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Play Like a Parking Pro

The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) is about to make adjustments to on-street parking rates and hours of operation as part of our data-driven performance parking program. Knowing these parking rules can help you find reliable, convenient parking.

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SDOT’s Performance-Based Parking Pricing Program started in 2010 when the City Council directed the department to set on-street parking rates according to specific data measurements. The overall goal of the program is to help drivers find parking more easily. Our specific objective, written into the Seattle Municipal Code, is to set street parking rates so that one to two spaces are open and available on each block throughout the day.

Our recently completed Annual Paid Parking Study for 2014 provided the data that guides our adjustments to meet the City’s performance goal for on-street parking. As seen in the data, many neighborhoods experienced parking demand and activity outside of our target goal of one to two parking spaces open per block throughout the day. In response, consistent with the data results and City law, SDOT will make rate and other on-street parking management changes in 22 areas this fall. We will:

  • Lower parking rates in five areas
  • Raise parking rates in eight areas
  • Make seasonal rate adjustments at the Ballard Locks to account for high parking demand in the summer
  • Install new pay stations in the two different rate areas of Pioneer Square with rates that differ by time of day according to demand (lower in the morning, higher in the afternoon)
  • Extend evening paid parking hours in five areas to 8 p.m. instead of 6 p.m.
  • Change maximum time limits in one area to encourage turnover

SDOT blog readers may remember that we announced a smaller set of likely 2014 changes earlier this year based on 2013 data results. We have modified that list thanks to additional data provided by the recent parking study, which showed several more areas that met the conditions for rate increases or decreases. To learn more about the specific changes coming to paid parking areas near you, please visit our parking webpage.