Councilmember Rob Johnson (District 4, Northeast Seattle), Chair of the Planning, Land Use & Zoning Committee, issued the following statement following a vote of 7-1 in support of Council Bill 119221, a measure intended to update and improve off-street parking regulations in Seattle:
“We know that an over supply of cheap parking has a negative impact on Seattle – it increases driving and traffic congestion, increases our carbon footprint, and makes housing more expensive. Taking a smarter approach to our parking strategies, as we do through CB 119221, an important step is to ensure that we are creating not only a more vibrant city, but a city that works for everyone as we grow. The legislation allows for flexible use parking, so that existing and new parking spaces can be shared and used by more people. It eliminates parking requirements for affordable housing units (up to 80% Area Median Income) so that our affordable housing partners can build more housing, and requires unbundling of parking in leases so people who do not own a car will not be required to pay for parking spaces they do not use.”
“Seattle Council Bill 119221 aims to ensure that only drivers will have to pay for parking, which seems fair,” said Donald Shoup, author of The High Cost of Free Parking. “People who cannot afford a car or choose not to own a car should not have to pay anything for parking. If drivers don’t pay for their parking, someone else has to pay for it, and that someone is everyone. But a city where everyone happily pays for everyone else’s free parking is a fool’s paradise.”
“Increasing numbers of transit ridership and those who walk and bike coupled with growing options for shared mobility like Uber and Lyft are changing the transportation landscape. We know that some Seattleites need drive their cars for many different reasons, but we want to build a city that supports transportation choices, too,” Johnson added.
“Along with our partners, we’re very pleased with the Council’s decision to implement this legislation,” said Chris Wierzbicki, Executive Director of Futurewise. “Shaping and trimming parking requirements in Seattle creates more equity in our society, knits together our urban fabric, encourages the use of transit and active transportation, and is a critical piece of the city’s goal to create more affordable housing.”
“This legislation is crucial for the battle against climate change,” said Andrew Kidde, an organizer with 350 Seattle. “It allows us to build our future city for people choosing transit, walking, and biking.”