• City Council considering plan for new Seattle parking rates

    By: Maria Guerrero


    SEATTLE -  

    Quick Facts:

    • New parking rates would vary by area, time of day
    • If approved, new rates would begin sometime this year
    • Rates for less popular areas would decrease to $1 an hour

    Parking in the city of Seattle could get more or less expensive.

    The city's Department of Transportation wants to install new pay kiosks and change the hourly parking rate in some areas.

    If the plan is approved, it could cost you $4 an hour to park in one neighborhood.

    Some places in downtown Seattle already charge $4 an hour to park.

    A city committee took up a new, multi-million dollar proposal on Tuesday but chose not to vote on it yet.

    In the heart of Pioneer Square – street parking can be hard to come by and the prices are just too much for some.

    “They’re out of control. Too high,” said Jenny Barberg.

    The current hourly in the core of Pioneer Square is currently $3.50 an hour.

    If approved, users would pay different rates throughout the day.

    In the morning you’d pay less: $3 an hour.

    But from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. you’d pay 50 cents more: $4 an hour.

    “That’s not that bad but I still think they’re too high,” said Barberg.

    SDOT wants city approval to replace or retrofit 2,200 aging pay stations starting in August.

    The price tag: around $20 million.

    Using our paid parking to make sure there’s space available. That really helps us support a thriving economy,” said Mary Snyder with SDOT.

    SDOT also wants to lower all-day rates in areas that aren’t as busy.

    On the periphery of Ballard and the U-District hourly rates would go down to $1 an hour.

    Belltown North would go down to $1.50 an hour.

    Meanwhile, busy Pike/Pine as well as South Lake Union parking would increase by 50 cents.

    Barberg says she’ll keep paying until the price goes up.

    “I’d probably look for other parking or ways to get down here or go somewhere else,” she said.

    Another change SDOT wants to make is extending evening parking rates in some areas from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m.

    The heart of Ballard would see the change, so you'd have to pay an extra $4 an hour to park there at night.

    The transportation is expected to vote on the proposal at its next meeting.

    It would then go to the full City Council for a final vote.

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