Community Post

How Far for Parking? Swedish Employees Test the Limits

Remember last year when we talked about neighborhood efforts to expand the residential parking zones around the Swedish Cherry Hill (nee Providence) campus. Since then, some neighbors have been hard at work to add their blocks to the zone and prevent Swedish employees from taking up all of their on-street parking. 

Any residents within the zone, or “RPZ”, get a special parking sticker for their cars, giving them permission to park on the street during normal work hours. People parked there without a sticker will be ticketed by the city’s parking enforcement officers.

It’s easy to see the effect the expanded zone has had on daytime parking. Here’s a photo of Columbia St. between 20th & 19th, showing only a single vehicle parked on the street. This block was added to the RPZ earlier this year:

Go just one block east, further away from the hospital and outside of the RPZ, and it’s a very different story, with cars lining both sides of the street:

These spaces are 1/3 of a mile from the nearest entrance to the hospital, and neighbors here tell me that they’re working on adding their block to the zone too.

Want to get your block added? The requirements are that you be connected to an existing block in a zone, i.e., you can’t be a no-parking island unto yourself. See the city’s map here to see how close you are to the zone. You must also get the signatures of at least 60% of the residents on both sides of your block. Once you’ve done all that, follow the instructions here to complete the process:

0 thoughts on “How Far for Parking? Swedish Employees Test the Limits

  1. I live on 20th just north of Jefferson and I’ve noticed all the hospital workers parking on 20th south of Jefferson outside of the RPZ. I’m surprised the people living here have not organized yet to get RPZ – I can’t think of any drawbacks except with less cars parked on both sides traffic might not slow down as much. Speaking of which a few of my neighbors are interested in getting a traffic circle at 20th and James to slow traffic down. Does anyone have knowledge about this process? I’m assuming the city has a similar process as the RPZ.

  2. i’ve noticed a huge surge in post office works parking at 25th and Spring in the mornings. i’m not directly impacted, but interesting that it gets that much traffic.

  3. We live on 21st and are in the Hospital RPZ, which is interesting since it is further away from the hospital than 20th. We’d like to see a traffic circle or stop sign placed on Jefferson – it seems to be a highway at times.

  4. @jitters:

    I doubt you’ll see a stop sign or circle at 21st and Jefferson; Jefferson is a city designated arterial, and arterials generally only get stop signs where they intersect other arterials (i.e. 12th, 14th, 23rd). Traffic circles are also unusual on arterials. A full roundabout might be accepted, but a) there’s not enough room and b) there isn’t enough cross traffic on 21st to justify it.

    However, you could probably get more aggressive speed-limit enforcement on Jefferson by contacting the police; arterials still have a 35 MPH limit.

  5. East Marion between 19th & 20th (one block north of the photos above) has also become a parking lot for Swedish employees…if you have to work this hard to find a parking spot, why doesn’t it occur to more of them to make like easier and hop on the bus? Then half your issues (and a lot of your expenses) go away! Sheesh, people! It’s 2009…get creative and enjoy life a lot more. ;O)

  6. It’s actually pretty easy to get the RPZ. I got tired of parking a block away from my house and watching all the hospital workers in scrubs coming to and from their cars parked on my street. One day (while I was on my porch) a DOCTOR hit my car while trying to squeeze into a spot. He tried to hand me $50 out of his wallet to cover my crunched in bumper on my brand new car. Not quite! Within the week I got full payment to fix my car and my blocked zoned.

  7. We are North of Cherry St, on 21st Ave., and just received our parking passes, and expecting the zone parking signs soon to appear. Though I have found it difficult to park during the day recently, there were many months when there was no or rarely a problem. This changed as blocks closer to the hospital fell to zone parking, in effect forcing hospital staff to either pay exorbitant monthly parking fees, or move to non-zone areas further away. As this happened, my block became more congested, until finally I could not find parking.
    Pleased as I am to know I may soon have the ability to park easily on my street, I still feel the hospital should be doing more to support the cost of it’s staff in parking in the supporting garages. My understanding is that the Cherry Hill Swedish sold off the garages to a private firm, and can now show that the $300 plus monthly fees charged to their Employees to park, is out of the hospital’s control ( not negotiable ). It is my opinion, that even though the hospital offered to pay the local neighborhood parking permit fees, they should be doing more to support their Employees parking needs.

  8. I am in Madison Valley – right next to the CD and got it for my block. It is great. When the block to our north got it to keep the Madison business folks from taking their street over I knew we needed it to prevent “spillover”. It was fun going door to door to get the signatures and the price is really reasonable. Only $45 for 2 years.

  9. There’s also a couple of privately owned pay lots nearby; this seems like an awful lot of work to avoid paying $10 or riding the 3/4.

  10. They could just buy bus passes for their employees like so many other Seattle businesses. It wouldn’t be a solution for on-call type situations, but it could at least help.

  11. I think $10 sounds pretty reasonable, until you pay that 4 to 6 times a week, and maybe 4 weeks a month. As we know, not all the Hospital workers are Doctors ( Custdians, cooks, interns, Nurses, etc. ), so maybe $10 per day is quite a bit of a family budget. These folks have the same expenses as us, maybe need to deliver and pick up kids from day-care, or too distant to make a bus ride practical. Heck, family budgets can be strained no matter where you work, and I feel for these folks.

  12. i ride the #3 everyday from madrona. as the 3 rolls down jefferson, harborview workers wearing scrubs often hop on, presumably after parking their vehicle for free on side streets. this has always irritated me i think for two reasons: one, seems selfish on the workers part to park for free in front of someone’s home which was likely purchased for a small fortune for proximity purposes only because it’s inconvenient for them to ride public transit or too expensive to pay for parking. i’m aware of one harborview employee who parks off of jefferson every morning eventhough she lives in the u district. this isn’t right. their inconvenience shouldn’t become another’s. second, how can swedish and harborview not take responsibility for this when they have a duty to minimize disruption and burden upon their local community – the very community that has generously tolerated and allowed their large expansions. judging from what i see daily, neither institution has done this (i.e take responsibility). the only measure i can see to change this trend is a large expansion of rpz’s around these campuses in particular and a penalty imposed to swedish and harborview until the issue is remedied.