The PI ran two articles about parking in the city today, in different sections no less!

The article in the local section talked about free parking ending in the South Lake Union (someone please give this neighborhood a better name!). The City will be installing parking meters, and will sell parking at its 1,250 spots for 75¢ an hour. This is half as much as the $1.50 it charges in other neighborhoods. Another 750 spots will be charged at $1.25 an hour in SLU, and the remaining 600 will be charged at the normal $1.50 rate. The rates will be adjusted to ensure there is enough parking for short-term business visitors.

The cover-page article talked about the City’s plan to bring another 350,000 residents into the city by 2040 without cars. That’s 350,000 residents into the city proper, the region is expected about 1.5 million within that timeframe. The city hopes these new residents will take advantage of transit and have fewer cars on average than the typical resident does now. Either by sharing with their family or using flexcar-type programs. For this, the city has eased the rules on parking for commercial and residential developers, and turned more parking spots into pay spots.

I like the idea of people taking more transit, but density is sort of a chicken and the egg problem with regard to transit. Does more density allow for easier and better transit? Probably. But does more transit allow for more density? Definitely. If you want people to ditch their cars, build better transit first, don’t wait for them to decide to take the bus before you put the bus there.

However, with gas prices continually going up, maybe people will decide that the bus is the thing to do.