The city has outlined a plan, developed with community help, to ease concerns about a parking crunch once the Roosevelt protected bike lanes are built in late 2015 and early 2016.
This is a win-win-win plan that preserves enough parking to meet maximum parking use in the area while also making space for a wide protected bike lane and possibly increasing safety on residential side streets in the process.
Simply put, the city went out and explored all opportunities to add more parking on nearby side streets to mitigate removal of spaces on Roosevelt itself. They found a bunch of blocks where parking is only allowed on one side of the street, so they measured the streets and checked with nearby emergency services (there’s a fire station at NE 50th St) to confirm that adding parking would work.
In total, they found space for 98 new parking spaces, or 81 percent of total spaces displaced by the bike lane. That’s ten percent more than needed to meet the existing parking use, which averages 71 percent on the corridor. In fact, the peak usage staff measured was 82 percent during midday on a weekday, just about perfectly met by the parking plan.
Plus, the new parking is likely better than the existing parking, since parallel parking on a super fast and busy street like Roosevelt can be a stressful experience. So now there will be more space on low-traffic, slow residential streets.
And as a side effect, the new parking will likely make traffic on those residential side streets slower. Seattle’s many narrow residential streets with parking on both sides consistently show speeds at or below 20 mph, a huge benefit to safety for everyone. Not only are collisions far less likely at that speed, but injuries are far less severe in cases where rare collisions do happen.
The plan also includes adding 20 bike racks along the corridor. After all, the best way to mitigate a parking crunch is to provide a quality way for a bunch of those existing parkers to get there by bike instead. There are definitely a ton of people in this bikey area who will bike on Roosevelt once it has an actually inviting space to bike in. I wonder if 20 bike racks will even be enough to meet the new demand.
The city will also l0ok into ways to encourage large apartment buildings to help residents get ORCA cards. Part of the need to remove parking on Roosevelt is to prepare the street design for new rapid transit service, which the city is currently studying. The “shared bus/drive lane” in the graphic at the top of this post could easily become a transit-only lane if the city creates a bus rapid transit or streetcar line.
The city will also adjust some parking rules along the way to make sure deliveries and short-term uses are accommodated. More details from a project flyer (PDF):
The Roosevelt Way NE Paving and Safety Improvement Project includes the installation of in-lane transit stops, pedestrian improvements and a protected bike lane. The bike lane will be located on the west side of the street. As a result, there will be a reduction in on-street parking spaces. The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) is committed to developing a parking management plan to continue addressing businesses and residents parking needs. We collected parking data and worked with community stakeholders to develop a draft plan. Here are the details.
- Create a balance of 30-minute to four-hour parking on the east side of Roosevelt
- Explore opportunities to add parking on adjacent streets
- Guide residents through the Restricted Parking Zone process as requested
- Install about 20 bike racks along the corridor
- Consider locations for adding wayfinding and parking signs
- Monitor paid parking areas in Roosevelt and the U-District on an annual basis to ensure SDOT is meeting target occupancy goals
- Work with large multifamily building property owners to offer transportation incentives like ORCA transit cards
(Thanks for the tip, Andres!)