Post navigation

Prev: (04/03/20) | Next: (04/04/20)

It’s not a free for all but Seattle eliminating most parking tickets during COVID-19 restrictions

With life under COVID-19 restrictions already mostly a massive bummer, Seattle officials have recognized that parking tickets right now are adding insult to injury. Most residents are doing their best to stay close to home to help fight the spread of the virus while many essential workers must drive to work. Starting Saturday, Seattle is eliminating most parking tickets as paid parking and time limits are suspended on the city’s streets:

Mayor Jenny A. Durkan today announced that the City of Seattle will temporarily eliminate paid and time-limited street parking rules to support residents and businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. Following Governor Inslee’s extension of the “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order, the City will immediately implement these changes to parking so residents do not have to worry about tickets while they remain at home. Elimination of paid parking will also facilitate easier access to essential businesses for employees and customers.

  • No payment will be required on streets with paid parking.
  • Hourly time limits will not be enforced outside of Restricted Parking Zones (RPZ).
  • Loading zones up to 30-minutes, including new food pick-up zones, will continue to be enforced.
  • Other previously announced temporary parking enforcement changes including suspension of the 72-hour parking rule will continue until further notice.
  • Special zones will still be in effect, including new zones for hospital and human services staff as well as existing zones for freight, food trucks, or charter buses. 
  • Restricted Parking Zone (RPZ) time limits will be enforced so that people who live in RPZ neighborhoods can still find parking near their homes.

Like many alterations to daily life under COVID-19 restrictions, the changes to parking will be a major reset for the city. Reinstating paid parking will be phased in after the stay home order is lifted, the city says. At that time, SDOT will reinstate a minimum payment of $0.50 per hour in all paid areas for three weeks. The city will then begin to “adjust rates based on demand as customers return to business districts and need reliable access at the curb.”


$5/MONTH? SUBSCRIBE AND SUPPORT LOCAL NEWS: Support local journalism dedicated to your neighborhood. SUBSCRIBE HERE. Join to become a subscriber at $1/$5/$10 a month to help CHS provide community news with NO PAYWALL. You can also sign up for a one-time annual payment.


“As we adapt to a new normal, we’ve pioneered new successful strategies to help residents and workers including new food pick up zones and new zones for health care workers and human service providers,” Mayor Jenny Durkan said in the announcement of the suspension. “To improve access to parking for the City’s essential workers, residents remaining at home, or residents visiting essential services, we can provide a small relief for paid parking. We will continue to evaluate and adjust parking regulations to support community needs until we make it through this pandemic.”

The move follows Seattle’s suspension of its “72-hour parking rule” in March as many residents and busy health and hospital workers weren’t moving their vehicles. The city also had set up a hospital staff permit program to help medical workers.

Sam Zimbabwe, director of the Seattle Department of Transportation, said that effort led to the decision on suspending paid parking restrictions across the city. “Paid parking relief and time limit relief will effectively and immediately provide access to parking to support these essential workers,” he said.

The city announced all other parking regulations will still be enforced including no parking zones, peak period parking restrictions for transit and travel lanes, disabled permit parking spaces, commercial and passenger load zones, and “temporary no parking areas designated by a-frame signs, including temporary food pick-up zones,” so don’t expect a free for all.

The Seattle Police Department will prioritize enforcement of parking restrictions that protect safety and maintain access for transit, freight and emergency vehicles, the city says.


$5/MONTH? SUBSCRIBE AND SUPPORT LOCAL NEWS: Support local journalism dedicated to your neighborhood. SUBSCRIBE HERE. Join to become a subscriber at $1/$5/$10 a month to help CHS provide community news with NO PAYWALL. You can also sign up for a one-time annual payment.


Subscribe and support CHS Contributors -- $1/$5/$10 per month

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments