Neighbors near Montlake Elementary continue to be frustrated with city parking rules they say unfairly force teachers and staff to park far away from school.
In recent years the City has extended a 2-hour Restricted Parking Zone (RPZ) deeper into Montlake to prevent UW commuters from eschewing the plentiful (and paid) E-1 lot north of Husky Stadium in favor of (free) residential streets to the south. Zoned parking now nearly surrounds the elementary school.
PTA board member Mark Craemer said, “The nearly 30 teachers and staff at Montlake Elementary School have only three parking spots on the property and most need to find parking on the street beyond where permits are required. This means they must park several blocks from the school.”
Two years ago, residents living near the school petitioned the City to grant Montlake Elementary 25 RPZ permits. Neighbor Glenn Fleishman delivered 30 signatures to City Councilmember Tom Rasmussen, who promptly agreed to look into the issue with SDOT.
“I have no horse in this race. In fact, my blockface is one of the last near the school that anyone may park in all day, and it is inconvenient in the extreme to not be able to park out front. Nonetheless, I’m committed to getting teachers and staff taken care of,” Fleishman said.
Fleishman and school principal Claudia Allan also asked Rasmussen, chair of the Transportation Committee, for a legislative change to help school employees caught in this dilemma. “There’s a clause in current Seattle code that allows permits to be given to business owners near light-rail stations. That same clause would work perfectly in Montlake,” Fleishman said.
Since then no action has been taken — except to extend the 2-hour zone even farther from the school, making the situation worse.
Meanwhile, rather than risk losing teachers who find more convenient work elsewhere in the district, Craemer and the PTA are seeking their own solution. They’re asking for volunteers with Zone 1 guest passes to donate them for school use during the academic year:
Many teachers and staff would love to use a visitor’s pass and would gladly return it at the end of the school year and even during school breaks if requested. Some suggested that perhaps those who live especially close to the school might offer up their driveway if they are away at work all day anyway. Having a car parked in your driveway might even prevent a break-in if potential burglars believe someone is at your home.
If you would like to help by loaning your visitor’s pass or offering up your driveway, please contact Montlake Elementary secretary Jeanne Suleiman via email firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 252-3300. If you don’t currently have a visitor’s pass, but would like to purchase one to then donate to the school, please click here. The cost is $30 and it’s good for two years.
Help out if you can — or contact your favorite elected official and ask them to support teachers by granting schools RPZ permits.
UPDATE 1/12 5pm: Councilmember Rasmussen responds with good news here.