A new component of the Seattle Nightlife Initiative could formalize something Capitol Hill taxi cab drivers have already been doing on their own by trading out a stretch of street parking for a new overnight taxi zone. But at least one area business owner has a few other ideas for SDOT to consider.
The Seattle Department of Transportation announced this week a plan to create taxi zones near busy nightlife areas across the city — including Pike/Pine:
As part of the Nightlife Initiative, SDOT is currently conducting community outreach on 5 new proposed late night taxi zones in Belltown, Pioneer Square, Capitol Hill, Downtown/Pike Place and Fremont. Zones would accommodate up to four taxis during the hours of 10 pm and 6 am. There would be no changes to on-street parking during regular business hours. Zones would be installed in July/August 2011.
The city’s proposed location for the Pike/Pine zone is well known to local cab drivers. SDOT is looking at the north side of Pike between 10th and Broadway for the new zone which will be open to parking during the day but be restricted to taxis only between the hours of 10p and 6a. Typically, the area is already a gathering area for cabs — but they’re usually pulled up and idling in the nearby Shell station lot, not taking up street parking.
Businesses in the stretch being considered include Ballet, The Lobby Bar and the Comet.
We’re told the decision for E Pike hasn’t been finalized but we’re not privy to what other locations might be on SDOT’s Capitol Hill list.
One business owner told CHS the idea is being pitched as a temporary trial but that the street’s bars, restaurants and clubs are split on where the trial location should be instituted.
Instead of giving up the street parking, the business owner said he has suggested alternative locations for the zone including a pre-existing taxi zone on 10th Av or the bus stop at Pine and Broadway with a coordinated schedule that would eliminate the stop during the taxi stand hours or adjust the stand hours to start once bus service at the stop ceases for the night.