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Friday, November 7, 2008

Good News and Bad News for City Parkers

posted by on November 7 at 15:43 PM

First, the bad news: Parking rates are going up!

In the proposed budget that’s currently before the city council, the maximum rate for on-street parking would increase from $1.50 to $2.00, giving the city an additional $3.6 million in revenues. This will be the first parking rate increase since 2004, when meter rates were increased from $1 an hour to $1.50. The maximum rate would apply in downtown, Uptown, Broadway, the Denny Triangle, First Hill, Pike-Pine, Ballard, and the University District. (Other neighborhoods that would see a 25-cent-per-hour increase include South Lake Union, Fremont, and the Uptown Triangle*).

The good news: If you live or work in Roosevelt, Green Lake, near Providence Hospital, or on 12th Avenue, your parking rates are going down—to a new, low rate of $1.00 an hour! Don’t you feel lucky?

The other good news, if you are parking downtown: A proposed new Center City Parking Program would give drivers directions to available parking downtown. It won’t be any cheaper, but at least you won’t waste as much gas circling around! This assumes, of course, that the program doesn’t get cut due to the economic crisis; according to a recent budget forecast by city budget director Dwight Dively, the city is facing an $18.2 million budget gap between 2009 and 2010.

*Want to find out what the city means by all these arbitrary-sounding neighborhood designations? Check out the Seattle DOT’s parking web site for borders.

RSS icon Comments


I don't mind parking prices going up because I can't stand the inability to find parking for pay. If the spaces are saturated, then clearly prices are too low. This is true of some free parking as well. Ask any macroeconomist about "price floors".

Posted by Max | November 7, 2008 3:59 PM

This makes so much sense. I actually believe downtown street parking should cost about the same as parking lot parking. The city should not be subsidizing driving.

Posted by Renee | November 7, 2008 4:16 PM

Any chance we can triple the parking fine for anyone who files unconstitutional initiatives three or more times? And sell their car?

Posted by Will in Seattle | November 7, 2008 4:20 PM

Obviusly if the city is going to offer parking at below-market rates it is going to be scarce. Duh.

I mean DUH. Let me say that a gain. Duh!

Want to find parking quickly? Pay market rates. Want to park for a fraction of the real cost? Drive around in circles for half an hour, spewing pollution and wasting gas.

(Or ride a motorcycle. Lots of free motorcycle parking downtown and elsewhere, if you know where to look.)

Posted by elenchos | November 7, 2008 4:22 PM

Agree completely with Max, except don't ask a macroeconomist, ask a microeconomist. Or really, ask any economist. And stop subsidizing parking:

Posted by minderbender | November 7, 2008 4:53 PM

A proposed two-step compromise with ECB and those like her who want to micro-regulate parking policy:

Step 1: All street parking costs money.

Step 2: No regulations on how much parking housing developments must provide provide or not provide. If we do not distort the market with free street parking, we can let the market find the equilibirum supply of private parking.

Posted by David Wright | November 7, 2008 5:03 PM

Actually, scratch that. Ask any economist about price ceilings, not floors. Price ceilings lead to shortages and non-price rationing (in the case of parking, drivers pay in time spent circling the block instead of in money). If you believe in walkable cities, or reducing pollution, or economic efficiency, you should oppose subsidized parking.

Posted by minderbender | November 7, 2008 5:03 PM

It isn't Providence Hospital any more, it is Swedish Cherry Hill. Make a note of it.

Posted by Providence | November 7, 2008 5:16 PM

wtf? I live right off Roosevelt, between it and Greenlake, and never have any reason to pay to park up there. Why the fuck do rich Greenlake bastards need a lower fare?

Posted by die greenlake yuppy | November 7, 2008 5:22 PM

and why are we now subsidizing their parking!?>?

Posted by dgs | November 7, 2008 5:24 PM

Bravo! ... parking should be cost enough to make one think twice about driving vs taking the bus. Before the new pay/meter system the problem wasn't the cost but rather the copious amounts of change required but now that's figured out... I say charge market rate.

Posted by oliveoyl | November 7, 2008 7:11 PM

shout out to Providence! she's unemployed last i heard but playing in three bands fresh out of the same place they kept cobain or courthey after an 'episode' - Med Licensed Technicians rock! Ask her to do a paradiddle next time at the High Dive.

Center City Parking Program, how quaint Erica, explain to the eighth graders about mnemonics, CCPP. Scratch that, C City Pee Program is easy enough to remember.

Posted by gry mklsk | November 7, 2008 7:41 PM

I'm all for raising the hourly parking rate, but for fucks sake, give some relief to those of us who have to deal with street/sidewalk closures due to constant fucking condo construction. The section of First Hill that I live in has lost three entire streets worth of parking in the last two years because of the mother fucking condo boom.

Posted by Bryce Beamish | November 8, 2008 6:53 AM


Bryce, I complained to SDOT about construction closing the sidewalk on both sides of the street in Ballard, in violation of the Right of Way Management Program.

SDOT made one them open a temporary sidwalk, because they didn't have a permit to close it. They wouldn't have been issued one, under the guidelines but they had gone ahead and done it anyway. They probably assumed nobody would speak up.

So if you see the sidewalk unreasonably blocked, complain to SDOT.

Posted by elenchos | November 8, 2008 9:56 AM

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