Motorcycle & Scooter Parking in Seattle
SDOT staff attended the 2nd Annual All City Scooter day in June 2009. Click here for a brochure with scooter parking news and info that was distributed at the event.
NEWS: Changes to the City’s restricted parking zone (RPZ) program mean that motorcycle and scooter users no longer need to purchase a permit to park in an RPZ (effective Jan 1, 2010).
Click here for more info.
The City generally does not distinguish between passenger cars and motorcycles when it comes to parking regulations. As such, motorcycles are eligible to park in any parking space that a passenger car is allowed to park in. This includes paid parking spaces (meter or pay station), spaces with time-limit restrictions, and spaces that are unrestricted (but still subject to the citywide 72-hour on-street time limit).
More than one motorcycle may occupy a parking space as long as there is sufficient space and all parking regulations are observed. The City has also designated more than 100 parking spaces around the city for the exclusive use of motorcycles and scooters.
Click here for a map of scooter/motorcycle on-street parking locations.
Some Places Motorcycles May Not Park
All regular parking regulations apply to motorcycles including not parking in front of fire hydrants, within 5 feet of a driveway, in Tow-Away Zones, in load zones, etc. Additionally, motorcycles may not park:
- in spaces in front of or behind striped parking spaces (as these spaces typically provide maneuvering room that passenger cars need to enter and exit an adjacent striped space),
- along curb bulbs or indentions,
- in alleys, or
- on the sidewalk.
Motorcycles and Parking Meters
Motorcycles may park in any paid parking space, as can passenger cars. If a parking meter controls the space, the meter must be paid as long as there is a vehicle occupying the space. If more than one motorcycle occupies the space, it does not matter which motorcycle operator paid the meter as long as the meter is paid while any of the vehicles are in the space. When the time expires, all motorcycles in the space are subject to a citation.
Motorcycles and Pay Stations
If a parking space is controlled by a pay station, motorcyclists must purchase a receipt at a pay station and properly display it on the headlamp. While more than one motorcycle may park in the space, each vehicle must display a valid receipt to avoid a citation. This is because, with pay stations, parking payment is portable. For example, if only one of two motorcycles in a space regulated by a pay station paid to park in the space (and thus had a receipt to display), and then left before the other, the remaining vehicle would be subject to a citation (because it does not have a receipt displayed). However, as with all time purchased at a pay station, any unexpired time on the receipt can be used at another paid parking space (whether controlled by a meter or pay station), as long as the receipt continues to be properly displayed.
Although it is possible for a person other than the driver of a motorcycle to remove a pay station receipt that is properly displayed on the motorcycle's front headlamp, it is an unlikely occurrence. Other cities using pay station kiosks have not experienced many incidents of this happening because the amount of time on the receipt may not be exactly what a potential "receipt thief" needs, or because the value of the maximum amount of a receipt is only $3.00 (which is a very small amount to risk arrest or public embarrassment for), or because there are usually other people in the area who may notice the theft and either say something or report it. If you are worried about this, SDOT suggests paying with a debit/credit card, so you will have proof of your transaction, and write "motorcycle" and/or your license plate number on the parking receipt.
For more information on parking motorcycles in Seattle, contact Nora Chin at 684-5381 or email@example.com .