FOLLOWUP: See the final proposal for West Seattle Junction-area Restricted Parking Zone and other street-parking changes

That’s the map of the proposed Restricted Parking Zone in the West Seattle Junction area, and other street-parking changes, just made public by SDOT, which had said it would have the final proposal out in January. Now it’s time for one last round of feedback before a final decision. First, the SDOT announcement that accompanied the map:

We sent out the initial proposal in July 2018 [WSB coverage here] and released an update in October 2018 [WSB coverage here]. We’re now seeking feedback from stakeholders in the area on whether they’d like the final proposal implemented.

We just updated our project webpage and will send an email to those who have subscribed to our listserv. In the next few days mailers [see the mailer here in PDF] will go out to all residents and businesses in the area. A summary of the proposed RPZ is below:

SDOT received a request to evaluate residential streets near the West Seattle Junction for a new Restricted Parking Zone (RPZ). An RPZ would prevent all-day parking by commuters on blocks with RPZ signs.

RPZ signs would be installed on the orange-lined blocks shown on the map and would limit vehicles without RPZ permits to 2-hour parking, 7 AM – 6 PM, Monday – Saturday.

RPZ signs would not be installed next to businesses and employees would not be eligible to purchase permits.

All residents living within the orange-shaded area would be eligible to purchase RPZ permits.

Vehicles displaying an RPZ permit would be exempt from the 2-hour time limit on RPZ-signed blocks.

Permits are currently $65 per vehicle for a two-year cycle. One hang-tag guest permit is available per household. A $10 low-income permit is available.

Comparing the proposed map with the one that was released last October, it appears almost identical, aside from (updated) proposed carshare spaces near Alaska/44th that alreay have been installed.

HOW TO COMMENT: You can tell SDOT what you think by commenting before March 15th. Four ways:

*Send email to
*Use this comment form
*Call 206-684-4103
*Speak at the public hearing set for 6:30-8 pm Thursday, February 28th, at the Senior Center of West Seattle (4217 SW Oregon)

Final decision on whether to put the RPZ in place, SDOT says, would be made by June.

BACKSTORY: The RPZ proposal results from a community request two years ago – almost a decade after a previous one in the Junction area was turned down. It would be the second in West Seattle; the first one is in the Fauntleroy ferry-dock area.

42 Replies to "FOLLOWUP: See the final proposal for West Seattle Junction-area Restricted Parking Zone and other street-parking changes"

  • skeeter February 4, 2019 (12:22 pm)

    Time limits.  RPZ restrictions.  This is getting ridiculous.  I’m going to just start riding my bike to the Junction.  I don’t have time for all this nonsense and hassle.

    • Kc February 4, 2019 (7:33 pm)

      NO No nodont do that! That is what they want you to do… to leave you car at home by making it a hassle

  • C'mon Man... February 4, 2019 (12:51 pm)

    While I’ll certainly post feedback through the comment form and the the hearing I wanted to make sure that folks that don’t participate in those forums get a perspective of what this proposed change does and does not mean.A few years ago the city started allowing developers to reduce the number of parking spaces they needed to provide in new construction that was close to ‘frequent transit service’ (FTS). I think the concept is spot-on; we want more people using public transportation.  But the underlying belief that tenants with frequent transit service will not have cars has not proven to be true.  What we’ve seen is that given the limited in building parking cars have spilled out into the streets surrounding these buildings.  This impacts local businesses and other residents in single family homes where there is often no or limited off street parking.  Creating Restricted Parking Zones does not address the issue that these parking waivers have created and in fact may exacerbate them.  All of the tenants of these buildings created with 50% less parking  are all residents and therefore based on current rules are eligible for parking permits.  The city gave developers the option to build less parking and now the burden of that option should be borne by the developers.  Residents that live in buildings that were built with these parking waivers should  have to  pay for one of the limited parking spots provided by the developer but should not be bailed out by being awarded a parking permit.  Will that impact the value/appeal of those apartments? likely.  Why?  Because there’s value to being able to park near your home.  That’s a decision that these developers made; to save some money on building parking.  This is the consequence of that decision… 

    • skeeter February 4, 2019 (1:07 pm)

       “The city gave developers the option to build less parking and now the burden of that option should be borne by the developers. “Please be more specific in which residents should be eligible for a parking pass and which should not.  If you moved to the Junction in 1987 should you get a parking pass?  Or 1990?  How about 1998?  Or perhaps 2005?  Maybe after the “hole” in 2008?  Or more recently such as 2014?  Maybe set the date a 1/1/2019 to make it more fair?My point is it is silly to suggest that some people are more eligible to park cars than other people.  Is there any other public right-of-way or taxpayer service that distinguishes between  how long people have lived there and when their housing was constructed?   

    • Steven Lorenza February 4, 2019 (1:32 pm)

      In all of those words you failed to state support or opposition for the RPZ.  The actual question being asked today.  

  • KT February 4, 2019 (12:57 pm)

    Wow, who could have foreseen that???  …”But the underlying belief that tenants with frequent transit service will not have cars has not proven to be true.”…

  • chemist February 4, 2019 (1:09 pm)

    I’ve been noting the park-and-ride cars near the Findlay rapid ride stop and have sympathy for the folks further north along the line.  I’ll be sending a note of support for this plan.  The city council has continually raised the requirements for creating an RPZ such that I’d support an imperfect one knowing it can be expanded/modified in the future.  I still think that SDOT’s decision to interpret “resident” based on a license plate having been observed during one of the overnight observations hindered the analysis of if an overnight parking RPZ might also be appropriate, although I have no idea if that is standard practice or not because it’s not defined in law other than “resident”.

  • HW February 4, 2019 (1:22 pm)

    C’Mon Man – “Residents that live in buildings that were built with these parking
    waivers should  have to  pay for one of the limited parking spots
    provided by the developer but should not be bailed out by being awarded a
    parking permit.” >>> Gosh, I agree with this 100%. Any buildings over X units should be given a limited # of permits that they can lottery to their renters. Why would anyone pay for in building parking if they can just get a cheap city permit?

    • WSB February 4, 2019 (1:37 pm)

      An RPZ permit does NOT *guarantee* you a space, whatever your residential status, homeowner or homerenter.

      • HW February 4, 2019 (2:27 pm)

        Yes, but RPZ permit holders who also have access to a parking garage otherwise unavailable to neighbors lacking that option, shoppers and visitors goes against the spirit of the RPZ. 

        • CAM February 4, 2019 (5:14 pm)

          Are you also referring to the home owners who have access to a driveway and a garage?

  • CAM February 4, 2019 (1:31 pm)

    So within that orange shaded zone are a large number of businesses. All of those businesses have employees. Most employees do not work 2 or 3 hour shifts. Can someone explain to me where all of the people who work in the Junction are supposed to be parking while they are at work? Or are employers within the RPZ going to be mandated by the city to allow their employees an extra 15 minute paid break every 2 hours to go move their vehicles to a new location? This RPZ is unlikely to have a significant negative impact on me but there are a lot of people it is going to hurt. I also really don’t understand the concept behind deciding that you want to live in the main business and entertainment district in the neighborhood and then complain that parking is difficult. You can’t have your cake and eat it too. 

    • chemist February 4, 2019 (1:52 pm)

      I think employees should consider using transit or carpooling to work. Maybe the businesses can work out a deal with some of the paid lots for spaces for employees.     With the owners of the junction free parking lots putting a squeeze on merchants/the future as parking, the writing is on the wall for surface parking getting even more limited in this area.

      • My two cents ... February 4, 2019 (3:19 pm)

        @chemist … Your comment “With the owners of the junction free parking lots putting a squeeze on merchants …” needs to be put into perspective. The tax assessment on those properties took a significant spike upwards.

      • Elizabeth MACKENZIE February 4, 2019 (7:08 pm)

        We were offered monthly parking in a Diamond lot, next to our building. It was quite expensive. 

    • KM February 4, 2019 (1:52 pm)

      I personally do not support the RPZ, but when I worked in an RPZ zone for a few years, I took transit for the most part and occasionally drove on Sundays or had someone headed that direction drop me off. I’ll take transit/bike/drive more once this is finalized.

  • ArborHeightsRes February 4, 2019 (1:54 pm)

    I am in favor of the RPZ’s anywhere in the city. The one caveat I would add is that residents of the  new apartment buildings where off-street parking is not provided because of FTS  not be allowed to have RPZ’s at any cost. 

  • D-Mom February 4, 2019 (2:12 pm)

    I don’t see this helping at all.  Of course, it depends on what the goal is.  But, the goal should be making it easier to use the businesses in the area.  Giving residents permits for a measly $65 for a 2 year period is a joke.  

  • AMD February 4, 2019 (2:21 pm)

    I took the bus to the Junction for my Christmas shopping for the first time and it was amazing!  I don’t think I’ll be driving to the junction again if I can help it.  It was nice to feel like I could take my time, visiting ALL the Junction shops trying to find the perfect gifts (this was Black Friday, so everyone had something special going on).  And then after I was able to stick around longer and have dinner, since I wasn’t worried about that 3-hour time limit.  I would HIGHLY recommend taking public transit to the Junction for anyone who hasn’t tried it.  I am highly in favor of the RPZs.  I don’t believe the city should be responsible for personal car storage, so those arguments about how many people live nearby don’t really hold water with me.  Hopefully it will motivate more of them to be responsible car owners and move to homes where they aren’t relying on the city to provide car storage for them.  People who work in these areas will do what people who work in other areas of the city with restricted parking do–take transit or pay for parking.

  • LD February 4, 2019 (2:53 pm)

    Several of the buildings in the Junction have no parking spaces, not just fewer.  This is because it is near a transit hub. Our council representative, Lisa Herbold, is aware that this was a bad move made by her predecessors, but I am wondering if anything has been done to change that developer gift/community burden for future buildings. If I read this correctly, it looks like Junction employees, who do not have parking provided will have to park further out and walk 2, 3 or 4 blocks to work.  That’s not too bad.  Also, it appears that California Ave will be available solely for customer parking during the day, M-Sat,  up until 8pm.  So, if you are going for a longer night out in the Junction, you’ll have to park in the lot or further out.  Is this plan mostly to avert those who drive to the Junction, park, and catch the C-line to downtown?  This may put the burden of those commuters on the streets just outside of the shaded area. I think it looks like a well thought out plan for our growing community and hub. Yes, change is inevitable and is happening.  Yes, change can be hard.  I appreciate the work of the city planners, and the effort they make to gather and implement  input from the community.  Thank you also, to the WSB, for their part in communicating those opportunities too.  

    • chemist February 4, 2019 (3:20 pm)

      Lisa tried to get an amendment in last year that would have restored the ability of SDCI to mitigate parking impacts with many tools where frequent transit access otherwise specifies no parking is required.  One tool was to reduce the number of RPZs a development could have. The Urbanist and likemindeds mischaracterized that as “denying RPZs to renters” and sounded social media alarms.  A few months ago, Rob Johnson also introduced a Transportation Management Tool bill that would have set citywide goals for reducing SOVs, etc that had a menu of options including developers reducing parking they’d put in new apartment buildings (even outside frequent transit service areas).

    • WSB February 4, 2019 (3:44 pm)

      We reported that the 2008 impetus for suggesting an RPZ was twofold: so-called “park-and-hiders” and construction workers

      While that one was pursued, unsuccessfully, by the Junction Neighborhood Organization, this current one was proposed independently by a Junction resident, as we reported in late 2016:

  • seaopgal February 4, 2019 (4:04 pm)

    I’m having trouble distinguishing the colored lines on the map. All orange or blue lines would be 2 hour limit, EXCEPT for the short strip of darker orange-red line on 39th in front of LA Fitness, which will be 4 hour limit. Is that correct? Does anyone know why this difference? (Maybe just to agree with the 4 hour disabled parking spots there.)

  • JayDee February 4, 2019 (4:42 pm)

    Hmmm. Creating an RPZ to preserve parking for residents because too many people need to park near a business district which draws people who own cars and whose businesses have employees who drive cars? And then the City allows developers to score at least $10 K/parking spot for *not* having parking places in the same area where the future residents shouldn’t own cars, But they do own cars. But the City doesn’t extract a cent from developers for allowing them to develop housing where people (business users, employees, renters, residents, customers) are known to park! Who knew? I ride the bus but the 50 that goes past the Junction is infrequent and often late. Why? Because it runs across town to Beacon Hill and gets stuck in traffic and behind the trains. The 56 is OK but runs to downtown from around 5 until 9, and vice-versa where it used to run all day. Along with the vanished 53.

  • Maria M. February 4, 2019 (5:05 pm)

    Having recently moved to the Fauntleroy/Edmunds St. area, I’m struck by the fact that in the evenings there are business-owned parking lots and non-profit entity-owned parking lots sitting empty while residents of the area walk blocks to park their cars outside other residents’ homes. Why not residents not being allowed to make use of those empty parking lots? I would gladly buy a permit that would allow me to park legally in the Masons’ parking lot between say 9 p.m. and 9 a.m.  New solutions are needed to solve unforeseen problems, and this seems to be an easy – but overlooked – solution to the lack of parking which will only get worse as more apartment buildings are built.

    • chemist February 4, 2019 (7:19 pm)

      The city has a 12.5% commercial parking tax that.  The problem with assigning a rate for parking in those private lots (besides all the headache of people who need more than overnight parking) is that they’d also become obligated to pay the equivalent tax on “free parking” they provide to their more traditional users based on the new retail value of the parking.

      • Maria M. February 4, 2019 (8:14 pm)

        Commercial parking lots used by residents for after and before business hours parking would not be taxed for the after business hours use of their parking lots – remember the city would be charging residents for permits; the non-profits, on the other hand, should have to pay a “neighborhood unfriendly” tax for having their lots sitting empty 95% of the time, but they could receive a waiver from that tax for allowing the city to issue permits to residents to park there. The penalty for abusing the permit conditions, say 3 times, would be to take away the permit and not allow the individual to reapply for a permit for one permit cycle. This isn’t perfectly thought out, but it could be by the permitting board. Trying to think outside the ever-shrinking box of inadequate parking for a growing number of residents.

  • MSea February 4, 2019 (5:11 pm)

    I have lived in the Junction area for five years and since that time no less than 6 multi-dweller buildings have gone up within a 3 block radius of Oregon and 41st. In each case dozens of construction workers come in around 6am and leave around 3:30. I don’t begrudge them, they are working hard and need parking too but why not require construction companies to lease out lots for their workers? There are several church lots within a few blocks that sit empty all week. The problem is that the City continues to allow construction WITHOUT ANY REGARD for existing residents. I once asked Lisa Herbold about this and it genuinely flummoxed her. “We should look into this,” she said, and I was blown away that it never occurred to her. The RPZ is badly needed but a band-aid solution to a much more pressing issue of a City that sells away our quality of life to developers. 

  • JayDee February 4, 2019 (5:39 pm)

    MSEA: I agree. But make the developers pay for the transit amenity that supposedly exists. The amenity doesn’t exist, The C is not frequent enough and too crowded when it hits the Junction. 

  • Jen February 4, 2019 (6:51 pm)

    My folks live in the Eastlake/South Lake Union area which has been bursting with development, lots of condos, huge complexes, etc. and the RPZ did actually help quite a bit.  It is still crowded, and sometimes when I visit, I do need to park a block or two away (not a huge inconvenience), but I think, as development has continued to explode there, I would very likely be parking much further away were it not for the RPZ.

  • WestSeouttaluck February 4, 2019 (7:51 pm)

    It might seem fine to some to park a block or two away from the RPZ, but that means you’ll be parking on *our* block, which is just past the RPZ, and making it impossible for us to park anywhere near our home. I think those of us on the periphery are in for the worst of all worlds under this plan. 

    • KBear February 4, 2019 (9:35 pm)

      Perhaps you could park in your own driveway or garage. 

    • lovewssortof February 5, 2019 (5:09 am)

      We too are one block outside the RPZ map. Can’t wait, our block will be packed with well, everyone.  More people mean more blocked driveways, less parking for actual residents and much more garbage left on the streets. I’m not sure what it is with park and riders and construction workers who leave garbage everyday. Way to go city!

      • chemist February 5, 2019 (9:25 am)

        RPZ’s have a streamlined process to be modified/expanded a few blocks at a time, should it seem appropriate in your neighborhood.  I also had a LOL moment reading this line in the RPZ director’s rule.  “SDOT expects that the process to create an RPZ should typically take no longer than one year”

  • Simple&Fair February 5, 2019 (11:34 am)

    RPZs do not solve anything, but do establish inequity of the use of our public right-of-ways.The only answer is to Monetize All Street Parking,  if you use the street to store your vehicle, you pay.Easily accomplished, fair to all, by not punishing those who do not use street parking.

  • WESTSEOUTTALUCK February 5, 2019 (1:37 pm)

    Has anyone here who’s got a backyard facing an alley replaced part of it with a parking space or two? I can imagine doing this will cross a fair number of folks’ minds. Does the city allow it? Is it an expensive undertaking?

    • AMD February 5, 2019 (2:01 pm)

      It’s easy and the city has no rules against it (assuming by “parking space” you’re not talking a structure).  The last place I lived in, we put some wood (treated) 4x4s down to mark out the parking space and filled in with gravel.  Quick, easy, and relatively cheap.  You can go further, pouring concrete or whatever, but you can get it done pretty simply.

      • Simple&Fair February 5, 2019 (7:07 pm)

        The City does indeed have extensive rules about parking in the back yard.  From the city itself,

        “What Permits Do You Need?

        You need a permit to create any parking. Depending on the number of parking spaces you wish to create, location of the parking, and associated grading or paving, you may need different permits:

  • Michael ross February 5, 2019 (3:48 pm)

    Wow, so many of these posts are from people that are opposed AND don’t actually live in the area of the RPZ. Let me share a perspective from someone that does. I own a house in the proposed RPZ and do not have the driveway or garage that everyone seems to think we have. Most days, I have to park blocks away from my home and lug groceries and a baby all the way home. I’ll bet most of the angry non-RPZ opinions come from people that pull their car out of their garage, drive to my home, park, ride transit and have a sense of ownership over the street in front of my house

    • Nolan February 5, 2019 (4:35 pm)

      Not to put too fine a point on it, but the reason many houses in WS have a driveway and/or garage is because the homeowners wanted a place to put a vehicle, and you chose not to buy one of those. I don’t see why the city should be engaging in protectionism on behalf of people who feel entitled to a particular stretch of city-owned property because they live near it.

      • Steven Lorenza February 6, 2019 (8:16 am)

        This is spot on.  If you want a place to reliably store private belongings in a specific location, that’s on you. Land is expensive if you haven’t noticed. Look at it another way – Don’t buy a house with 2 bedrooms if you’re going to complain (to the city?) that you don’t have enough space.

  • 1994 February 5, 2019 (9:55 pm)

    If your address is at one of those new mega buildings in the Junction, the city should see that when looking at RPZ requests if this process is implemented. The city should advise residents in the large buildings to obtain parking at their building. If there is no parking at their building, (maybe there is a wait list?) then they should pay for parking at a nearby parking lot with a reserved spot. 

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