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Seattle to turn meters back on after weeks of free parking for COVID-19 ‘essential trips’

(Image: SDOT)

With its businesses districts kicking back into motion after months of COVID-19 restrictions, the City of Seattle is ready to restore paid parking and enforcement across the city.

Monday, the city’s meters will again be active with the hourly rate set at $0.50 — the lowest the Seattle municipal code allows:

  • With King County’s transition to Phase 2 of the Safe Start Plan, businesses are reopening, and reliable access at the curb for customers is critical for recovery.  Beginning July 13, we’ll reinstate hourly time limited parking and paid parking enforcement.  Parking will be $0.50/hour in all paid areas; the minimum rate allowed according to the Seattle Municipal Code.
  • Straight hourly time limits will also be enforced in unpaid neighborhood business districts.
  • Time limits in RPZs will continue to be enforced so that people who live in these neighborhoods can still find parking in their neighborhoods.
  • Loading zones up to 30-minutes, including new food pick-up zones, will continue to be enforced
  • All Signs that indicate no parking, including no parking during a specified time, will still be enforced

“The rate will remain unchanged for at least a month while we review data to determine parking activity and occupancy in our neighborhood business districts,” the city said in its announcement of the reinstatement of parking enforcement. “Further adjustments could come later in 2020. We are committed to following a data-driven process.”

There will be a grace period. “For the first two weeks, they will be focused on education and voluntary compliance of paid parking as customers return to our neighborhood businesses,” the announcement says.

Seattle’s suspension of its 72-hour rule requiring vehicles to be moved every three days will remain in effect. The city also had set up a hospital staff permit program to help medical workers.

In April, Seattle made street parking free and suspended many rules across the city to help reduce the need for people making essential trips to feed the meter or deal with tickets and tow trucks.

The city says it will still limit towing to situations “which create safety hazards, block access, or create other major issues.”

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6 months ago

Is transit also $0.50?