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City of Seattle
Ed Murray, Mayor

SUBJECT: City Proposes Changes to Residential Parking Zone Program

8/1/2008  11:00:00 AM

City Proposes Changes to Residential Parking Zone Program
Public comment sought through October 20

SEATTLE - The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) today released draft recommendations for changes to the Residential Parking Zone (RPZ) program, a critical parking management tool used here for nearly thirty years. To better protect residential parking, enhance urban neighborhoods and improve customer service, these draft recommendations would revise RPZ guidelines and policies for the first time since 1994. SDOT is seeking public comment until October 20, 2008, and will submit recommendations to the mayor and city council by the end of the year.

First established in 1979, Seattle’s RPZ program focuses on neighborhoods where too many vehicles compete for too few parking spaces. The zones are designed to help neighborhoods by discouraging long-term parking by non-residents (e.g., commuters to nearby major institutions) on residential streets. There are currently 27 RPZs throughout the city, with over 17,000 vehicles possessing RPZ decals.

In developing the draft recommendations, SDOT’s RPZ Policy Review Project incorporated extensive technical analysis, data from other cities’ parking management systems, and initial comments from residents, business owners, and major institutions in or near current zones. The proposed changes seek to:

  • Protect residential neighborhoods from parking problems created by large traffic generators, such as hospitals, schools, colleges, major employers and transit stations;
  • Enhance mixed-use neighborhoods and business districts;
  • Reduce overall resource usage and vehicle emissions; and
  • Make the RPZ program easier to use, and more clearly and equitably applied.
  • The draft recommendations include changes in the number of permits allowed per household for neighborhoods with limited parking and caps on permits allowed across all RPZs. They also revise rules for guest permits and establishing new parking zones, and restructure fees to better cover program costs. The draft recommendations additionally make changes to better serve permit users and enhance RPZ parking enforcement.

    A summary of the draft recommendations and a questionnaire designed to gather input are posted on SDOT’s website at Printed copies will also be made available and can be obtained by contacting Mary Catherine Snyder at 206-684-8110 or via e-mail at

    The RPZ Policy Review Project team will be meeting with community groups citywide over the next several weeks to solicit feedback. Comments must be received by SDOT no later than October 20, 2008, to be considered in the development of final recommendations.

    The Seattle Department of Transportation builds, maintains and operates Seattle's $8 billion transportation infrastructure. To further Mayor Nickels’ goal to get Seattle moving, the department manages short- and long-term investments in streets, bridges, pavement and trees, that better connect the city with the region.

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    Seattle Department of Transportation

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