U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Washington > Seattle area
 [Register]
Seattle area Seattle and King County Suburbs
Please register to participate in our discussions with 1.5 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
Jump to a detailed profile or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Business Search - 14 Million verified businesses
Search for:  near: 
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 04-18-2012, 06:46 AM
 
Location: Seattle, WA
72 posts, read 81,092 times
Reputation: 16

Advertisements

So, is parking in Seattle proper a nightmare? I just can't quite see how a city where most people drive works (I'm from NYC where having a car is just an inconvenience and everybody takes the subway everywhere).

If people are driving everywhere (for example, if I just wanted to come into Seattle from Bellevue after work one day to take a class, or to go see Pike Place Market, etc., etc., etc.,) unless I'm up for taking what I understand to be 2 to 3 different buses, I'd be driving in and having to deal w/ where to stash my car. Is there parking in the city to accommodate this kind of travel? Having to drive even just to run a simple errand?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 04-18-2012, 07:01 AM
 
Location: East of Seattle, originally from SF Bay Area
14,787 posts, read 18,109,914 times
Reputation: 10328
The only direct buses to Seattle from most of the eastside are at commute times. Mine for example, from Sammamish to Westlake runs only 6am-8:30am and then back from 3"40-6:10pm. Other times you can make that run only with several transfers. Any time of the day or night there is ample parking available in the various parking garages, or on the street at the pay stations.
Recent rate and tax increases have resulted in more space available because it's so expensive that people use the bus more or stay on the eastside to shop. Most of the free parking in the area near the stadiums is gone, with the areas being used for the tunnel construction. The best rate I have seen near Pike Place is $7 for two hours on Lenora at Western. During the summer tourist season parking space is much harder to find on the street, but the more expensive garages are rarely full.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-18-2012, 09:30 AM
 
1,188 posts, read 1,747,608 times
Reputation: 699
If you're coming in after 5pm, the garage at Pacific Place mall is great - something like $5 for 4 hours. If you're coming to see the Market at that time, you're out of luck - it pretty much shuts down around 4pm. And, it's easy (and safe) to walk anywhere from there. I once stood in line there with Bill and Melinda Gates as they waited to pay ...
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-18-2012, 11:03 AM
 
8,329 posts, read 14,847,588 times
Reputation: 3755
Quote:
Originally Posted by tobester View Post
If you're coming in after 5pm, the garage at Pacific Place mall is great - something like $5 for 4 hours. If you're coming to see the Market at that time, you're out of luck - it pretty much shuts down around 4pm. And, it's easy (and safe) to walk anywhere from there. I once stood in line there with Bill and Melinda Gates as they waited to pay ...
And you didn't hear them complain about the cost of parking.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-18-2012, 12:55 PM
 
5,610 posts, read 6,587,178 times
Reputation: 4672
Quote:
Originally Posted by grlintheworld View Post
So, is parking in Seattle proper a nightmare? I just can't quite see how a city where most people drive works (I'm from NYC where having a car is just an inconvenience and everybody takes the subway everywhere).
Is parking in Seattle proper a nightmare? Well, yes. It could take quite some time to find one. I personally don't do parking garages because they're never close to places I want to go. Parking lots.. eh, I try to find on-street parking first before doing that-- and there'll be a lot of times when I'm without luck on the on-street parking. Most recently, I was out of luck on both on-street parking and parking lots/garages (daughter was *mad* that we didn't get to go to the Seattle Aquarium. And quite frankly, I was surprised they took those spots for the constructions-- which means there's even less spots to find).

Quote:
Originally Posted by grlintheworld View Post
If people are driving everywhere (for example, if I just wanted to come into Seattle from Bellevue after work one day to take a class, or to go see Pike Place Market, etc., etc., etc.,) unless I'm up for taking what I understand to be 2 to 3 different buses, I'd be driving in and having to deal w/ where to stash my car. Is there parking in the city to accommodate this kind of travel? Having to drive even just to run a simple errand?
"Simple errand" is what exactly? Personally, it's just more easier to stay in Bellevue (or wherever you decide to stay in) than run errands out of DT Seattle. But then the errands I need can be done anywhere other than Seattle DT.

Taking a class or Pike Place Market-- depends on what you want to do, really. I'd normally just take public transit for the Pike Place Market, even with out of town guests (because it still will be cheaper than parking itself and I can spend as much time as I'd like). A class... again depends on what kind class we're talking about. If it can only be found in Seattle DT and a one time thing-- then I'd take a car. If its not a one time thing, then it really depends on where it is in proper Seattle.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-18-2012, 02:24 PM
 
Location: Berlin, Germany
505 posts, read 792,309 times
Reputation: 311
I hardly ever have to find parking because I don't drive but I have to say Downtown Seattle is so compact that you can easily walk to most places. What I mean is, that while it might be difficult to find parking right in front of the place you want to go to, you should be able to park 'somewhere' and just walk to the place. If you go anywhere outside of downtown it's much less of issue.

I Live in West Capitol Hill where it's almost impossible to find street parking as it's very busy most of time but if you drive a few blocks north or east you'll usually find a space no problem. You'll need to walk for 5 or 10 minutes to get where you want but that's probably easier than circling the streets and hoping for someone to give up their spot.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-18-2012, 02:44 PM
 
8,329 posts, read 14,847,588 times
Reputation: 3755
And if you did want to take the bus from DT Bellevue to DT Seattle, Sound Transit's Route 550 does run til something like 11 or midnight.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-18-2012, 04:39 PM
 
Location: Seattle
780 posts, read 718,411 times
Reputation: 1081
People tend to find 'their' garage(s) in DT Seattle and cling to them like good luck talismans. Yes - parking in DT Seattle is quite unpleasant. There's no way to put that many people in that small of an area and have it be easy. It is doable though. I typically budgeted $10-15 a trip when I used to do so (normally $10, but if the cheap garages are full - the spendy ones usually still have space).

Bit of history that might help things make sense.....
(this is the condensed version - as such it's lacking detail and full of generalizations)

DT Seattle was mostly built before cars - the city has had to accomodate them after the fact. Freeways were wedged in and were elevated through DT because there wasn't enough land to build them on. The DT exits are odd and were put in where they could be accomodated by geography and existing buildings, not necessarily where they made sense. The streets are narrow (relatively, for how much traffic there is), they are named with names that only made sense to the founding fathers, they are a confusing mass of one-ways and odd intersections, and often the same exit that got you in won't get you back out, so coming and going are two different adventures. It can be frustrating, but just like the nooks and crannies of an old house - it's also part of Seattle's charm (some people use a different word there ).

Bellevue was designed as 'the city of the future' right after WWII. Autos were these shiny, new inventions that were going to change the future, and the downtown area was designed with them in mind. The streets are wide, the traffic flows well (generally), the parking spots are larger, and the whole area is laid out on along this very easy-to-figure-out numerical grid. Tell me an address in Bellevue and I can 'see' exactly where you are even if I've never been there. The whole push towards urban density and walkability has Bellevue working hard at making the core more walkable by adding denser housing and mixed use developments, but outside of DT it's going to be quite the struggle. It's this very uniformity that helps give Bellevue its 'sterile' feeling, but to me it's got a charm of its own - just in a different way.

In Seattle it's typically easier to walk. In Bellevue it's generally easier to drive. That's not to say you can't drive in Seattle or get around Bellevue on foot. Also - I'm not trying to say that one is better than the other. I like them both. This is why I live close enough to Seattle to be able to walk or take the bus easily, and close enough to Bellevue so that I can drive there in ~15 minutes.

Hopefully this helps explain why there are so many people driving around and yet parts of the area are very inconvenient for cars.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-18-2012, 05:47 PM
 
510 posts, read 393,703 times
Reputation: 258
My experiences have been trying to find parking during normal daylight hours, weekends or when a sporting event is occuring have involved a few laps around downtown before finally finding a garage or lot with an available space.
U-District or Fremont in the evenings I've had terrible luck. Lake Union is usually okay at any time I've been there. Alkai has been terrible in summer.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-29-2012, 02:24 PM
 
409 posts, read 1,285,600 times
Reputation: 259
Parking in Seattle is exponentially easier than New York. People here will complain about traffic but you have to consider they expect to find a spot in a lot in front of every business they visit. The cost of a parking garage, tickets, etc, is not something that will bother you.

If you're going somewhere really busy sure it's going to be easier not to drive. It's not like trying to park in midtown on friday night, though.

To someone from NY or San Francisco a parking spot on the street within a few blocks of where you're going is terrific. You can find a spot in 10 minutes? Great! There's a garage two blocks away that's only $15 for the whole night? How convenient!

These same things would drive many people posting here up the wall. Seriously, you can drive almost anywhere you want at anytime and find easy parking. And if you're from New York you'd never think of driving to a large event as it is.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:


Options
X
Data:
Loading data...
Based on 2000-2011 data
Loading data...

123
Hide US histogram

Over $84,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Washington > Seattle area
Similar Threads

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2014, Advameg, Inc.

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25 - Top