Seattle drivers spend 58 hours a year parking, INRIX study shows

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Seattle drivers spend about 58 hours a year parking their vehicles, according to a study released by Kirkland-based INRIX.

As the large-scale study outlines that parking results in obvious things such as lost time and fuel along with increased traffic congestion, it highlights the scale of the problem with 10 cities whose drivers spend between 30 and nearly 100 hours a year parking.

Seattle sits in the middle of that list. See the interactive chart below, scroll down to keep reading.

Seattle’s estimated 58 hours spent parking a year breaks down to the following:

  • Drivers are using around nine minutes on the street to find parking, per trip.
  • It costs driver an additional $1,205 a year (partially based on fuel loss).
  • About 47 percent of people in Seattle are finding parking on the street.

Researchers for INRIX argue that parking seekers contribute to congestion, and that many drivers on the street overpay when overrun meters result in parking tickets.

But researchers say this isn’t just a parking problem, it’s an information problem that technology can resolve – much like how navigation systems have helped drivers keep from getting lost.

"Real-time information, like traffic, now plays a critical role in the driving experience. However, parking, an important part of the navigation puzzle, is largely being missed out today," wrote Graham Cookson, chief economist and head of research at INRIX. "When considering the total journey time, we're not only talking about the drive, but also finding and paying for parking when we arrive at a destination."

INRIX’s large-scale study looked at almost 18,000 drivers’ parking behavior across 30 cities in the United States, United Kingdom and Germany.