Why, it seems like yesterday that we were talking about Restricted Parking Zones (RPZs) here on the blog. It wasn’t exactly yesterday, but it was as recently as last October that Jordan wrote about RPZ changes here in the neighborhood. His article termed these changes “final.” Well, those changes may have been final then, but we now have before us a new set of changes which are anything but final. You can weigh in on these changes either by submitting comments online or attending a public meeting. More on that later.
First off, what’s being proposed? The color-coded map elsewhere on this page (courtesy of SDOT) shows the details. There are essentially two changes to the previous “final” plan. First, Zone 22, which currently runs from Stone Way east to about Densmore would be extended all the way to Pacific south of 37th St. Important note: east of Wallingford Ave., only one side of each street would be zoned. Second, the notion of extending Zone 34 south of 40th St. has now been retracted.
Where did the idea for these changes come from? SDOT cites citizen input received since last Fall. Specifically, they received a request from the Wallingford Community Council to examine parking in the area of southeast Wallingford. A parking study conducted by SDOT found that the blocks for the proposed expansion of Zone 22 met the criteria for an RPZ. These criteria are: 75% or more of curb space occupied with vehicles and 35% or more of those vehicles owned by non-residents.
I won’t revisit all the details of RPZs, but here are some key points about them:
- RPZs are intended to prevent all-day parking in neighborhoods by people taking advantage of free street parking while they head off to work
- Parking on residential streets to patronize businesses should not be adversely affected because parking for up to 2 hours is allowed in RPZs
- Residents living within an RPZ are not subject to the parking limits if they purchase a permit. Limit: 4 per household plus one guest permit.
- Employees of businesses are not eligible to purchase permits
In addition to conducting the parking study, SDOT did a survey of residents, businesses, and visitors which is well worth a read. There were a few points that I found particularly interesting. Of the responding residents, almost two out of three count on parking in the street, so it’s not too surprising that a small majority of them (56% or 92 people) support expanding Zone 22. Among business owners and employees however, opposition is very strong since, obviously, they would be frozen out of the parking. Neither residents (by a small margin) nor business people (by a much larger margin) supported extending Zone 34 below 40th St., so that’s why SDOT is backpedaling there. There are doubtless many other points one could make about this survey, so if readers want to post their observations in the comments, that would make a great discussion.
A public meeting will be held to further explain these changes and solicit citizen input:
- Date: June 20, 2019
- Time: 6:30-8:00
- Place: Hamilton Middle School, 1610 N 41st St
- Short presentation by SDOT begins at 6:30
- Public comment period begins at 6:45. 2 minutes per person.
If you can’t make the meeting, you can submit your input online here. Comments must be received by June 30. Remember, these are just proposals being put forth by SDOT. A final plan will depend on your input.
For more information, visit SDOT here.