson acknowledges that Bellevue can be expensive, she doesn’t agree with critics of the parking requirement that it hurts affordable housing and those that need it.

“It’s a false argument to believe that people who are of limited means do not have vehicles. Even in homeless transition housing, there are tenants who have vehicles.”

Robertson added that, “if you look at the affordable housing numbers, what’s struck me as odd is that it bases it on a person’s income, assuming one person living in a two bedroom apartment. When I was young and didn’t have a lot of money, I either had a smaller apartment or I had roommates.”

Even the eventual arrival of light rail will not solve this, Robertson argues.

“We will have 665,000 per person trips by 2030, compared to 385,00 in 2010. In the downtown, about 57,000 of those will come and go by transit, so that leaves 608,000 by some other mode.”

“Of the 57,000, 11,000 will come and go by light rail. So while transit is part of the solution, it’s not the full solution, and we still need a place to put those vehicles.”

Jason Rantz on AM 770 KTTH
  • listen to jason rantzTune in to AM 770 KTTH weekdays at 3-7pm toThe Jason Rantz Show.

Jason Rantz Show

Jason Rantz

A promotional poster for fentanylfacts.org provides what a Washington health agency believes are ke...

Jason Rantz

Rantz: One health department’s anti-fentanyl campaign actually pushes drug use

A new campaign from the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department ends up encouraging kids to use fentanyl in a "safer" way. It's dangerous and will only make the crisis worse.

3 days ago

sound transit trees...

Max Gross

Gross: Sound Transit wanted to decimate trees; residents demanded better 

Lake Forest Park residents were livid when they heard about a potential new Sound Transit Project that would destroy tree life in the community.

5 days ago

Yakima City Council...

Jason Rantz

Rantz: Mayor scolded for calling 911 on ‘far right-wing’ signature gatherers

Not only were the petitioners acting lawfully while promoting mainstream views, it wasn't an emergency and should not have resulted in a call to 911.

7 days ago

Seattle Fire Department vehicles were spotted outside Seattle Police Department's West Precinct on ...

Jason Rantz

‘All clear’ given after suspicious package found outside Seattle Police West Precinct

A suspicious package with powder was found outside of the Seattle Police Department's West Precinct Wednesday.

7 days ago


Jason Rantz

Rantz: NewsBreak app striking ‘conservative’ opinions it doesn’t like

NewsBreak's X account messaged me in June, asking if I was interested in posting my content to their website and app. I was interested.

8 days ago

ACLU Marysville jail...

Jason Rantz

Rantz: ACLU of Wash. mad Marysville leaders may put criminals in jail

To Jazmyn Clark, a program director for the ACLU of Washington, jailing someone who keeps breaking the law is a draconian move.

9 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Swedish Cyberknife...

September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

September is a busy month on the sports calendar and also holds a very special designation: Prostate Cancer Awareness Month.

Ziply Fiber...

Dan Miller

The truth about Gigs, Gs and other internet marketing jargon

If you’re confused by internet technologies and marketing jargon, you’re not alone. Here's how you can make an informed decision.

Education families...

Education that meets the needs of students, families

Washington Virtual Academies (WAVA) is a program of Omak School District that is a full-time online public school for students in grades K-12.

Emergency preparedness...

Emergency planning for the worst-case scenario

What would you do if you woke up in the middle of the night and heard an intruder in your kitchen? West Coast Armory North can help.

Innovative Education...

The Power of an Innovative Education

Parents and students in Washington state have the power to reimagine the K-12 educational experience through Insight School of Washington.

Medicare fraud...

If you’re on Medicare, you can help stop fraud!

Fraud costs Medicare an estimated $60 billion each year and ultimately raises the cost of health care for everyone.

Will cutting Bellevue parking requirement hurt the economy?