PARKING: Two West Seattle sign sightings

Two recent parking changes in West Seattle:

RITE-AID LOT ADDS PAID PARKING: When we reported recently on the new contract-holder for vehicle licensing in West Seattle, he mentioned that one strike against the old location (he’s moving into Westwood Village instead) was that paid parking was going in at Rite-Aid across the street (5217 California SW). We hadn’t confirmed that until noticing this past weekend that it’s now in place. While there are still free spaces for customers in front of the store, and some on either side, the rest are now controlled by Diamond Parking, $2/first hour, $1 subsequent hours, and they’re selling monthly parking too ($30). The free spaces are marked 60 MINS. in white paint, while the paid spaces say PAY, in yellow paint. Diamond’s other lots around West Seattle (and elsewhere) are mapped here.

DUWAMISH HEAD GOES BACK-IN: Stewart L. sent this photo recently, noting the “back-in only” sign was new:

We asked SDOT about it. While they didn’t explain why they decided to add the signage now, spokesperson Ethan Bergerson explained why the department prefers it for angled parking:

All back-in angle spaces follow the guidelines outlined in the Institute of Traffic Engineers Handbook. Traffic safety and crash data analysis showed a 3-1 ratio of collisions occurring with head-in parking spaces as opposed to back-in parking spaces. Back-in angle parking is safer than head-in for several reasons:

· Traffic is already stopped when the driver is backing into a parking space, rather than backing out into a moving traffic lane when visibility is limited.

· When leaving a parking space it is easier and safer to drive into a travel lane than back a vehicle out of a space into a travel lane.

· People on bicycles are better able to avoid a vehicle backing into a parking space than a vehicle backing out of a space into a cyclist’s path.

· The time required to back into an angle space requires less time than to park parallel or to back out of an angle stall, therefore traffic delays are reduced.

For these reasons, it has been the preference of SDOT to install back-in angle parking since at least the late 1960s. The only locations where we continue to consider head-in angle parking are on one-way downhill streets.

55 Replies to "PARKING: Two West Seattle sign sightings"

  • jack November 23, 2020 (7:44 pm)

    Not sure RITE-AID  ownes  the whole lot (I’m assuming) but that might mean things are are not so great for the Company.   Simply a way to raise needed cash anyway they can by leasing to a third business.   Go into any of their Drug Stores and you have bare minimum employees and empty shelves.  Anyway ,  what I’m getting at is this the future of Bartells.  

  • Alex November 23, 2020 (9:12 pm)

    Will this be the kiss of death for this Rite Aid store?    Once the free spots are taken, will people pay for parking to shop at Rite-aid?   

    • Peter November 23, 2020 (10:17 pm)

      I’ve never seen more than about six cars parked in that lot. They’ll be fine. 

  • onion November 23, 2020 (9:25 pm)

    Regarding Duwamish Head, many people park there to enjoy the view of downtown from the comfort of their cars. Back-in parking eliminates this appealing option for tourists, the elderly, and others. How many accidents have occurred there?

    • Foop November 25, 2020 (7:54 am)

      Get. Out. Of. Your. Car. Seattle is beautiful, weather and all. Enjoy it. Your car obsessed entitlement is showing.

  • Joel November 23, 2020 (9:31 pm)

    always wondered why whoever owns that Rite Aid lot hasn’t sold the land

    • Chemist November 24, 2020 (10:15 pm)

      Until the latest HALA rezone, the lot had different zoning on the north vs southern half (and was half in the urban village, half out).  The whole HALA/MHA thing from a year ago redrew the UV boundary to jog south so the whole lot is in the UV and it’s now all NC2-55 zoned.  The kc parcel viewer names an investment group as holding that lot since a 1991 purchase from pay’n save so maybe there’s not a landlord/tenant relationship.

  • WS98 November 23, 2020 (9:39 pm)

    I won’t be paying for parking at Rite-Aid – or any other parking lot in WS that charges a fee. A perspective that’s supported by our neighborhood retailers.

    • KBear November 23, 2020 (9:57 pm)

      Hey WS98, did you read the whole article? There are still free spaces for Rite-Aid customers. And honestly, when was the last time you saw that lot full?

      • Dustin November 24, 2020 (8:33 am)

        I think that’s what’s surprising about the conversion to paid parking at this location. The lot is often empty, and there are still plenty of free alternatives in this area. I wonder how much business they’re expecting.

  • Barb November 23, 2020 (10:02 pm)

    The change at Duwamish is so darn stupid. People park there to enjoy the view. I walk past here daily and the signs are up on post that people parking do bot  see. There has been no new striping for back in parking or any type of notice to let people know of a change. First we lost view parking on the west side of Alki to “safe streets” and now this view parking.Dumb, dumb and dumber. 

    • Jort November 24, 2020 (12:04 am)

      Get. Out. Of. The. Car. This is not complicated.

      • wetone November 24, 2020 (10:06 am)

        The word/world of Jort…..  Knows best for everyone ;)

  • Alki resident November 23, 2020 (10:03 pm)

    Back in parking to see the view, makes as much sense as everything else in 2020. 

    • Brian November 24, 2020 (11:22 am)

      Car doors both close and open. After you get in your car, you’re allowed to get out of it again. Give it a shot. 

  • Peter November 23, 2020 (10:23 pm)

    That RiteAid lot is a huge waste of space. There are never more than about six cars in the whole lot. It’s asphalt for the sake of asphalt. 

  • Mj November 23, 2020 (10:37 pm)

    Barb – as a bike rider I can attest to almost being hit by a motorist backing out at this location.  Back in angle parking is way safer.

  • Diane November 23, 2020 (10:43 pm)

    I would never give a penny to Diamond Parking; just googled Joel Diamond; lots of fun reading, like this;

  • Steve November 24, 2020 (4:57 am)

    Whoever recommended buying that property for parking is probably gonna be fired soon.

  • David November 24, 2020 (5:39 am)

    I will continue to park head in as I have done for the last 50 years at Duamish Head viewpoint. I have never had an accident in all these years. Another example of some City of Seattle bureaucrat flexing their muscle. I really doubt that anyone is going to get a ticket for breaking this stupid “law”.

    • Jort November 24, 2020 (7:46 am)

      Ticket time for David! I am in awe of your brave, brave stance on parking methods.

  • 22blades November 24, 2020 (6:01 am)

    The “back in” spots at Duwamish Head / Alki is really unfortunate. The safety concerns may be valid but there are precious few Covid-Safe activities, especially for Seniors & the Disabled, this hits especially hard.As for the Rite Aid parking as a factor in the DOL location bids; are they saying that their business model depended on mooching parking from local businesses? Maybe locating the office where it’s needed should factor in the cost of parking. The awarded bid location is of no use to me. I’ll either use Burien or the U District offices while running errands.👎 Now get off my lawn!!!🙄

  • Al King November 24, 2020 (7:03 am)

    The Rite-Aid lot was used by nearby business owners/workers/apartment dwellers/visitors as free parking .

    • Anne November 24, 2020 (8:20 am)

      I think you may be right about that. Folks saying they’ve never seen more than 6 cars in the lot-may not have been looking at the whole lot-the lot on north side of building is often quite full-but isn’t reflected in number of patrons in the store.  That said -Rite Aid is where I go -often -to pick up prescriptions & have never found a lack of parking.  As another person mentioned-am surprised that lot  hasn’t been sold-it’s huge & if you build up-would have a pretty nice view to the west. With a bus stop right in front, seems it would be prime real estate. 

  • Pamela November 24, 2020 (7:16 am)

    Is there not a bicycle lane adjacent to the sidewalk at that location? 

    • Kyle November 24, 2020 (11:27 am)

      It’s a shared extra wide sidewalk at the corner, that is usually busy with people walking and enjoying the view. Honestly safer for bikes going at speed to be in the street. Had a very angry cyclist swerve at me last Saturday and call me an a-hole when my pregnant wife and I who were walking didn’t get out of his way quick enough, forcing him to slow down for a second. Bikes should yeild to peds and cars should should yield to bikes. And please treat others with respect. That biker ruined the second half of my walk, as instead of collecting my thoughts I thought about how rude he was to my wife.

  • Michael Waldo November 24, 2020 (7:31 am)

    You forget that Ephesus restaurant also uses the parking lot.60 minutes free parking is not enough time to enjoy a meal. When I feel safe eating in again. I don’t what to pay to dine there. As for empty spots, the spaces next to Ephesus during dinner time are almost always full. At least during the “before times”.

    • Anne November 24, 2020 (8:21 am)

      Did not know that was Ephesus parking lot-thought it all belonged to Rite Aid. 

      • Ron Swanson November 24, 2020 (10:26 am)

        It isn’t – diners have been mooching off Rite-Aid’s lot.  The restaurant and others in the immediate area should look into getting a parking validation deal with the lot’s management.

  • Gina November 24, 2020 (7:39 am)

    Looking at King County Parcel Viewer the property has been owned by the entity “Bennett Investment Corporation”.  Andrew Bassetti, Seattle, Yuen Liu, Singapore, Emily Lee, Singapore are the principals.Rite Aid likely leases the building and parking lot.

  • Jort November 24, 2020 (7:50 am)

    What a holiday treat! Car enthusiasts freaking out about a mild, benign change in how to park their car. Bonus points that it was done to make the roadway safer but STILL it’s an issue. People say the term “car brain disease” is hyperbole but, come on, look at these comments. Here’s a simple solution: step one: park the car legally. Step two: use your hand to open the door handle. Step three: get out of car. Step four: rotate body 180° to see view of city. Step five: begin recognizing that your car is not the center of your entire life.

    • alki_2008 November 26, 2020 (1:25 am)

      You do realize that, for some people, their cars are their only means of transportation because of infirmities – and that even for people that are physically able, then being inside their cars when it’s cold and/or raining is preferable to standing out in the cold.  At least if people stay in their cars then cyclists will have less people in their way on the trail.

  • Joan November 24, 2020 (7:58 am)

    I won’t have a problem with back-in parking. It IS dangerous to back out all the time, hard to see oncoming traffic. Sorry for those who like to sit in the car and watch. There are other places to park and sit by the water.

  • Mark Schletty November 24, 2020 (9:09 am)

    Even though SDOT lists several reasons for back-in parking, the only one that they really care about is the supposed bike “safety” reason. Bicyclists requests outweigh everything else in Seattle. If this parking requirement at this location makes no sense to you, just thank the bike lobby.

    • Stevie J November 24, 2020 (10:21 am)

      How many people need to get hurt to justify you losing your view while parked in a car? PS: Mark, long time no chat. Have you had a chance to read Peter Norton’s “Fighting Traffic” about how automotive lobbyists in the 1920s influenced cities? What do you have to say about the automobile lobby? 

    • Ron Swanson November 24, 2020 (10:32 am)

      Yes, Mark, that’s why they’ve been installing reverse angle parking since the 60s: that nefarious bike lobby.  Who cares about data on collisions?  Everything must be an ideological plot to inconvenience drivers…

    • Pamela November 24, 2020 (10:54 am)

      I’m (only slightly being sarcastic) wondering if we can start driving our cars on the sidewalks since everyone is now walking and/or riding bikes in the streets.   It’s laughable how no one is allowed to say ‘no’ in this city anymore – no you can’t have your four year old riding a bike down the middle of an arterial, no you can’t cross the street midblock, no you can’t ride your bike in the street AND on the sidewalk, no you can’t ignore people crossing at an intersection, no you can’t speed in your car, no you can’t double park, no you can’t shoplift, no you can’t live in a public park and use it as your private toilet….. and this is beyond the Covid rules of going the wrong direction down the grocery store aisle.   Everyone doesn’t get what they want in life….sometimes you have to take one for the team and be the better person realizing we all need to get along with give and take for all – it shouldn’t be my way or no way.  I’m hitting submit…. knowing I should just backspace and erase it all but, my gosh, what are we doing?

  • Mark47n November 24, 2020 (10:26 am)

    As a spokesman for “Big Bike”, You’re welcome, Seattle! Having almost been crunched at this location many times I, for one, am happy to see this change.For those that want to prate about there being a “bike lane” here, well, if a sidewalk equates to a bike lane then there is. Just bear in mind that I come barreling through here on my bicycle at about 20mph. Do you want that on the sidewalk? Hell, I’m often going faster than the cars.So, again, we at “big Bike” Hq thank you, citizens of Seattle, for doing the sensible thing!

    • zark00 November 24, 2020 (11:18 am)

      @Mark47n – fwiw you would be breaking the law if you road on the sidewalk at 20mph; law states you have to ride on the sidewalk in a ‘careful and prudent manner’.  If you’re on the road, and passing cars on the right, it’s also on you, the cyclist, to ‘…overtake and pass a vehicle or bicycle upon the right only under conditions permitting such movement in safety.’ Contrary to the opinion of many Seattle cyclists, riding a bike is not a license to flout traffic laws and harass pedestrians.

      • Mark47n November 24, 2020 (1:30 pm)

        1st: My point was that it would not be safe and prudent to travel on the sidewalk on a bicycle. I am not obligated, as a cyclist, to utilize a bike path simply because it’s available and the section adjacent to this parking is hardly a bike path.2nd: No one here has advocated that cyclists have the right to operate dangerously but what is and isn’t dangerous is often not what drivers and pedestrians may think. I have the right to play in the street just like all of the other kids and those other kids also have to pay attention to what’s going on around them rather than what’s on their phone or shiny screen in the console. I frequently ride through here on a bicycle or a motorcycle and people back out of those spots without even a glance if they don’t see a bumper. Before you say that I should have lights, I have headlights on both modes of two wheeled vehicles. Finally, I don’t require a lesson from you, or anyone, on what is and isn’t safe on a bicycle. I know my rights and I know when I can get away with enforcing them or not. As to harassing peds, well, get them to stay on the ped section of the trail around Alki and perhaps the yelling and harassment will lessen. You know, the section that specifically calls out what part is for bikes and what part is for cyclists. It works just fine in Myrtle Edwards but WS is special. Super Special.

        • Kyle November 24, 2020 (7:57 pm)

          What? The doublespeak here is very high. Cars, should share the road with bikes, but bikes shouldn’t share the path with pedestrians? Get out of my way and the “yelling and harassment will lessen”. Do you hear yourself? From Seattle traffic code: “Every person operating a bicycle upon a sidewalk or public path shall yield the right-of-way to any pedestrian”.

  • Joe Puckett November 24, 2020 (11:08 am)

    I agree that a lot of people park at the Duwamish Head site to enjoy the view and this opportunity is lost with back-in parking.  Also, there is a bike lane on the water side of the parking which is where most bike riders travel.  Finally, the current striping of the parking is slanted to accommodate head in parking for people traveling toward Duwamish Head.  Is SDOT going to re-stripe the parking so that it angles in the new direction?  If they are thinking, I would hope they do so.

  • Kyle November 24, 2020 (11:14 am)

    I too have been hit by a car trying to back out of those spots (luckily nothing but a few bruises) while riding my bike around the corner there. Driver was trying to beat uncoming traffic coming around the corner and “didn’t see the bike” with all the other parked cars, people, and rush to get out on the street and switch the car into drive. I’m sorry your car will face the opposite direction now, but this is a common sense safety rule that I hope stops a future serious collision.

    • Chemist November 24, 2020 (10:27 pm)

      Now you’ll get to patiently wait behind the car headed west that decides to stop, then reverse with a very large arc to meet with the current striping direction.

      • Kyle November 25, 2020 (12:49 pm)

        That sounds fine. Way better than getting hit.

  • YES2WS November 24, 2020 (12:09 pm)

    I wondered why I keep getting buzzed, honked at, and bullied on Beach Drive. Apparently, there are people in WS who think bikes don’t belong on the streets?? I’m flabbergasted.@Pamela, I do know the stretch along Alki that is meant for wheels. The one with just as many pedestrians as cyclists. And I do ride this stretch. But just so you know… the cyclists on the (gasp!) street with the cars are indeed as legally entitled as any car.Hopefully, you’re not one of the bullies cyclists are encountering. 

    • Mark47n November 24, 2020 (1:33 pm)

      Too bloody right!I ride on the street and the drivers can just bloody show some patience if my 20mph doesn’t cut it!

    • zark00 November 24, 2020 (4:18 pm)

      Drivers are required by law to “share the road” with cyclists, and as of Jan 1 drivers MUST give cyclists 3 feet of space at all times, especially when passing. If there are two lanes the driver must move into the other lane to pass, including oncoming traffic lanes.  It is illegal to pass a cyclist on Beach Drive without moving into the oncoming traffic lane.  If you cannot safely do that, you may not legally pass the cyclist.  If a cyclist is traveling on a roadway at a rate of speed slower than the “normal and reasonable flow of motor vehicle traffic” they are required by law to ride as far to the right side of the lane as is safe – it is illegal for a cyclist to ride at say 10MPH on Beach in the middle of the lane.  Drivers are still legally required to move into the oncoming lane to pass however. I regularly see both on Beach.  Drivers whipping past cyclists, barely moving left at all, and giving them almost no room, and, cyclists defiantly riding 5MPH in the middle of the lane blocking long lines of cars. if both groups followed the actual rules, the issues would be greatly diminished. 

      • Chemist November 24, 2020 (10:35 pm)

        There is no 3 ft of space at all times law in the RCW.  There are rules about passing, where practicable of at least 3 ft.

        (II) Pass at a safe distance, where practicable of at least three feet, to clearly avoid coming into contact with the individual or the individual’s vehicle or animal; or

  • Terri November 24, 2020 (12:38 pm)

    Another change in the offing: Based on prep for sign installation and the Restricted Parking Zone permit website, it appears that the Junction RPZ is going to be extended again, south one block on 42nd Ave SW, between SW Dawson and SW Brandon, and on Dawson between 42nd and California Ave SW.

    • Chemist November 24, 2020 (10:50 pm)

      Thanks for the heads up.  I had to take a quick look back at the original mailer but it’s surprising they’re expanding N and S without putting any notice up on the website.   I don’t understand why Dawson/another block of 42nd has residents outside the RPZ zone eligible for permits further South while they don’t live in the RPZ.

      • Terri November 25, 2020 (12:52 pm)

        Yes, unless you find and scroll to the live permit map there’s nothing on the Junction RPZ website about either the first expansion or this apparent new one. But the first expansion is now indicated as part of the zone (blue section) and so my guess is that they will expand the boundaries to include the latest blocks when the signs are up and being enforced. In effect, the original Junction RPZ map/website is of historical value only.

  • Al King November 24, 2020 (6:35 pm)

    ZARK00. 2nd everything you say. The problem is that the people that need to read and heed think it doesn’t apply to them.

  • Conjunction Junction November 25, 2020 (11:02 am)

    As a neighbor directly impacted by RiteAid’s proximity, the change in the parking lot is surely less about the income and more about keeping the parking lot clean, safe, and not a liability.  Now they can take advantage of a little bit of income from all the density, those that need parking can pay a bit for the assurance of a place to park, and those of us in the neighborhood don’t have to worry about trash and “donated” (read dumped) items.  All without taxing or endangering their staff.  You will have plenty of room to park.  And yes please, either walk to Ephesus or park on a neighboring block, we’ll be happy to have you.

  • Kathy November 29, 2020 (9:22 am)

    I got my driver’s license when I turned 16 in 1967. I didn’t go to “driving school”, my dad taught me with the help of the driver’s manual. Today I mostly bike everywhere I need to go. While biking around, I observe there  is a high percentage of car drivers out there who appear to have been poorly trained.  I would be very surprised if many of them could even safely accomplish back-in angle parking. Yesterday I biked by Duwamish Head on the crowded shared path/sidewalk.  The parking  area was full and every car was parked head-in. I am not sure how SDOT could have thought that the new signage would work without first putting in the appropriate striping on the pavement.

Sorry, comment time is over.