Seattle on-street parking rates continue to increase

Mar 30, 2023, 4:03 PM | Updated: Mar 31, 2023, 2:03 pm

parking rates...

Cars fill a parking lot on March 10, 2022 in a Seattle suburb. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

(Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

As of Monday, popular neighborhoods like Capitol Hill, Ballard, and Chinatown/International District in Seattle will see on-street parking rates increase with the Seattle Department of Transportation’s (SDOT) regular seasonal update.

“The Seattle local laws require, that a few times a year, we adjust the parking rates based on real-time data,” SDOT spokesperson Ethan Bergerson said. “And based on the laws of supply and demand, this is something that the city has been doing for about a decade now.

“We need to fine-tune the parking rates in order to make it so that people can find spots in busy neighborhoods,” Bergerson continued. “The basic idea is if we go out and we see that it’s really hard to find a parking space, then we might make an adjustment, say 50 cents, maybe $1, in order to make it so it’s a little easier to find a space.”

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Parking rates are increasing in approximately two-thirds of places and will be adjusted based on the latest available street parking data collected and analyzed in January.

This is part of the department’s goal of trying to create a system where one or two parking spots will generally be available to support businesses and help drivers find parking without circling the block multiple times.

“As there are about 90 different combinations of different parking rates at different times of day, about a third of the parking rates are staying the same,” Bergerson said.

Rates will be changing in most business districts with paid parking. The largest parking rate increase is $1 per hour, but in general, many rates remain lower than they were before the pandemic, particularly in and around downtown Seattle.

“I think a good example of that was looking at a neighborhood like First Hill back in early 2020, the parking lot was $5 an hour there at all times,” Bergerson continued. “Now the parking rate ranges from $2 to $3, depending on the time of day you’re going there.”

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An interactive map is available online with a complete breakdown of what the new parking rates are.

Additional rate adjustments will continue as SDOT analyzes its parking data, and another rate adjustment is expected in the summer.

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Seattle on-street parking rates continue to increase