Seattle City Councilmember Tom Rasmussen will propose new legislation giving the director of SDOT the authority to issue parking permits to school staff. This morning’s post about on-going frustration over the increasing distances Montlake Elementary teachers have to go to find all day parking outside Montlake’s Restricted Parking Zone sparked action — and promise of a council vote before next fall.
Mr. Rasmussen’s response:
Thank you for asking about the parking challenges of the Montlake School staff. You are correct that the request for RPZ parking permits for the faculty and staff have been denied by the Seattle Department of Transportation. This has been an unresolved issue for years.
At my request the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) has reviewed various options. They range from changing the Seattle Municipal Code (SMC) to allowing Montlake Elementary teachers to have RPZ parking permits to giving the SDOT Director the discretion to issue permits to non-residents under certain circumstances. Their recommendation is to put off any further action relating to Montlake or other RPZ neighborhoods until the current pilot program for issuing permits to employees in the Southeast Seattle Light Rail zones expires.
I have concluded that the best option is to change the SMC to give the SDOT director authority to issue RPZ permits to non-residents under conditions defined by the SDOT Director in a Director’s rule. I have requested staff to being drafting the legislation now.
My goal is to have the City Council vote on this legislation well before next fall. If it is approved by the Council then the SDOT Director will have the authority to take action before the beginning of the new school year. Of course, this does not mean that the Director will grant the request but he will have the authority to do so.