When Capitol Hill Station opens next year, thousands of people will find some of their transit challenges solved — and some new ones opened up. How best to get to Capitol Hill Station to start your trip?
In an effort to discourage those people from driving to the station, Sound Transit and the Seattle Department of Transportation are collecting information for possible parking changes in the area surrounding the Broadway facility.
In August, Sound Transit sent out surveys to residents and businesses within a quarter mile radius of the station to ask about what parking changes, if any, should be made. Changes could include time-limit signs, loading zones, more paid parking, or expanding restricted parking zones.
“We want folks to take the bus, ride, or walk to the station,” said Sound Transit spokesperson Bruce Gray. “There are so many good options to getting to and from station without driving.”
Last month, King County Metro released the Executive’s Proposal for a restructure of bus service to be rolled out early next year to coincide with the opening of light rail stations on Broadway and at the University of Washington.
Eventually, the First Hill Streetcar will also be an option.
With parking occupancy frequently topping 100% in the area, Capitol Hill Station won’t provide nearly as many opportunities to park-and-ride as stations farther south on the line. When the Central Link came online, new residential parking zones were set up in a quarter mile radius around each station.
According to Gray, existing RPZs near the station are unlikely to change, and other parking changes should be relatively minor. After Sound Transit collects the feedback, it will be sent to SDOT where proposed changes will be drawn up later this year. Surveys were also sent out to businesses and residents near the University of Washington Station, which included a few blocks of the Montlake neighborhood.
New parking rates rolling out this year reflect how slammed parking already is on Capitol Hill. The “Capitol Hill North” zone, which covers north Broadway, will be the first parking area in the neighborhood to hit $4 an hour from 5 PM-8 PM as occupancy rates reached 100% this year. Meanwhile, morning parking along the corridor remains below the target occupancy range of 70%-85%. The morning rate will drop to $3 an hour.