The RPZ is coming soon

If you see this in your usual parking area, youll need to get a pass. Photo by Wendi.
If you see this in your usual parking area, you'll need to get a pass. Photo by Wendi.
In the last couple of weeks, new signs have been posted around the light rail station areas, with parking limitations “except by zone permit.” New Restricted Parking Zones (RPZs) are going into effect in July, to prevent people from using the neighborhoods immediately around each light rail station as unofficial park-and-rides. Park too long in an RPZ without the official city sticker declaring you as a resident, and you’ll get a ticket. (No, your “BeHi” sticker won’t help.)

The zones are in effect from 7:00 am until 6:00 pm on weekdays, limiting parking to two hours unless you have an RPZ pass. General information on the RPZ passes and how to apply may be found here, along with specific information for the zones at Beacon Hill, Mount Baker (McClellan), Columbia City, Othello, and Rainier Beach.

Pass fees are waived until spring 2011 for residents near the light rail stations, limited to two free resident passes and one free guest pass per household. There is a cost for additional permits.

5 thoughts on “The RPZ is coming soon”

  1. Be careful with children running out between parked cars which will soon fill the north side of McClellan Ave.

  2. And on Stevens, west of 15th, which looks to me like the easiest, closest walk to the station from a free parking zone.

    McClellan will be restricted on both sides all the way down to 20th, so I wouldn’t expect much more parking there.

  3. Wendi, I think the presence of the parking signs on the north side of McClellan between 17th and 20th will actually invite parking simply because it wasn’t obvious before that you could park there. I think that is why people frequently park in my driveway abutting McClellan (sometimes blocking in my car) rather than simply park on the street.

    It will be interesting to see how strict and frequent the enforcement will be in the RPZ. Will the 72-hour limit be enforced, cracking down on long-term dumping of junkers on the street but making it difficult for transit users who go several days between driving? If the parking laws are strictly enforced, our street will actually have a reduction of available parking due to the narrow parking strips and the number of people who park on their pad, either sticking out into the street a little bit or blocking the sidewalk. Plus, nobody follows the 5-foot rule for leaving space next to a curb cut. I don’t expect super strict interpretation and will continue to park on our parking strip pad even though I stick out into the street a bit. At least I don’t block the sidewalk.

  4. What are the laws regarding calling a tow truck should someone be blocking you in? Chris – could that be an option for you?

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