Community Post

Cure Hospital-Induced Parking Woes

Do you live within walking distance of Swedish Cherry Hill Hospital (formerly, and properly known as Providence)?   

Are you having problems with hospital employees taking up all of your on-street parking during the day?

If you answered yes to either of these questions, you may suffer from HIPWO, or Hospital Induced Parking Woes.  

The good news is that there is something that can help ease your recurring pain.   Squire Park resident Sunny Knott is organizing a group of neighbors to expand the residential parking zone that surrounds the hospital.  Here’s how it works:

  • You get a petition from Sunny and work to get at least 60% of the people on both sides of your block to agree to expanding the residential parking zone to cover your street.
  • The city will put up new signs, limiting non-residents to no more than 2 hours of on-street parking on your block
  • You will get a residential parking sticker for each of your vehicles, plus one guest sticker for your old “visiting” college buddy that’s been camped out on your couch
  • Swedish will pick up the full cost of your permits (normally around $20 per year), so it’s totally free to you

Evidently the problem has gotten worse as of late because Swedish jacked up the fees for employees to park in their garage.  That means that the invisible hand of the market is pushing the staff out into the neighborhood where they consume our cherished parking spots.

So if you’re interested and want to join in, leave a comment below and I’ll hook you up with Sunny, who can get you all the details.

0 thoughts on “Cure Hospital-Induced Parking Woes

  1. thank you very much for this info.

    Definitely want that info. This morning we went for a run and came home and not a single spot on the street. It’s gonna get worse as development grows along Union. I feel the employee pain, but they part on Union to hit the 2 and it’s out of control. Count me in!

  2. Thanks Scott for the useful info. One small issue: I believe that the residential parking zone (RPZ) can only be expanded so that the entire zone consists of contiguous blocks. In other words, the reference to “live within walking distance” might, in some instances, be too optimistic. It’s possible that some who live within walking distance might end up being on the other side of a block that does not choose to be included in the RPZ.

    And, as for the price of parking at the Swedish/Sabey campus. The Seattle Municipal Code obligates the institution to take steps to insure that no more than 50% of the workers arrive at campus in a single occupancy vehicle. One way to do that is to price parking so that there’s an incentive to seek other ways to get to work. Of course, if street parking is free, that’s not going to work. Swedish (but not Sabey as far as I know) is pretty generous with subsidizing transit passes. However, since it hasm year after year, not met the 50% goal, many think that the instituion should consider other measures, such as the buses that Microsoft runs from many Seattle neighborhoods to its main campus. That would cost $, but now they cost of increased auto traffic is being imposed on our residential neighborhood.

  3. I have been talking with some of my neighbors on 20th and was planning on heading this up for our block. So glad to see there is a more widespread movement going on to take care of this issue. It will be so nice to come back home from an outing during the day and not have to park two blocks away from my house 36 weeks pregnant and with two other toddlers in tow! Please pass on the details of your efforts so I can work on getting the residents of my block on board.

  4. If the transit service to the CD were not so shitty there would not be a problem.

  5. Sign me up! We’re just a block from the zoned parking and it’s obvious.

  6. personally, i’d love to keep it loose. I think free parking is rad in a city that increasingly seeks to squeeze every last penny from people doing something they frown upon.

    That said, with more and more development going in, parking is going to increasingly be a huge hassle. The 23rd and Union project and proposed Madrona deal is gonna make parking harder. Is there anything Swedish can do before we pull the proverbial trigger.

    Also, did the 23rd and Union deal go through? Saw they had bulldozers out there today.

  7. Google around and read some of the excellent research on the subject. “Free” parking has billions of dollars in subsidies associated with it.

    Having said that – RPZs serve a purpose, and as Bill says above, Swedish has failed to meet their targets for years. At that point the neighbors are more than justified in seeking RPZs IMO.

    There’s no law that says the space in front of your house should be available to you. It’s a city-owned resource for the community, not your personal space. That’s one of the reasons why suburban developments feature so much parking and garage space. Of course, there are obvious tradeoffs with developing around the automobile…

  8. I’m an employee at Cherry Hill and live on 20th. I’ve been noticing the increase in employee parking on my street as well. Part of the problem is Swedish has stopped giving out parking permits to employees if they are single occupancy, leaving those hell-bent on driving with no where to park than in front of my house.
    True, that spot doesn’t have my name on it, but a business of this size should have more consideration for the neighborhood it is located in and provide better alternatives for its employees.

  9. Thanks employee and resident for a little enlightening information. What is meant by “Swedish has stopped giving out parking permits to employees if they are single occupancy,…”? Does this mean that employees who arrive in a single occupancy vehicle are not allowed to park in one of the garages/lots? Or am I misunderstanding the meaning of “parking permit”?

  10. Completely, 100% agreed that Swedish is not living up to their end of the bargain. Providing for your employees to get to work is a basic employer responsibility and a part of being a good corporate citizen.

  11. You are right, Bill. You cannot get a permit to park in the garage if you are a single occupancy vehicle (at this time). You have to be part of a carpool. This policy seems to go in and out of effect randomly, but at this point, that’s where we stand.

  12. I’d really appreciate the info also. I live in Squire Park and would LOVE to see RPZ on my block as well.

  13. I’ve forwarded the email addresses of everyone who expressed interest to Sunny Knott who is organizing the parking zone effort. She’ll get in touch with you separately to get things underway.

  14. Hi Scott – I think your email got lost in my inbox! Can you resend everyone’s email addresses? Sorry for the delay to those who are interested in extending the rpz to cover their blocks. I’ll get the info to you soon.