Creating and Expanding RPZs

Want to expand an existing RPZ to your block?

  • You can expand an existing RPZ to your block if:
    • Your block is adjacent to an existing RPZ
    • At least 75% of spaces on your block are full
    • 60% or more of households on your block sign a petition to join the RPZ
  • For more information on the process of expanding an existing RPZ to a contiguous block, please contact us at RPZRequests@seattle.gov.

Want a new RPZ for your Neighborhood?

  • There must be a significant degree of parking by non-residents to warrant an RPZ:
    • 75% of parking spaces must be occupied
    • at least 35% of the occupied spaces must be occupied by vehicles not belonging to residents
  • A "traffic generator" needs to be identified. This means a large institution (such as a hospital or university), a business district, or high capacity transit stop that creates significant demand for long-term parking which spills onto nearby residential streets.
  • Minimum of 10 contiguous blocks (or 20 blockfaces) must be affected by the traffic generator

Please follow these steps if you believe your neighborhood may qualify for an RPZ:

  1. Step 1 - Initial Request:

    If possible, have your neighborhood association or community council send a letter to SDOT describing the parking problem, indicating the blocks most affected, which days and at what times, and describing why the level of parking congestion is high (what is "generating" the parking demand). If the neighborhood community council is inactive, then send a letter signed by residents that are distributed across the 10-block area.

    One BlockSend the request to RPZRequest@seattle.gov, or mail to:

    Seattle Department of Transportation
    Restricted Parking Zone Program, 37th Floor
    700 Fifth Avenue, Suite 3900
    PO Box 34996 Seattle, WA 98124-4996

  2. Step 2 - Determination:

    SDOT will conduct an initial assessment to determine whether an RPZ is appropriate for the area. The determination will be based on the following:

    • · The parking problem exists on at least ten contiguous blocks.
    • It appears that 75% or more of the parking spaces are being used.
    • There is a qualifying parking generator.

    Based on the assessment, we will determine the extent to which a parking problem exists and whether an RPZ may be an appropriate solution. We also consider other parking demand management tools prior to, in lieu of, or in conjunction with an RPZ. Examples include:

    • allowing parking on both sides of street
    • adding angled-parking if there is room and conditions appropriate (e.g., limited vehicle overhang issue such as trees, signs, or interference with pedestrian passage)
    • working with local businesses to encourage employees to take alternate modes of transportation to work, especially for daytime commuters
  3. Step 3 - Parking Study:

    If SDOT determines that an RPZ may be appropriate for an area, staff will conduct a formal parking study to determine if the area meets the minimum requirements for a new RPZ:

    • 75% of parking spaces must be occupied and at least 35% of the occupied spaces must be occupied by vehicles not belonging to residents
    • · There is a qualifying traffic generator
    • Minimum of 10 contiguous blocks (or 20 blockfaces) must be affected by the traffic generator
  4. Step 4 - Community Outreach:

    If the RPZ study determines that an RPZ meets the minimum requirements, we will engage community stakeholders to review the parking study results and get stakeholder assistance in developing an RPZ. SDOT staff will develop a draft RPZ design for community review, and will conduct a broad public outreach program to gather input on the draft RPZ design.

    • Prior to any decision to establish an RPZ, SDOT will hold a public hearing to provide interested persons a further opportunity to submit written and spoken comment into the public record.
  5. Step 5 - SDOT Decision:

    The SDOT Transit and Mobility Division Director will make a final decision whether to establish an RPZ based on parking data, staff analysis, and public input. SDOT will notify all owners, commercial lessees, and residential properties inside the RPZ boundaries, and those outside the boundaries within at least 300 feet of the decision. SDOT will also notify all those who contacted us during the parking study and development of the RPZ. Staff will post the decision on the SDOT website and will notify the media of the decision. Implementation will occur after all reconsideration and/or appeal process opportunities have passed.

RPZ Time Frame

The process to create an RPZ generally takes about one year. The time it takes to create an RPZ will vary significantly depending on both staff capacity and local conditions that may include area size, severity of the parking problem, surrounding land use, and community commitment.

Follow-Up

An RPZ may be reviewed (by community request) within six months of implementation. If needed, adjustments may be made to the design so that the parking needs of the community are met.

Modification of an RPZ

Neighboring blocks (greater than four) may be added to an existing RPZ if there is interest by the residents on those blocks and SDOT determines that expanding the RPZ to those blocks would be appropriate. These requests will follow a similar, though less lengthy, process as the initial establishment of a zone.