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Community Access and Parking Program Pioneer Square

Updated August 18, 2015

Sunday free time limits were added to certain streets in Pioneer Square in September 2014. The effect of these times limits is documented in an August 2015 consultant report.  The report compared areas of the neighborhood with time limits versus areas without Sunday time limits. In summary:

  • Non-event Sundays: Time limits increased parking availability in the neighborhood on most days, while serving over 20% more unique vehicles due to increased parking turnover. Blocks without time limits were 100% at noon on a Sunday while blocks with time limits were only 79% full.  This indicates that a space or two was available on most time limited blocks.
  • Event Sundays: During a day with a 1 PM Mariners' game, all street parking in the neighborhood was fully occupied from 11 AM through 4 PM. However, the time limit blocks served 45% more unique vehicles than blocks without time limits due to parking turnover.  In addition, in the time limit area there were fewer hours where parking was hard to find over the course of the entire day.

Project Outcomes

  • Sunday time limits are now in effect on many streets in Pioneer Square. Time limits cover around 25% of the on-street spaces in the neighborhood and limit parking to 2 hours between 10 AM and 6 PM. They are concentrated on streets with restaurants and retail. Sunday parking remains free. For more information please see the project flyer. The implementation area is shown in blue in the map below.

Project Background

Pioneer Square is affected by multiple ongoing planning and transportation projects. These include:

Many of these plans or projects affect parking supply and utilization in Pioneer Square.

As part of the Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement Program, the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) developed a parking mitigation plan which recognizes the critical importance of short-term parking for Pioneer Square businesses and visitors. SDOT is partnering with the Alliance for Pioneer Square to improve on-street parking use and turnover. A handout providing further details can be found here.


What is being evaluated?

SDOT is evaluating several options to increase the availability of on-street parking. These include:

  • Reviewing the location and needs for loading zones
  • Considering free (or unpaid) Sunday time limits in the Pioneer Square, as an extension of the Waterfront time limits
  • Analyzing how transit layover and emergency-reserved spaces are used
  • Looking at angled parking and other opportunities to add curb parking

Note that on-street paid parking rates and time limits are set by Seattle’s Performance-Based Parking Pricing Program and will not be changed as a result of the Community Access and Parking Program work.

Outreach - Survey

On October 9, 2013, SDOT sent a parking survey to a group of 43 Pioneer business or organization leaders.  Findings from that survey include:

  • 76% of respondents indicated that event days are particularly challenging for parking, and 57% noted that weekday midday parking is difficult to find
  • 87% of respondents highlighted the high on-street parking occupancy as the biggest parking problem, with 48% of respondents indicating that reserved spaces for transit layover and emergency vehicles are a problem
  • Most respondents (67%) are aware that certain local garages (identified here) have parking rates that are the same or lower than on-street parking

More information on the survey is available here.

Want to share your parking concerns and ideas? Please email them

Outreach - Meetings and Mailers

SDOT has met with interested Pioneer Square stakeholders and held a formal meeting on December 12, 2013. Here is the presentation from that meeting.

On February 25, 2014, SDOT again met with local stakeholders. The focus of the meeting was on Sunday time limits, covering how time limits changed parking along the Waterfront and a discussion of how adding the same type of limits in commercial areas of Pioneer Square might increase parking turnover.  Here is the presentation from that meeting.

SDOT, along with the Alliance for Pioneer Square, met with the Pioneer Square Residents’ Council on March 19th. We provided a background of the ongoing work in Pioneer Square, provided information about potential Sunday time limits in Pioneer Square and answered questions. Here is the presentation from that meeting.

In June 2014, SDOT sent a proposal to add Sunday time limits to all residents and businesses in Pioneer Square. The time limits would apply to the on-street parking spaces closest to restaurants and retail in the core of the neighborhood, representing around 25% of the total on-street parking. Time limits would limit parking to 2 hours between 10 AM and 6 PM.  SDOT received and responded to multiple comments and questions before finalizing the plan in August.

In August 2014, SDOT sent a final mailer to the neighborhood announcing the implementation of Sunday time limits.

Who Can I Contact?

If you have questions or comments about the Pioneer Square Community Access and Parking Program, please contact Jonathan Williams of SDOT at 206.733.9026 or

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