With demand as high as ever, Pike/Pine parking rate likely rising to $2.50 in August

4583094410_4f570c0fe9_b-400x529If parking were a true market-based commodity, we might use the city’s networked system of parking pay stations to operate a real-time price exchange with rates calculated based on the number of spots available when you park.

For better or worse, the Seattle Department of Transportation uses a more blunt instrument: count the number of available spaces in a given area and adjust the rates annually.

Based on their 2013 parking count (PDF), SDOT is recommending a 50 cent raise to metered street parking in Pike/Pine, bringing the hourly rate to $2.50 an hour between 8 AM – 8 PM. Pending council approval, the new rates would begin in August.

With the new rates, SDOT is aiming to have 1-2 spots available on each Pike/Pine block throughout the metered parking times.

Despite previous rate increases and extending paid parking to 8 PM in 2011, parking in Pike/Pine is still a mob scene in the evening hours. According to SDOT’s 2013 Evening Paid Parking Study, average Pike/Pine parking capacity at 7 PM is at 104%, meaning all spaces are taken, plus some questionable parking decisions near intersections and fire hydrants.

That’s still a big improvement from 2010 when 7 PM capacity was pushing 120% as metered parking only went to 6 PM. Overall SDOT found that extended paid parking in 10 nightlife areas around the city lead to 20% more available spaces at 6 PM and 18% more available spaces at 7 PM.Screen-Shot-2014-04-27-at-6.24.51-PM-600x456

There are a slew of other parking rate changes and time extensions scheduled to take effect this year, however no changes are planned for the Broadway core. The other notable change on Capitol Hill is the planned roll-out of the city’s new parking pay stations.

14 thoughts on “With demand as high as ever, Pike/Pine parking rate likely rising to $2.50 in August

  1. The local “Ambassadors” are hired by property owners to clean the parking meters…..
    Can I get a refund on my $350.00 “Assessment” (not a tax according to the City of Seattle)

  2. Is the demand increasing or is that construction is taking up a ridiculous amount of spots? Half of Pine parking is covered up by construction, the same with Pike (which has always had limited parking anyway).

  3. Are they still approving construction of new buildings without parking? In other words, new construction may be taking up parking spaces, but if new units are occupied with no associated parking spaces, we might see a similar decrease in availability, anyway.

  4. People need to learn how to park on the hill. There are so many cars that take up the equivalent of two spaces (e.g. parking a few feet from a loading zone or no parking zone as opposed to parking as close to it as possible to leave room behind their car for another one) but they aren’t leaving enough room for even a small car (like a mini) to park. It’s so frustrating. Maybe they need to paint actual parking lines on the streets so people can figure out how to park properly.

    • ^
      THIS!!! Exactly!

      I get so frustrated to see all the wasted parking space just because people don’t pull up close enough. I will actually get out of my car and look and if there is too much room, I will get back in my car and move it to be considerate to others.

  5. I never saw — which of the seven parking meter machines the city tried out did they ultimately pick? When are we going to see these new wonders on the sidewalks of the hill? (More to the point, how soon am I going to have to figure out the protocol for a new parking meter?)

  6. The two hour limit should end after 8, but you should have to pay until 12am. If people from the burbs or wherever else are going to come to the Hill to party and make a mess, why should they get free parking to do it?

  7. The photo which accompanies this article is an example of why many people consider Pike-Pine a trashy part of Capitol Hill…..a parking station covered with stickers and spray paint, and a utility pole plastered with inches of old, outdated posters. And there are many more just like those, as well as overflowing dumpsters and trash cans, litter, etc. And now, with all the muggings/fights going on there, it is exactly what the “broken windows theory” is saying.

  8. Thanks Bryan Cohen, for raising the issue of treating parking as a market-based commodity. It is well past time to have a real discussion on the issue. Hopefully the new SDOT director will help jump start things too.

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