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PARKING | Starting Oct. 5, to support local businesses and make it easier to find parking in busy neighborhoods, all street parking will be $1 per hour or less.

Parking in Seattle. Photo Credit: SDOT.


We’ve been paying close attention to travel habits since the COVID-19 pandemic began and have made several adjustments to parking rules in order to support businesses’ and people’s changing needs.  

Based on these observations and feedback from neighborhood business districts, we’re adjusting parking rates starting Monday, October 5 in some busy neighborhoods so that customers will have an easier time finding a parking space. 

Here’s what’s changing, and what’s not: 

  • On Monday, parking rates will go up to $1 per hour at some times of day in parts of First Hill, Chinatown/ International District, Denny Triangle, and Belltown.   
  • Parking will remain $0.50 per hour in other times and locations. 
  • All 3-minute and 15-minute loading zones remain free, including over 600 food and retail pick-up zones.  
  • Street parking remains free on Sundays and some holidays.  
  • Privately owned parking lots will not be affected.

Check out our interactive parking rate map to find parking rates at different times of day throughout Seattle (the map will be updated when the rates take effect next week). 

Setting effective and affordable parking rates remains a high priority so that our economy can continue to recover.  

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, Seattle’s paid parking rates varied between $0.50 and $5.00 per hour depending on the time and location.  

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, Seattle’s paid parking rates varied between $0.50 and $5.00 per hour depending on the time and location.  

In April, we made all street parking free to support Governor Inslee’s Stay Home, Stay Healthy order. When we reached the next phase of recovery in mid-July, paid street parking was restored at $0.50 per hour (the lowest rate we can legally charge).  

Unlike other cities around the country which have returned to their full pre-COVID parking rates, Seattle’s data-driven approach is applied fairly and equitably across the city so that rates are driven by demand. 

We work with local businesses and use data to help make sure people can find parking in popular neighborhoods. 

Our goal when setting street parking rates is to help make it easier for people to find parking and for customers to get to local businesses. We adjust the price throughout the day based on real-life observations so that there will be one or two parking spaces available on each block.  

Our parking data showed that it was becoming more difficult to find a parking space in some neighborhoods. So, after working with neighborhood businesses, we’re adjusting parking rates so that customers will have an easier time parking near local businesses and restaurants.  

Basing our decisions on data and business engagement helps us to make sure that we’re finding the most appropriate parking rates to support recovering businesses impacted by the pandemic. We’ll also continue to engage with representatives of our neighborhood business districts before making further rate adjustments. 

We’re continuing to support businesses with over 600 restaurant and retail pick-up zones and other outdoor vending permit options. 

A food pick-up zone in Seattle. Photo Credit: SDOT Flickr. 
A food pick-up zone in Seattle. Photo Credit: SDOT Flickr. 

We’ve added temporary 3-minute Food Pick-Up and 15-minute Retail Pick-Up Zones at over 600 locations around Seattle.  These loading zones are free, even in paid parking neighborhoods. This map shows the locations of food and retail pick-up zones

We’ve also been working to support local businesses during these challenging time in many other ways, including removing fees and simplifying the process for businesses to apply for outdoor seating or vending permits.  

If your business would like a temporary loading zone or Safe Start permit, please contact us at 206-684-ROAD. You may also email for information about parking, or for information about permits.  

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