Frequently Asked Questions Page
Q. What is e-Park?
A. e-Park is a parking guidance system that improves the Downtown Seattle experience by providing real-time short term parking information.
Q. What is the purpose of e-Park?
A. e-Park uses technology and marketing to address changes to parking availability under the Alaskan Way Viaduct due to the viaduct and seawall construction projects.
As we lose street parking to construction, we need to maintain the experience for people coming downtown. e-Park will help traffic flow and support 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 guide customers and visitors towards participating garages that have available short-term spaces. The signs tell the driver how many spaces are available in each garage.
For smart phones, e-Park data can be bookmarked at 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. Six garages are participating in e-Park’s first phase. Collectively, these six garages have over 4,500 parking spaces. The program is being expanded into Pioneer Square and the Central Waterfront this year.
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 on a new program.
Q. Are the prices comparable to other garages?
A. Other than Pacific Place, the city does not own these facilities or set their rates and hours of operation. 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.
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 where to park.
2) Drivers will see dynamic signs with an e-Park logo as they enter Downtown. As they get closer to participating garages, they will see signs listing garage names and number of spaces available. An e-Park sign with space availability will also be at the garage entrance. Dynamic signs and real-time information will make finding parking downtown easy.
Q. Who is it intended for?
A. Short term parkers – meaning visitors to downtown using parking for two to four hours.
Q. Why is it focused on short-term parking?
A. The Alaskan Way Viaduct and Seawall Construction projects require use of the short-term spaces under the Viaduct for traffic routing and construction staging purposes. When the Viaduct is removed in 2016, over 600 spaces under the Viaduct will be permanently removed. These are short-term spaces for customers and visitors. Collectively, the six garages participating in our pilot phase have over 4,500 parking spaces. We are using existing parking garages to help reduce the impacts of on-street parking loss.
e-Park has been developed to make the experience easy for 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. In locations where many spaces are used by commuter cars, SDOT, King County and Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) are working in partnership with garages to get more commuters into transit, freeing up spaces for short-term customers.
Q. What does e-Park cost?
A. The downtown retail program—phase 1, costs about $2.5 million and is primarily funded by City bonds. King County Metro Transit and WSDOT are two important funding partners. This partnership provides $225,000 over four years to help market e-Park and convert commuter parking spaces to customer parking spaces. Partner garages are responsible for making technology upgrades as needed to integrate into the city electronic guidance parking system.
Q. What other cities are doing this program?
A. Guidance system technology is commonly used throughout European cities. It is increasingly being adopted in the U.S. in Los Angeles, San Jose and 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 parking management 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 short-term parkers and helping them quickly find a space, e-Park will reduce 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 email@example.com.