Parking in Downtown Seattle
Seattle has been relatively quick to adapt to its booming population growth–primarily through the extensive implementation of public transit and walkable communities. To show you the latest trends and changes in Seattle’s traffic, public transportation and parking, we’ve compiled some of the most interesting facts, especially if you are interested in potentially moving to Seattle’s vibrant downtown area.
The Facts on the Street
Over the years, Downtown Seattle neighborhoods have continued to address traffic obstacles and develop a variety of new solutions to alleviate, track and increase parking options. One such innovation is the introduction of new services and apps allowing for a new collection of 6,000 discounted parking spaces to become available. Services like DowntownSeattleParking.com powered by ePark, allow drivers to easily scan participating parking garages and find spaces available in real-time.
The city of Seattle has seen a notable change in the number of cars on the road due to the decrease in car ownership over time and increase in rideshare and car sharing options. Car ownership per household in Seattle has been on the decline since as early as 2010. This has been an increasing trend due to millennials, the city’s ever-present green mentality, and its efforts to launch and promote new public transit systems and technologies. With an increase of Seattle residents making use of light rail, bus systems and on-demand apps, fewer and fewer families are finding purpose for a vehicle to purchase, maintain and pay insurance premiums for, resulting in relief in traffic congestion. Altogether, this decrease in residential car ownership across Seattle has totaled up to roughly 3% – the highest drop in the nation despite the city’s growing population.
Seattle’s Evolving Public Transportation System
Over the last decade, Seattle has been prioritizing major investments in transit capacity in an effort to link every area of the city. Today, Downtown Seattle residents and visitors have access to resources including Link Light Rail, Seattle Central Monorail, King County Metro Transit buses, South Lake Union streetcars, taxis, rentals, car sharing, bike sharing and even more systems to get them where they need to go. With reloadable public transit cards and mobile apps for digital tickets, the growing use of technology has only made it easier to pay fares and travel quickly across the city. What’s more, the city continues its fight in reducing cars on the road through development standards in favor of residential buildings without parking built close to public transit.
Seattle’s Sound Transit Link Light Rail service started in 2009 and provides fast, frequent service between Downtown Seattle, Rainier, Sea/Tac Airport, CenturyLink and T-Mobile Park stadiums, and more. As of March 2016, the Puget Sound Rail had a major expansion to the University of Washington and Capitol Hill. This important three-mile expansion will help nearly 70,000 riders daily by 2030. Trains typically run every 6-15 minutes for 20 hours a day, 7 days a week. Making use of this impressive light rail system will save residents the hassle of traffic and time as the system continues to grow and the city expands.
The Sounder Commuter rail will also help downtown Seattle residents by taking nearly 14,000 riders out of traffic during peak commuter hours. This impressive train runs every 20-30 minutes and travels at the speed of 80 miles per hour, to help reduce congestion and traffic in the city.
In addition to Seattle’s trains and light rails, the Seattle Streetcar Network named “Modern Streetcar”, connects commuters and residents with a transition hub. Now the train lines connect and over time, the planned streetcar extensions will connect all of Seattle to the major train lines and downtown giving residents the ability to choose between many options of transport and avoid traffic congestion.
One of the many benefits of living in a downtown luxury condo like those found at The Emerald is the simple fact that you’ll be immersed in a thriving, walkable neighborhood with easy access to public transportation. Whether you aim to work or play, you’ll find popular dining and entertainment venues, large commercial centers, incredible nightlife, farmers markets just minutes away.
Seattle Bike Commuters
Due to rapidly growing public and private improvements at bike facilities, bike commuting has become a popular option for people of all ages in Downtown Seattle. The city of Seattle has even been recognized as the best bike city in America. It has been reported that the city offers some of the best bike lanes in the country with various barriers that protect riders from traffic. Conscious efforts have been made to protect cyclists including narrowing of lanes and inserting speed humps and traffic circles in an effort to reduce traffic speeds. Bike commuting is an efficient and inexpensive way to get around and provides bikers the spontaneity of a car without worries about traffic, rising gas prices, and expensive city parking. Biking can also help as an aid in getting you to other transit options, like the King County Metro or Sound Transit Link Light Rail systems.
Parking at The Emerald
Residents at The Emerald have access to some reserved parking accommodations. The Emerald has 62 parking spaces onsite for residents, and that number has increased through our partnership with luxury boutique hotel, Thompson Seattle hotel located directly across the street. Current and future owners can enjoy a suite of amenities including access to a limited number of convenient, subterranean garage parking with electric vehicle charging stations and 24-hour, seven-day-a-week curbside valet service.
But options for getting around Seattle don’t end there. The Emerald is also proud to offer residents the option of luxury car-sharing through our partnership with Envoy Technologies. Residents can enjoy clean, sleek, and efficient electric Tesla Model X and Model S vehicles for a cruise whenever they need to get somewhere in style. Access to this Tesla fleet doesn’t even require a key: residents can download Envoy’s easy-to-use app for secure and instant access to the vehicles.
As Seattle continues to strive toward fewer cars on the road and a greener city, we’re in full support. While you’ll definitely have less of a headache going green and taking public transport–or walking around our beautiful city–there are options for multiple parking spots for your vehicles at and around The Emerald.