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Parking in Seattle: Parking Types & Terms

SDOT uses many types of parking signs and terms to provide information about when, how long, and for what purposes a vehicle may park in public right-of-way. To report a damaged sign, please call (206) 684-ROAD.

72-hour rule - A vehicle cannot be parked on the same block of a city street for longer than 72 hours. Other signs may indicate additional restrictions (i.e., 2-hours, restricted parking zone permit required or loading zone).


Angled Parking (also Back-in Angled and Head-In Angled) – Indicates where vehicles park at an angle to the curb instead of the more common practice of parallel to the curb. Angle parking can be head-in or back-in and may be signed as such. Other parking regulations may apply (such as time restriction parking). Angle parking can only be installed on streets where the width of the street and traffic and safety conditions permit. Requests can be made at (206) 684-ROAD.


Bike parking – on-street bicycle parking stalls


Blockface – side of street


Carpool parking – A signed location that indicates days and/or times when only vehicles with a valid City of Seattle carpool parking permit may park.


Carshare spaces - Indicates a location where a space can only be used by a permitted car sharing vehicle (e.g., Zipcar).


Disabled parking stalls - Indicates curb space for use only by vehicles with valid state-issued disabled license plates, placards or license tabs.


Driveways – Property owners can paint the five feet on each side of the driveway to prevent vehicles from blocking access.


International Parking Symbols – Indicates international symbols for common parking signs. For example, a graphic of a P within a circle with a red slash through it means no parking allowed. A “P” within a green circle typically means parking is allowed.


Load Zone – Load zones allow short-term use (such as 3 minutes or 30 minutes) for active loading and unloading, such as dropping off or picking up passengers. Parking is not allowed in load zones, with violators subject to citation, or in some cases, impound. Passenger Load Zones are often referred to as PLZs. Commercial Vehicle Load Zones (CVLZs) can only be used by truck-licensed vehicles and require either a Commercial Vehicle Permit or pay station payment. Review different types of load zones here .


Motorcycle Parking – Indicates designated parking stalls for motorcycles and scooters. These vehicles can park in other stalls as well.


No Parking or No Stops - Indicates an area where parking is not allowed, sometimes by time of day, or in advance of a stop sign or crosswalk.


Off-Street Parking – Indicates parking not along the street, whether in a private lot or garage, public lot, business parking lot, or homeowner's driveway.


On-Street Parking – Indicates all parking along streets and within public-right-of way, whether metered or otherwise restricted by time or use.


Parallel Parking - parking alongside or "parallel" to the curb


Parking Signs – SDOT is now displaying all parking sign text on the Seattle Parking Map . Sign text is often abbreviated. “#” indicates free time-limited parking is allowed, usually 1 or 2 hours. “Variable Times” indicate that the variety of related parking signs with different time restrictions allowed.


Pay Station – A pay station is a multi-space paid parking device, where a receipt is displayed or a space entered for payment. Signs with “Pay to Park this Block” indicate there is paid parking along that street. A “Swooping Arrow” on a pay station sign helps guide people to the pay station.


Peak Period Restriction - Indicates a time period and location where parking is not allowed, typically during the commute hours, such as 7 a.m. - 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. - 6 p.m. Vehicles parked in these spaces during prohibited times may be subject to fines and immediate removal and impound (see Tow Away Zone ).


RPZ (Restricted Parking Zone) – Indicates on-street parking where vehicles without the appropriate zone permit displayed are limited in time allowed to park. RPZs are numbered (e.g., "Zone 7" on First Hill). Signs typically display ZN for zone number on the Seattle Parking Map.


Short-Term Parking – Indicates spaces that are restricted to parking durations of four hours or less (usually 2 hours). These are typically used near businesses to ensure customer access and encourage parking turnover.


Shuttle bus loading – Indicates areas reserved for exclusive use of shuttle bus vehicles possessing a valid shuttle bus loading permit

Taxi Zone - Indicates at space to be used only by taxis


Temporary No Parking Zones - Established to restrict regular parking and provide curb space for purposes such as construction activity (which may require a Street Use permit, moving vans, or to clear a street for special events like a parade.


Time-limited parking – Gives the maximum amount of time allowed to park. When time has expired, the vehicle must vacate the space and is prohibited from parking on the same block until the next day.


Tow Away Zone (TAZ) – Vehicles in a Tow-Away Zone not otherwise permitted to be there are subject to immediate removal and impound. Tow-Away Zone signs may appear by themselves or may appear in combination with other parking regulations.


Unrestricted Parking - A type of on-street parking where there are no signs restricting the time or type of vehicle that can park there. Generally, no vehicle can park on city streets for over 72 hours on the same block, if there are not tighter restrictions.

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