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Another parking rate increase coming for Capitol Hill as First Hill extends metered hours

IMG_20150413_133712-614x1024-600x1001New parking rates rolling out this fall on Capitol Hill reflect what many in the neighborhood already know: paid parking is relatively easy to find in the morning while parking for dinner is still practically impossible.

Following its annual parking occupancy count, the Seattle Department of Transportation is planning to lower the morning parking rate in one Capitol Hill zone and increase evening and all-day rates across the neighborhood.

First Hill is also poised for a major change as metered parking rates will extend from 6 PM to 8PM. SDOT found 99% of parking spaces were occupied in the area at 7 PM. The new rates will start to go into effect this month.

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.north capitol hill

Evening metered rates will increase in “Capitol Hill South” from $2.50 an hour to $3 an hour. The zone — between E John and E Pine — also remains below target occupancy in the morning, but SDOT is not recommending a rate drop this year.capitol hill south

By 6 PM, parking in Pike/Pine remains a nightmare with occupancy rates pushing 90%. By 8 PM, you’re hosed (occupancy rates above 100% indicate illegal parking or more cars cramming into a block than the City planned for). Pike/Pine is getting a 50 cent bump, brining it’s all-day rate to $3 an hour.

pike pine

The 12th Ave corridor will also get a 50 cent bump to $2 an hour. For the most part, occupancy has remained consistently within the target zone throughout the day along 12th Ave. A slew of other metered rate changes and hours are also planned for this fall. Meanwhile, SDOT is still working to swap out all of the city’s pay stations by next year.

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16 thoughts on “Another parking rate increase coming for Capitol Hill as First Hill extends metered hours

    • It doesn’t really matter. If parking is cheap all the meters are full. If parking is expensive, people infiltrate the neighborhoods for free parking. Eventually Capitol Hill will be just for the people who can walk to it. That’s just the way it goes.

    • Newsflash: the truly poor cant afford cars and depend on transit, biking, walking. The poor stand to benefit from a system that stops subsidizing car travel. That starts with requiring drivers to pay the market price for parking.

  1. We seem to have plenty of paid parking lots and garages spots available. I guess people prefer to circle for street parking than use a designated lot.

    I’ve quit driving and trying to park. I just walk or Uber from my home to the Pike/Pine/Broadway area.

  2. Our car culture is so deeply ingrained that most drivers are unaware of how much their transportation choice has been publicly subsidized.

    I state this as both a car owner and a transit user, I realize both modes have been subsidized. J.Seattle, perhaps a feature article examining the subsidies both modes of travel receive?

  3. I’d just like to point out it costs the same for motorcycles and scooters to park (3ft of space when parked perpendicular to the street) as it does for a 4 door sedan (an average of 14ft of space). $4 per hour to park a motorcycle is ridiculous.

    • And motorcycles and scooters can park in RPZs for free. It’s much easier than with a car to find a spot between a couple of cars a few blocks off the metered areas.

  4. I’m skeptical that increasing parking rates somehow magically results in more parking availability. In high-demand areas, spaces will fill up no matter what the rates are, at least until they exceed what is costs to park in a garage. And are there really that many public parking garages in, say, Pike-Pine?

    • I agree with your skepticism. If you need to park, you need to park. I doubt a dollar will make people think otherwise.

      The QFC/Pike garage and Havard/Pine garage seem to always have some space. Also, the new developments have available public parking spaces as well.

      Personally, I prefer garages whenever possible. Less risk for damage than street parking.

      • The issue with all the garages is they’re way too expensive. If they were cheap, they’d be full. There are a lot of trips people make where an option exists to drive somewhere else where there’s free parking, whether shopping or eating. It’s not just $1. The garages offer “$3 for first 30 minutes” and such. You stay there an hour or 2 and it runs you enough $$ to make you reconsider doing your shopping or eating somewhere else where you won’t end up paying $10 just to park, or just staying home. This is why people circle the block, or comb residential neighborhoods for free parking.

  5. Great strategy for reducing congestion on the Hill. Price it out of reach for all except who live there and/or who can walk there. Fine by me. Who needs those out-of-neighborhooders anyway?