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Commercial Vehicle Loading Zone Pilot Pricing Project

SDOT is currently evaluating new strategies for managing commercial vehicle load zones (CVLZs) in downtown Seattle. Specifically, the pricing pilot project will look at how technology and pricing strategies can make more efficient use of CVLZs Downtown. During the pilot, SDOT may also review potential policy changes to the CVLZ program to ensure it is operating efficiently. This pilot project is funded by a grant from the Federal Highway Administration.

Here is a project brief including the study area map.


SDOT is meeting with stakeholders and reaching out to parking technology companies to design the pilot project. Installation is slated for 2015.


The CVLZ program has been in place since 1990. It provides curb zones that are restricted for loading by commercial vehicles with a 30 minute limit. Commercial vehicles purchase an annual permit or pay by use.  SDOT issues over 4,000 CVLZ permits per year.


SDOT and consultant staff reached out to companies that own multiple CVLZ permits to understand how the program is currently working. This outreach identified the following:

  • Most permit holders admitted to staying past the time limit under certain circumstances, including the number and size of local deliveries and the proximity of the delivery to the CVLZ
  • The most challenging time to find available CVLZs is between morning and mid-afternoon
  • The most challenging location to find available CVLZs in Downtown Seattle is along Second and Third Avenues between Jackson and Pine Streets
  • The unpredictable availability of zones is a challenge for delivery drivers, who operate on a set delivery route and schedule

In addition to targeted outreach, SDOT is currently meeting with downtown Seattle business groups and has met with the Seattle Freight Advisory Board (presentation from January 22, 2014 meeting). If you are interested in hearing more about this pilot, please contact us.

Data Collection

SDOT has collected a baseline of CVLZ usage in select zones in the project area. The results of this study indicate:

  • Most use of loading zones by commercial vehicles takes place between 11:00 AM and 3:00 PM
  • There is heavy use of the zones by passenger vehicles, especially for short durations of less than ten minutes
  • 23% of observed commercial vehicles stayed past the 30 minute time limit

Comments or questions on the CVLZ Pilot Project?

Contact Mary Catherine Snyder, Project Manager, at or 206-684-8110.

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