Rantz: Seattle kills parking spots, then charges you even more for relief
The City of Seattle hasn’t met a driver they weren’t willing the bleed dry, all in the name of solving a problem they created in the first place.
The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) is readying increases in area-parking, hitting $5 an hour in some neighborhoods, in an effort to free up parking spots where drivers are currently struggling.
Pioneer Square and the Waterfront will see the highest rates, at $5 an hour, all for the privilege of walking around tents, human waste, and needles as you enjoy the area bars and sights. If you’re lucky, you won’t be the victim of a car prowl.
SDOT’s goal is to always have one or two open spots for drivers to find, presumably so they’re not driving in circles until they can find a space.
Only, the city created this Seattle parking nightmare in the first place.
Take, for example, South Lake Union, which will see a hike in parking prices of 50 cents in both the morning and afternoon. They’re doing this because demand is higher than the supply. Only, SDOT has systematically cut the number of parking spots in South Lake Union over the last several years, down from 1,850 paid spots in 2016 to 1,770 paid spots in 2018, which created the supply/demand imbalance. In place of the parking spots? Bike lanes no one uses (see Roy Street between Dexter Avenue North and Westlake Avenue) and a bus lane that serves just two routes on Westlake off of Valley Street. At the same time, SDOT has killed most of (if not all) the free parking in the neighborhood.
There will always be parking issues in a city the size of Seattle; it’s unavoidable. But it can be mitigated by not taking Seattle parking away from drivers in order to accommodate a handful of militant bicyclists who demand bike lanes they don’t even use.
This is nothing more than a money grab, though SDOT is positioning it as a way to help driver’s find some relief. Except, is it truly relief when the solution they’re offering is due to a problem they made worse?
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