Restricted Parking Zone in West Seattle Junction area? Here’s how to tell SDOT what you think

Will the West Seattle Junction area get a Restricted Parking Zone (RPZ)? The most-recent briefing was at April’s Junction Neighborhood Organization meeting (WSB coverage here) and now it’s time for the next steps – SDOT is asking for your feedback. A mailer is arriving later this week in residential and business addresses in the area, but even if you don’t receive it, you can comment via an online survey, e-mail, or two upcoming drop-in events. From SDOT’s project team:

SDOT received a request to evaluate residential streets near the West Seattle Junction for eligibility for a new RPZ. The orange-lined blocks shown on the map below meet the requirements for a new RPZ, which would prevent all-day parking by commuters on these streets.

Specifically, an RPZ in the West Seattle Junction would:

*Limit vehicles without an RPZ permit to 2-hour parking, 7 AM – 6 PM, Monday – Saturday, on RPZ-signed blocks.

*Allow residents in the orange-shaded area to purchase RPZ permits to park longer than the posted time limit on RPZ-signed blocks. Permits are currently $65 per vehicle for a two-year cycle. One hangtag guest permit is available per household. A $10 low-income permit is available.

*Not allow employees to purchase permits. RPZ signs would not be installed adjacent to businesses, and existing time limit areas near businesses will remain.

Depending on feedback, a formal RPZ proposal will be released to the community in fall 2018 along with a public hearing. Unpaid time limit and individual space changes will also be finalized in fall 2018. See more information about this project on our website.

To submit comments or ask questions:

· Take this survey by August 19, 2018 or email us at WestSeattleParking@seattle.gov
· Visit SDOT staff in person at one of two informal drop-in sessions/tables:

o West Seattle Farmers Market on Sunday, July 29, 2018 from 10 AM to 2 PM
o Cupcake Royale at 4556 California Ave SW on Friday, August 10, 2018 from 10 AM – 11:30 AM

West Seattle currently has one RPZ, in the Fauntleroy ferry dock area.

41 Replies to "Restricted Parking Zone in West Seattle Junction area? Here's how to tell SDOT what you think"

  • Nick July 17, 2018 (3:33 pm)

    Cool you get to purchase a permit to park on the street. Sounds like a terrible idea

  • Sheila G July 17, 2018 (4:34 pm)

    We live in this zone. What about Sundays and holidays? No change?

  • MrsT July 17, 2018 (4:51 pm)

    That’s a hard, No Thanks. It’ll push all those cars out into the streets beyond that barrier. Make the whole penensula zoned parking, or nothing.

  • Jon Wright July 17, 2018 (5:31 pm)

    RPZs are nothing more than a giveaway of a public resource.

  • WS Guy July 17, 2018 (5:33 pm)

    This RPZ makes a lot of sense. 

  • Didi July 17, 2018 (6:09 pm)

    Hmmm—We want people to use public transit but we don’t provide places for them to park their cars.  How much sense does that make?  Restricting parking around the junction will only force more people to drive their cars into downtown, rather than taking the bus.  What we need are more conveniently located Park and Ride lots—not RPZ’s.

    • KM July 17, 2018 (9:13 pm)

      “We want people to use public transit but we don’t provide places for them to park their cars.  How much sense does that make? “Um, a lot?

      • Joe Szilagyi July 17, 2018 (9:59 pm)

        I think they’re talking about the “last mile” concept, which is a thing. Basically, say you live down in one of those condos down the bottom of like deepest southwest West Seattle, under the hill, as far south in the greenbelt on the way as you can get before you turn east. That’s Brace Point. Lots of people live down that way and the condo complex is pretty big. If those people don’t drive their cars way up from way down that crazy place, how do they reasonably get to where they can get transit? Or all the people who live down in the Arroyos, or the weird pockets of life all over our hilly city? People driving to transit is common. There are corners of Seattle that if you just teleported someone into them with no context, they would assume is a suburb somewhere. There are parts of Los Angeles like that, and London, and New York City even (and not even out on Staten Island, like in the Bronx – there are parts of Manhattan that are less dense than Seattle!).  People living in those spaces need a way to get to buses and trains too. 

        • KM July 18, 2018 (4:57 am)

          I get the last mile concept, I don’t think car ownership/storage is the solution. I’m not for or against the RPZ per se, especially since with or without it, we are still encouraging free parking on the public right-of-way, and we need to move beyond that. It’s sticky and solutions are underdeveloped, I think Edward Humes in his recent writing touched on the missing links for the last mile quite well. I don’t think we get there by continually accomodating (private) car storage, no matter if we shift it elsewhere with the RPZ or not. It’s also ridiculous how many parts of the city are underserved by transit—that’s where we should be pushing.

        • Wsresident July 18, 2018 (7:40 am)

          I’m a NYer and just curious where in Mnahattan is less dense then Seattle?

        • JA July 18, 2018 (1:48 pm)

          This is the core issue, I think.  The density of our public transportation network does not match the population density.  Too many people can’t get to a bus stop by walking.  Given that reality, if you want to encourage use of mass-transit, you can’t forbid people from parking (legally!) on (public!) streets during working hours to enable them to access that transit.  Riding the bus isn’t fun for anyone (especially short people wearing heels and carrying laptop bags on standing-room-only C-Lines), so throwing more obstacles in the way will just give people another reason to drive their own cars instead.   

  • Joe Szilagyi July 17, 2018 (6:13 pm)

    I feel like this area in particular getting RPZ’d will have overall negative effects on West Seattle. A lot of people go “park and hide” there. That is, they drive to the Junction, park on the street, and then jump in a bus to downtown… which is PERFECTLY LEGAL AND ALWAYS FINE AS A PRACTICE, before anyone has any nonsensical criticism of the practice.Make the Junction an RPZ and you’ll get more parking in another area and more cars on the bridge, full stop. The bill on parking always comes due.

    • WS Guy July 18, 2018 (2:00 am)

      You sound like someone who is not walled into his house by cars, and unable to unload groceries, because of park and hides. 

  • chemist July 17, 2018 (6:25 pm)

    I live several blocks outside the junction, so there’s no real case for me to get an RPZ, but I also live closer to “the next Rapid Ride” stop down the line, which has its own daytime parking shortages. There was a strong case for a daytime RPZ based on the park-and-hide behavior AND a strong case for an evening RPZ that extended through the middle of the junction.The original analysis defined “resident” based on having never observed the license plates parked at 4 AM. They also analyzed the commercial zone separately from the residential stretches, which hindered creating contiguous, highly-used evening blocks. The 8 PM usage patterns on slide 44 looked like you’d hit the 75% occupancy requirement going diagonally from Dawson and California to Genesee and 39th. The trick would be to get SDOT to actually look up the addresses of vehicles parked there rather than do that “they’re also parked at 4AM” trick, which would work better for daytime park-and-hiding.I never could find any information in the RPZ statutes about analyzing commercial parking separately like SDOT did.  Maybe it’s one of those non-formal ways SDOT does these that’s not in the rulebooks.

  • ttt July 17, 2018 (6:56 pm)

    we’re on 46th and we already have many cars that park from 7am to 5pm to work in the junction or to take the bus. This zone would flood our street. The zone needs to be extended. 

  • TJ July 17, 2018 (7:37 pm)

    Hey, when facing a problem, real or imaginary, charge people money. It’s the Seattle way. This will without a doubt have a negative impact on businesses there. Money is not a issue for me, but I decided a long time ago I won’t pay for parking in West Seattle. And I know others who say the same. No offense to the businesses there, but I hope this hurts. The business community in Seattle used to have a collective voice that had influence. Not so much anymore. 

    • Mr. J July 17, 2018 (8:32 pm)

      TJ – I’m sure the Junction Business will be happy not to deal with your entitled libertarian dollars. Business want RPZ’s because it keeps people from parking all day in the neighborhood and allows customers to access their business. I’m not sure if you actually understand what RPZ’s are, because if you did you’d realize they already exist in West Seattle and the Junction Businesses already asked SDOT to not put paid parking in on the streets and SDOT agreed.  

  • T July 17, 2018 (7:54 pm)

    I have knowledge of the current parking enforcement state. They’re understaffed/can’t keep people because they can make more money easily elsewhere. This is why parking problems exist so commonly in West Seattle. If this rpz becomes official, PEOs will have to  enforce it and they can barely enforce California Ave. 

  • E. John Rupnick July 17, 2018 (8:14 pm)

    At the last SDOT “public input” session I attended re: proposed revisions on 35th SW we were told that the decision had been made.  The attendees, whose opinions ran about 80/20 against to proposal, were diplomatically informed that nobody at SDOT cared what we thought.  Maybe this time’ll be different – good luck.

  • Joan July 17, 2018 (8:15 pm)

    I used to live in the other Washington – DC. They had neighborhood parking zones. It’s nothing new. If you live in those areas, it’s tough to park. If you go to patronize a business in the Junction, two hour parking should usually be enough.

  • John Rupnick July 17, 2018 (8:21 pm)

    SDOT has made the decision already.  Public input sessions are just for show.  Even the city council is powerless.  Good luck

  • The New SF July 17, 2018 (9:19 pm)

    I have lived at 42nd & Oregon for 4 years and has become impossible to park on the street because of the increased high density buildings, 3 construction projects that bring workers to the area from 6:30-3:30 and a general increase in the number of visitors.  Zoning this area is the right thing to do, despite the unwarranted fees. As much as we’d love to buy parking in the building where we live, the ridiculous increase in rental pricing makes this impossible. I also think this is a preemptive move as the City expects to lose the free parking lot at 42nd and Oregon, which would be a huge hit for local businesses who are struggling as more brick and mortar shops sadly are put out of business by Jeff Bezos’ unchecked greed.  The New Seattle, nickel and diming residents into poverty. Way to go! 

  • BJG July 17, 2018 (9:20 pm)

    I live in the proposed RPZ and I can tell you the street in front and behind is completely full of cars from early AM till late in the afternoon every weekday, and most Saturdays and Sundays parking is tough to find. None of the all-day parkers are neighbors since the cars are gone overnight. Sometimes they park in our driveways because, really, who cares? We’d love to see some shorter term parking for these commuter/junction employee’s cars. Maybe we’d have a chance to park near our houses. RPZs don’t guarantee that. They just give us a better chance. That’s all.

  • chemsit July 17, 2018 (11:40 pm)

    Based on the way Ruth had described the RPZ area as being a “cashew” on maps surrounding the commercial area, I’d thought the RPZ zone discussed earlier wasn’t going to include daytime RPZ permits for the buildings in the commercial core.  This map shows those commercial areas as being eligible for RPZs, even though they’re residents living on blockfaces that aren’t at a high enough occupancy to qualify for an RPZ (probably due to hour limits).  It seems like an odd inclusion, in this instance, particularly if those commercial areas being full in the evening wasn’t used to bolster the case an evening RPZ.

  • KBear July 18, 2018 (9:08 am)

    Seems to me that temporary parking for commuters or employees of nearby businesses is a better use of city streets than permanent vehicle storage for neighborhood residents. The city doesn’t owe free parking to residents who can’t/won’t use off-street parking.

    • CAM July 18, 2018 (11:25 am)

      You hit the nail on the head KBear!!!

      • BJG July 18, 2018 (12:08 pm)

        KBEAR and CAM: No one is objecting to “temporary parking.”  That is not what is happening daily in the junction neighborhoods. 

  • skeeter July 18, 2018 (10:21 am)

    If the pass is priced at just $65 for two years I don’t see how it will solve many problems.  New apartment dweller is offered garage parking at $220/mo or street parking at $2.71/mo (math is $65 divided by 24 months) it seems like an easy decision.  Shouldn’t the RPZ be priced at market rate for parking?  Otherwise everyone is just gonna buy an RPZ pass and (try to) park their car for almost free.  We’ll still have too many cars and not enough places to park unless we price city-provided parking at market rate or at least something close to market rate.

  • MJ July 18, 2018 (12:00 pm)

    Street parking is a Public Resource.  All city residents should be able to use this resource!  Maybe its time the City provide resident decals upon payment of the car tab fee!  Thus allowing City residents to use the parking, not everyone lives near good transit!Parking near businesses can be time restricted to foist turnover!

    • Jon Wright July 19, 2018 (5:44 pm)

      I’d go one step farther…monetize it. If the market rate for off-street parking is $200/month, a parking pass from the city should cost a lot more than $3/month.

      • WSB July 19, 2018 (6:27 pm)

        Just one apples-to-oranges thing there, though … an RPZ permit is NOT a guarantee of a space, while I would hope that paying your landlord or whomever IS.

  • Tim July 18, 2018 (12:03 pm)

    The new building proposed in Alaska Junction with upcoming design review has 79 units and 20 parking spaces. See notice for August 2nd design review meeting at The now closed West Seattle Cyclery shop 4508 California Ave SW.

  • fiz July 18, 2018 (12:57 pm)

    Wednesday at 12:50 PM: two cars on my block belong to residents. The rest are commuters and Junction employees.  We are in the proposed zone and I support it.  

    • Jort July 19, 2018 (7:03 pm)

      Did you pay more taxes for that public street than the other city residents who are using it? Why should you get city-subsidized parking but they shouldn’t? 

  • gh July 18, 2018 (5:20 pm)

    Doesn’t SDOT ever come up with a good idea; it seems like the law of averages would eventually catch up with them…

    • WSB July 18, 2018 (5:25 pm)

      Again, this is being studied at community request, not SDOT initiative.

  • Hw July 21, 2018 (12:21 pm)

    Yes! I am supportive – this will help businesses and make it easier for people to park in the junction when they want to be in the junction. If people want to treat the area as a park and ride then we should be maintained as one, with more lights and trash cans and patrols for the cars who block driveways or use it for trips to the airport. 

  • L.D. July 29, 2018 (10:50 am)

    The issue is too many new apartments without any parking.  I understand the goal is to get us to not have cars if we live close to transit, but the reality is people still DO have cars and must park them.  We need a series of strategies to fix this, one of which is to require sensible numbers of parking for new buildings.  Unfortunately, the neighborhood dwellers are the ones who must deal with the cars.  This proposal with just move cars further into the neighborhood.  Again.

  • NAM July 30, 2018 (12:22 am)

    Yeah … great idea to make it more difficult for the employees/owners of the junction’s businesses to get to work.  Great idea to just push the problem out further into the over-crowded neighborhood streets.  The only way this proposal makes sense is if anybody who works in the junction can obtain a permit also, duh. 

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