Frequently Asked Questions Page
Q. What is e-Park?
A. e-Park is a parking guidance system that helps visitors to downtown find parking faster.
Q. What is the purpose of e-Park?
A. As Downtown Seattle loses street parking to construction, we need to maintain convenient access to parking for customers and visitors. e-Park helps traffic flow and supports downtown commerce by helping customers and visitors find parking more quickly.
Q. How does e-Park work?
A. At key entrance points to downtown, dynamic signs displaying real-time parking information guide customers and visitors towards participating garages that have available spaces. Wayfinding signs confirm that drivers are on the right path.
Smart phones users can readily access e-Park data by bookmarking www.seattle.gov/eparkmobile, so that real-time space counts are always handy.
Parking customers can also plan ahead by going to www.seattle.gov/parkingmap to get more information about where to park downtown from an online, interactive citywide parking map. The Seattle Parking Map displays on-street parking information and garage and lot locations, rates, and hours of operation.
Q. How many garages are participating in the program?
A. Twelve garages throughout the Retail District Central Waterfront, Pioneer Square, and Pike Place Market destination areas are now participating in e-Park. Collectively, these garages have over 7,000 parking spaces.
Q. How were the participating garages chosen?
A. The City reached out to garages in the downtown core that could provide real-time information about space availability and had an interest in partnering. About half of the garages in the program are in Pioneer Square and the Central Waterfront; neighborhoods where on-street parking has been impacted by the SR-99 Tunnel Project and the Seawall Reconstruction Project.
Q. Are the prices comparable to other garages?
A. The e-Park signs and Seattle Parking Map are meant to assist drivers in finding available parking and planning their trip ahead of time online. Other than Pacific Place, the city does not own these facilities or set their rates and hours of operation.
Rate information for many garages in the Central Waterfront and Pioneer Square areas can be found at http://downtownseattleparking.com
Q. How do drivers use it?
A. There are two ways to use e-Park:
1) Drivers can plan ahead by going online to www.seattle.gov/eparkmobile or www.seattle.gov/parkingmap to plan their trip and find where to park.
2) Dynamic signs with an e-Park logo are located at major routes into Downtown. As drivers follow the signs and get closer to participating garages, they will see additional signs that list garage names and the number of spaces available. An e-Park sign with space availability will also be at the garage entrance. Dynamic signs and real-time information make finding parking downtown easy.
Q. Who is it intended for?
A. Short term parkers – meaning visitors to downtown using parking for less than four hours.
Q. Why is it focused on short-term parking?
A. The SR-99 Deep Bore Tunnel Project and Elliott Bay Seawall Replacement Project require use of the on-street spaces under the Viaduct for traffic routing and construction staging purposes. By the time the Alaskan Way Viaduct is removed in 2016, over 600 on-street spaces under the Viaduct will have also been removed. These are short-term spaces for customers and visitors. e-Park uses existing parking garages to help those coming downtown to shop, eat, see the dentist and make other short visits by guiding them to alternate short-term spaces available in off-street parking garages.
Q. What has the City invested in e-Park?
A. The downtown retail program, which started in September 2010, cost about $2.5 million and was primarily funded by City bonds. The 2013-2014 expansion underway now costs about $1.5 million. Partner garages are responsible for making technology upgrades as needed to integrate into the city electronic guidance parking system. Pioneer Square and Central Waterfront garages were added in partnership with the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT).
Q. What other cities are doing this program?
A. Guidance system technology is commonly used throughout European cities. It is increasingly being adopted in U.S. cities, including Los Angeles, San Jose, San Francisco, California and Portland, Oregon. Seattle’s e-Park program is unique because of our partnership with privately owned garages.
Q. Where does this project fit into citywide goals?
A. e-Park is a key program in meeting City goals to move people and goods and contribute to vibrant neighborhoods. By improving information available to parkers and helping them find parking faster, e-Park reduces congestion and pollution caused by motorists circling for a parking space.
Q. What if I have more questions, or would like to promote e-Park on my web site?
A. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or contact Meghan Shepard at (206) 684-4208 or Michael Solheim at (206) 733-9956.