The Seattle Parks Board will hear the results of an analysis of paid parking in the city’s parks Thursday night that will help the board decide if Volunteer Park’s long stretches of free parking should be included in the plan. UPDATE: See below for clarification — this early review will focus on only an analysis of past paid parking studies. The full analysis will not be completed until later in 2011.
The analysis is the result of the City Council’s statement of legislative intent discussed this past fall to help Seattle overcome a growing budget deficit. Part of the analysis the Council is requiring from Parks will be a list of between five and ten parks to be considered for paid parking. Parks is also on the hook for an analysis of potential rates and to assess the impact on nearby street parking.
CHS has learned that Volunteer Park is likely to be considered given its relatively sizable amount of parking along with Seward, Green Lake, Discovery, Golden Gardens, Lincoln and Magnuson.
Thursday’s meeting will be the first public airing of the analysis. The Council gave Seattle Parks until July 1, 2011 to submit a final plan to its committee.
No numbers, yet, on usage of Volunteer Park’s spaces but CHS can testify to the variety of uses they are put to. Because it’s off the main roadways, it’s not unusual to see people using the parking along the park’s roadway to work on vehicles or catch a little shut eye. There’s also a fair amount of tourist traffic as people visit the Conservatory or the Seattle Asian Art Museum. In June 2009, Volunteer Park’s “western loop” roadway was closed to motor vehicles.