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SDOT changes parking rates for nearly half of Seattle

Paid parking rate changes in Seattle are in effect now for 2020. (SDOT)

The Seattle Department of Transportation announced paid parking rate changes last week based on its 2019 Annual Paid Parking Study. Rates will increase or decrease in downtown Seattle and surrounding neighborhood business districts as determined by a performance-based parking program.

“In downtown and neighborhood business districts with paid parking, the bottom-line measure of curb performance is the average level of use and availability of spaces,” SDOT said in a news release.

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The target range for occupancy is between 70 and 85 percent. In general, where fewer cars are parked, rates decrease, and where streets are full, rates will increase.

All rate changes are made in 50-cent increments, with $0.50 being the lowest allowed hourly rate. These changes are made by time of day: morning, midday, and evening.

SDOT says the goal of the annual rate changes is “to make it efficient and accessible for people who need to drive to find a parking space.”

By reducing the amount of time drivers will spend looking for an open parking space, SDOT reports that the annual rate changes can help improve safety for pedestrians and cyclists, reduce congestion, improve transit efficiency, and decrease greenhouse gas emissions.

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Of the 92 parking areas and time periods reviewed in this year’s annual study, nearly half will see rate changes. SDOT reports that 47 have no rate change, 27 will have a $0.50/hour increase, and 18 will have a $0.50/hour decrease.

Neighborhoods seeing an increased rate in the evenings include Capitol Hill, First Hill, International District, Fremont, and Ballard. South Lake Union, Belltown, and the University District will have increased midday rates, among others. Westlake, First Hill, and Cherry Hill will see a morning increase.

To find out where rates will increase or decrease and at what time of day, view the January 2020 Rate Change Flyer.

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