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Council votes to allow parking rates of up to $12 an hour near Seattle Center during large events

On-street parking rates can be increased up to $12 an hour within a mile of Seattle Center during large events.

Editor's note: The video above was originally published in June 2021 when parking rates increased in some Seattle neighborhoods.

The Seattle City Council approved a plan Monday that will allow for increased parking rates near the Seattle Center.

On-street parking rates can be increased up to $12 an hour within a mile of Seattle Center during large events. According to Council Bill 120115, a “large Seattle Center event” is a “planned commercial or public event that is expected to draw at least 10,000 people.” This includes sporting events, concerts, festivals or exhibitions.

The legislation aims to prevent gridlock in Seattle’s Uptown neighborhood and to “ensure some on-street parking access for businesses, residents, and visitors.”

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The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) currently conducts studies and adjusts parking rates through its Performance-Based Parking Pricing Program with the goal of having at least one or two available parking spaces on each block throughout the day in downtown Seattle and neighborhood business districts.

Climate Pledge Arena, which is scheduled to open in the fall of this year, is expected to eventually host up to 250 events each year with over 10,000 attendees.

The Transportation and Utilities Committee passed the amended legislation in a 5-0 vote on July 7.

The director of transportation is currently authorized to set parking rates up to $5 per hour. When parking rates are in effect, rates will be set no lower than 50 cents per hour.

In June, parking rates in some Seattle neighborhoods increased between 50 cents and $1 per hour. The SDOT said the changes were due to increased demand for on-street parking, and so “people visiting shops, cafes, restaurants, and other businesses will have an easier time finding a parking space within walking distance of their destination.”