Parking permits near light rail stations to be free until 2011

The city announced today that eligible residents and businesses near light rail stations will receive free Residential Parking Zone (RPZ) permits until Spring 2011. RPZs are intended to keep out-of-area commuters from using the areas around the stations as park-and-rides for the light rail and preventing local residents from being able to park.

Normally, a permit is $45 per vehicle for a two-year permit, but to ease the transition to the RPZ program, the city will provide two no-cost RPZ permits per household or business through spring 2011, along with one no-cost guest permit. If you need more permits, you can purchase them at the normal price, $45 per vehicle ($10 for low-income residents). Applications for permits will be sent out in May, and enforcement of the new zone will begin in July when the light rail system starts operation.

Find more about the light rail station-area parking plans here, and specifically about the Beacon Hill station, which will be Zone 28, here.

6 thoughts on “Parking permits near light rail stations to be free until 2011”

  1. Darn, now the five or six unmoved cars that have been parked on my street for the past 11 years will stay for another two! I was hoping the fee would clean things up….

  2. Ash, we must live in the same neighborhood! One house on 24th Place has had two junkers parked in front of it for four years with one more junker parked behind the house in the alley.

  3. As many folks in the neighborhood found out or were reminded of a week or two ago, in Seattle a car parked on the street must be moved every 72 hours or it can be ticketed. (And, as I personally was made aware of to the tune of two $38 tickets, your tabs must be current not just to drive legally, but also to park on the street.)

    They came through Thursday before last and ticketed several cars up and down my block and also left 72-hour reminder flyers on the windshields of many.

  4. Jason is right and my understanding is that the 72-hour limit doesn’t go away with a parking permit. If you have an abandoned vehicle problem, report it here:

    An unintended consequence of the RPZ will be increased enforcement in an area that hasn’t really seen parking enforcement, at least that I have ever seen. It will certainly change the feel of the neighborhood, but I wouldn’t mind seeing a little behavior modification one ticket at a time for those who feel the need to block sidewalks with their parked cars.

  5. Oh, the six unused cars have tags up to date. Each time someone calls the city, the six cars are tagged, the owner plays musical chairs, and the cars sit again. Happens every year or so.

  6. I’m pleased the city is not requiring the $45 fee for the first two years of parking permits in the Residential Parking Zone. Since Sound Transit was covering the City’s costs in setting up the zone, it was unclear why the City was going to also charge residents for the permits — the costs of which pay for setting up the zone. Sounded like double-dipping to me, so I’m glad the City backed off. Hmmm, maybe it’s an election year.

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