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Creating and Expanding RPZs

Want to expand an existing RPZ to your block?

If you live on a block that’s just outside an existing Restricted Parking Zone (RPZ), you may request to expand an RPZ to your block if it is adjacent to the RPZ and if:

  • Your block is in the area qualified for expansion
  • At least 75% of the spaces on your block are full, and
  • 60% or more of the households on your block petition to join the RPZ.

We now use an online petition process for single block expansions. For more information on the process of expanding an existing RPZ to a contiguous block, please contact us at RPZRequests@seattle.gov.

Want to create a new RPZ in your neighborhood? 

If you do not live adjacent to an existing RPZ that can be expanded, you may request a new RPZ for your neighborhood. For a new RPZ to be an appropriate solution to a parking shortage, the area must meet these minimum qualifications:

  • The affected area must be 10 connected blocks or 20 connecting block faces.
    • A block face is one side of a street between two consecutive features on that street (like intersecting roads, open spaces or parks).

A graphic showing an example of what constitutes "one block" situated between two cross streets

  • A “traffic generator” must be identified.*
  • 75% of total parking spaces in the area must be occupied.
  • At least 35% of available parking spaces are occupied by vehicles that do not belong to residents of the neighborhood.

    *A traffic generator is a large institution such as a hospital or university, a business district, or high-capacity transit stop. This generator creates significant daytime demand for long-term parking which spills onto nearby residential streets.

    RPZ Time Frame

    The process of creating an RPZ generally takes up to a year or longer. It also requires broad public support throughout the proposed area for the new zone. The time it takes to create an RPZ can vary significantly depending on staff capacity and local conditions including area size, surrounding land use, and community commitment. 

    If you believe your neighborhood may qualify for a new RPZ, read more about the process below:

    If possible, have your neighborhood association or community council send a letter describing the parking problem. This should include:

    • The blocks most affected
    • Which days and at what times
    • Why the level of parking congestion is high (what is "generating" the parking demand). 

    If the neighborhood community council is inactive or does not exist, then send a letter signed by the residents in the 10-block area you'd like to include in the RPZ.

    Send this request to RPZRequests@seattle.gov.

    After you submit your request, we will conduct a study to decide whether an RPZ is appropriate for the area. This study will determine the extent to which a parking problem exists and whether an RPZ may be an appropriate solution.

    Whether we determine an area qualifies for an RPZ will be based on the following:

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

    We also consider other tools to manage parking demand. These may be applied prior to, instead 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 are appropriate
    • Working with local businesses to encourage employees to take alternate modes of transportation to work. Especially daytime commuters.

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

    • 75% of parking spaces are occupied and at least 35% of the occupied spaces are occupied by vehicles not belonging to residents
    • There is a qualifying traffic generator
    • The minimum of 10 contiguous blocks (or 20 blockfaces) is affected by the traffic generator

    If the RPZ study determines that an area meets the minimum requirements for an RPZ, we will involve community stakeholders in review of the parking study results. Then we will get stakeholder assistance in developing the RPZ.

    Our staff will develop a draft RPZ design for community review, and will conduct broad public outreach to gather input on it. Prior to any decision to create an RPZ, we will hold a public hearing to provide people further opportunity to submit written and spoken comment for the public record.

    Our Transit and Mobility Division Director will make a final decision about whether to establish an RPZ based on parking data, staff analysis, and public input.

    We will notify all owners, commercial lessees, and residential properties inside the RPZ boundaries, as well as those outside the boundaries within at least 300 feet of the decision. We 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.

    Follow-Up

    Once a new RPZ is created, it may be reviewed by community request no earlier than six months after implementation. If needed, adjustments may be made to the design so that the parking needs of the community are met. 

    Transportation

    Greg Spotts, Director
    Address: 700 5th Ave, Suite 3800, Seattle, WA, 98104
    Mailing Address: PO Box 34996, Seattle, WA, 98124-4996
    Phone: (206) 684-7623
    684-Road@seattle.gov

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    The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) is on a mission to deliver a transportation system that provides safe and affordable access to places and opportunities for everyone as we work to achieve our vision of Seattle as a thriving, equitable community powered by dependable transportation.