Seattle parking hours could last even later into the night

Sep 22, 2016, 5:50 AM | Updated: 12:57 pm

Parking is a lot of things in Seattle: a skill, a prize, and a major pain. Now city officials are considering how to manage Seattle parking in the future. And that likely means people will pay for parking later into the night.

“We know we have occupancy issues in areas where we have a nightlife,” Seattle City Council member Rob Johnson said during Tuesday’s Sustainability and Transportation Committee meeting. “Where we don’t charge for parking after 8 p.m.”

That includes neighborhoods such as Capitol Hill, Pioneer Square, and Belltown.

Seattle city council considers lowering speed limits in town

“Having a data-driven approach would lead us to conclusions of having longer periods of (paid parking) time,” he said.

That’s exactly the direction Seattle parking could be heading, according to representatives with the Seattle Department of Transportation.

SDOT representatives informed the council committee that Mayor Ed Murray’s coming budget will include a portion that will raise paid parking hours in some areas past 8 p.m.

Seattle parking until 10 p.m. or midnight?

The City of Seattle implemented a parking plan in 2010. That plan sets policy in which parking is not managed to create revenue. Rather, Seattle parking prices are aimed at keeping some spots open. The idea is that people will move their cars, or not park as long when they have to pay a certain price. Therefore, a spot will be freed up for the next driver. Ideally, one or two spots will be available in each block in paid areas throughout the day.

At first, paid parking went to 6 p.m. Then it was upped to 8 p.m. in some areas over the past few years.

“We set on-street prices based on demand,” said Mike Estey, SDOT’s parking program manager, further commenting that Seattle has the best parking program in the country – the best practices. “The beauty of all of this, it has taken the politics out of what is a third-rail, controversial, challenging issue in terms of setting rates.”

While Seattle parking is not revenue driven, it does take in considerable cash for the city. According to SDOT’s presentation to the council committee, Seattle’s 12,250 parking spaces generated $37.04 million in 2015. A majority of those parking fees — $23.16 million — were collected in district 7 of Seattle which includes downtown. The second highest generator of parking fees was district 3 with $7.26 million. District 3 includes Capitol Hill and the Central District.

But paid parking until 6 or 8 p.m. is not handling the high demand for spots in some areas of Seattle.

“We followed the data and found that there’s not some cliff that demand falls off at 5 or 6 p.m.,” Estey said. “Now, in most parts of the city we have parking extending to 8 p.m. In places like Pike, Pine and Capitol Hill where it looks like the data continues out, we’ve started to collect more data out to 10 p.m., 11 p.m. and midnight … that’s where the data shows there is still a lot of demand, occupancy is still high, and so those are the next places we’ll go to and look and see if we have access issues.”

“We will work with the community, look at the data and see if we need to extend hours a little further,” he said.

He said that the city adjusts parking prices annually to better manage the spots. Estey informed the committee that Seattle will soon be replacing old pay boxes with updated technology. This will give the city the ability to charge different rates at different times of the day. Morning rates will be different than afternoon rates, and different than evening rates — all depending on the demand for parking in an area.

Local News

Theresa Robinson, KIRO 7 News

3 injured in collision involving multiple vehicles, including forklift, in north Seattle

The collision happened at about 3:30 p.m. near the intersection of Aurora Avenue North and North 96th Street.
24 hours ago
crime report...
Kathryn Stone

Seattle Police 2022 crime report shows increase in murders, violent crime

The number of homicides also rose by 24%, with 55 lives lost last year, most of those by gunfire, surpassing the numbers in 2020.
24 hours ago
Seattle police, vaccine mandate, Chief DIaz...
Frank Sumrall

How Seattle PD is impacted by end of COVID vaccine mandate

Following updated public health guidelines, King County and its county seat, Seattle, will no longer require proof of COVID-19 vaccination.
24 hours ago
pierce county...
Bill Kaczaraba

Woman arrested after carjacking attempt in Pierce County

Pierce County prosecutors charged the 27-year-old woman with attempted robbery in the first degree, and possession of a stolen vehicle.
24 hours ago
Howe Street Stairs...
Kathryn Stone

Seattle’s ‘Howe Street Stairs’ location of alleged female assaults

Emily, a woman who frequently jogs throughout Seattle, said she was punched in the face during her run near the "Howe Street Stairs."
24 hours ago
Bill Kaczaraba

New group would take a fresh look at Pierce, Thurston County airport sites

Ground Zero for the Puget Sound region is forecast to be 2050 when Sea-Tac airport will no longer be able to handle the number of passengers.
24 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

safety from crime...

As crime increases, our safety measures must too

It's easy to be accused of fearmongering regarding crime, but Seattle residents might have good reason to be concerned for their safety.
Comcast Ready for Business Fund...
Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Seattle parking hours could last even later into the night