Councilmember Rasmussen to propose legislation for school teacher parking

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.

8 thoughts on “Councilmember Rasmussen to propose legislation for school teacher parking

  1. Pingback: City parking rules tell Montlake School teachers to take a hike | montlaker

  2. Why are teachers special? How about people working at the Library? Or businesses in Montlake? Or nurses at UW Hospital? Maybe the rules for the RPZ should be loosened for everyone. But it seems wrong to give one group of commuters an advantage over others.

    • Library has its own parking. UW has its own parking and pays SDOT for part of the RPZ in Montlake closest to it.

      Teachers are not provided parking for their workplace. Tacitly, the neighborhood provided free parking on street for decades and then slowly removed it without providing an alternative.

      Montlake’s business district should also probably have special permits.

      Don’t be a troll. Teachers are special.

  3. Nurses at UW should park at UW. They have that huge lot by U-Village that only fills up on football days. What a waste of space. The light rail parking pilot program should be used in Montlake to give passeses to businesses. Librarians too.

  4. The changes in RPZ from Zone A to Zone 1 that are creeping in block by block further south are indeed the result of perceived parking pressure resulting from UW employees choosing to park in Montlake rather than at the University. The fact that the blocks closest to 520 chose to implement RPZ1 has forced the other blocks to do the same. The UW pays for RPZ A, but as far as I know doesn’t contribute a cent towards RPZ 1. We need to come up to an agreement with the UW and the city. As a whole, the neighborhood can absorb the need but individual blocks can’t. So, I’m hoping that we get to sit down with UW and SDOT and adopt some guidelines. At the very least, the UW should pay its share of RPZ costs for zone 1 as it does for Zone A. We could I suppose consider a system allowing limited parking based on a registration system. RPZ 1 is not a good solution: it increases parking enforcements and of course, we the residents get the tickets…. I live in a block that refused to move to RPZ 1 (in my case because of the lack of parking for the school teachers), and we are literally surrounded by Zone 1. When go2car users decide to park their cars on my block (they are allowed to park in both Zone 1 and Zone A), they further add to the pressure on the block. The RPZ situation needs to be fixed at the neighborhood level, not block by block. CM Rasmussen’s intentions are good, but we need to go a few step further.

  5. Lionel, I believe that UW subsidizes Zone 1 north of Calhoun and Zone A south of Calhoun. You can check with SDOT about that, but that’s been my understanding for a few years. Zone 1 south of Calhoun is paid at the full cost of the RPZ. It’s also the reason that Zone 1 was established to Calhoun initially, although it has grown.

    I agree for the need of a comprehensive plan, but the neighborhood has essentially abrogated a tacit deal with the school that dates back 90 years, before many cars were on the roads, such as they were. It is only in the last decade that teachers and staff have gradually faced increasing pressure and now near total unavailability of parking for their workplace. Many people in Montlake send or sent their kids to the elementary school, or even attended it themselves.

    Part of the social contract with teachers is that we support the aims and goals for the benefit of the larger society, whether or not we have children, because educated children are the only way to ensure the continuation of our society. From a selfless perspective, education is a goal unto itself. From a selfish one, without an educated population and ultimately workforce, society will decline and we will age into a worse place.

    We resisted Zone 1 on E. McGraw St. between 19th and 20th, but ultimately opted to switch over a few weeks ago (it goes into effect at the end of January) because many of us literally cannot park their cars. (We can squeeze our two into the alley parking we have, but I support my neighbors.)

  6. Pingback: Sound Transit thanks neighbors for patience with ‘Cross Passage 17′ | montlaker

  7. Pingback: City Council approves employee permits within Restricted Parking Zones | montlaker

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