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High demand: Parking rate increases coming to Broadway, Pike/Pine

In an effort to free up more paid parking around Capitol Hill, or at least to get most people to park their cars in legal spaces, the city is raising paid parking rates by 50 cents along two busy neighborhood corridors.


Occupancy rates in Pike/Pine (Image: SDOT)

Starting this month, metered parking rates in Pike/Pine went up 50 cents to $2.50 an hour. The City Council approved the rate bump in June following a recommendation from the Seattle Department of Transportation. SDOT also announced this month that rates around “Capitol Hill North” (metered spaces on and around Broadway north of E John) will go up 50 cents in October to $3.50 an hour.

Cap Hill North

Occupancy rates in Capitol Hill North (Image: SDOT)

The 50 cent rise in Capitol Hill North was announced in SDOT’s 2014 Annual Paid Parking Occupancy Report (PDF). The report found that this year 92% of spaces in the corridor were occupied during three peak hours and 100% of spaced were occupied at 7 PM — an increase from 2013 by 3 points and 2 points respectively.

SDOT recommended the Pike/Pine 50 cent raise earlier this year based on its 2013 parking count that showed parking in the area is a complete mob scene during evening hours, With the new rates, SDOT is aiming to have 1-2 spots available on each Pike/Pine block throughout metered parking times.

Paid parking will also be extending to 8 PM along 12th Ave. where occupancy rates are still over 100% during peak evening hours. Parking in Pike/Pine also exceeds 100% at 7 PM, meaning meaning all spaces are taken, plus some questionable parking decisions near intersections and fire hydrants.

Cap Hill South

Occupancy rates in Capitol Hill South (Image: SDOT)

Metered rates will stay at $2.50 an hour in “Capitol Hill South” (metered spaces on and around Broadway north of E John). SDOT’s 2014 study showed occupancy has only increased slightly since last year, with a 77% occupancy during the corridor’s three peak hours.

Despite increasing occupancy, parking rates in First Hill, Downtown, and parts of Pioneer Square will remain at $4 an hour — the highest rate allowed by city code.

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14 thoughts on “High demand: Parking rate increases coming to Broadway, Pike/Pine

  1. I’m curious as to how many spaces are available today vs 5 years ago. It seems the city is creating greater buffers between intersections and allowable parking spaces. Plus, add in all the closures from construction.

    I’m also curious as to how these changes will lead people to park off the pay corridors and decide to park in residential neighborhoods rather than opt for paid street parking, especially in the evenings.

    I’m so thankful I was able to purchase a space in my buildings garage.

  2. There’s a perfectly good public pay lot at 11th & Aloha behind Lowell School that remains EMPTY 99% of the time during the evening and weekend hours because people don’t want to pay for parking. Jacking the prices on the pay spaces will do NOTHING to free up parking, it’ll exacerbate the illegal parking issues we already have and put the folks too cheap to pay into the hydrant/driveway/RPZ spots.

  3. that is the dumbest thing i have ever heard. if the problem is not enough parking how is raising the price providing more parking?

    • The logic is you increase the price and duration of paid parking you increase the churn. People will no longer be parking in paid parking zones at 6pm and stay for the night. Thus freeing up those spaces for others to use in the early evening hours.

      • That’s stupid! The City is STILL GETTING PAID FOR THE SPACES. It doesn’t matter if it’s one car or three cars.

        what they just WON’T come out and say is that they want people to cycle in and out of the spots. If each person is forced to buy the minimum one hour of parking but they only stay 40 minutes, the City can get three hours worth parking revenue while only providing 2 hours worth of parking. do it in enough spots and it adds up.

      • Umm, they actually ARE saying they want people to cycle in and out of the spots. That’s the point. Charging a minimum sounds like a terrible idea for increasing the amount of available parking.

      • Where are you FORCED to buy an entire hour of parking? And the new machines still take coins if you don’t have a card…

    • It’s a straightforward market solution: instead of subsidizing parking, raise prices to what it’s actually worth to people. Some will pay the higher prices because it’s worth it to them, some will be more efficient in their use of parking, some will walk or take a car2go (or someday the trolley or subway), some will build commercial pay lots.

  4. The answer to all this is a bit involved.

    REQUIRE parking in new buildings. Essentially a 1:1 or maybe 1:1.5 sort of thing.

    Then eliminate the long-term allowance on the streets(RPZ).

    Tow the offenders. If you don’t enforce, you get what we got now.

    That would force residents with cars to pay for a spot to park their car OFF the street, allow for parking revenue for the City and also leave the arterials open during the day for trolleys, buses, bike lanes and deliveries. The revenue from parking space rental would help developers defray the costs to build in the few extra spaces

    Other option: Have the city build a few neighborhood garages and charge citizens to park there while eliminating the RPZ.

  5. Easiest solution to high parking rates? Ditch the car! I did it three years ago and haven’t looked back since. If you live on the hill and work within city limits, you really don’t need one. Sure, Metro has its drawbacks, but the Capitol Hill routes are usually pretty reliable. Also, with Uber, Lyft, Car2Go, and Zipcar if you need a ride, you can easily secure one. Do your wallet (and the planet) a favor and go carless!

    • I’m pretty sure a large percentage of people parking in those lots aren’t locals.

      I’m guessing most business are reliant on people who aren’t from the area, to varying degrees, and reducing the quantity of parking or making it even more expensive isn’t exactly going to encourage people (yes, even those east siders people seem to hate) to visit and put money into those neighborhood businesses.

  6. Bryan, you might want to check the next to the last paragraph. I think one word needs to be changed:

    “Metered rates will stay at $2.50 an hour in “Capitol Hill South” (metered spaces on and around Broadway north of E John). SDOT’s 2014 study showed occupancy has only increased slightly since last year, with a 77% occupancy during the corridor’s three peak hours.”

    Brandi, with all due respect, your comment is tired and out of touch with reality. Not EVERYBODY who lives on the hill works within a mile or two of their hood for a variety of reasons. It’s not up to you to dictate the circumstances of somebody’s life.

    • Hi Tom:

      To be clear, you don’t have to live a mile or two from your work to go carless. I work in Redmond and bus to work every day from the Hill. It’s not the most luxurious way to commute, but the bus is ironically the fastest way to get through rush hour traffic (with its bus only lanes and the fact that drivers almost always have to yield to these vehicular behemoths). The Metro/Sound system does reach most areas of metro Seattle, though there are plenty of places it doesn’t.

      Drivers should be ecstatic every time they see a packed bus. Every adult you see riding a bus is one less car on the road, leading to less congestion.

      But anyway, I really really really want to avoid the tired Driver vs. Non-Driver Argument. Yeah, I would agree that non-drivers shouldn’t go around trumpeting their lifestyle as if it were superior. But the final irony is that if you’re a driver, you should be in love with mass transit and non-drivers because it relieves congestion. We’re all in this traffic jam together. Let’s work together.

      • I did not own a car for a period of five years. Part of that time, I was working downtown full-time and finishing my degree at the UW. I lived on Capitol Hill. I wish I could say it was easy and a good experience but it wasn’t. I remember working a full day and then riding a completely crammed bus from downtown to the UW. After getting out of class at 9:00 PM, I then had to wait for the next bus that came 40 minutes later. It was exhausting and it sucked.

        Today I do own a car that I drive about once a week. I commute to work as a pedestrian. I am fully committed to reducing my car trips and always combine errands when possible. I made a decision to purchase my home in a location that allows me to walk to work. It is not a great neighborhood, has high crime and no amenities like grocery stores, but I thought one car trip a week would be better than five commuting to work. This is why it is so offensive to me when someone like Brandi starts a shrill and condescending speech about how great and enlightened they are because they are carless. And those of you who think that everyone who occasionally drives to Capitol Hill is from the eastside, you are just ignorant. I live in central Seattle and used to enjoy shopping at Elliott Bay and the small local businesses but now just save my money.

        If you took a more balanced approach and encouraged people to reduce car trips, you might get some traction, but telling people they are evil because the own cars isn’t compelling.