Community Access and Parking Program – Columbia City

Final Update (Sept 2018):

In late 2017, SDOT made parking management changes in and around the Columbia City business district. This page contains documents, studies, and outreach events that led up to implementation of those changes.

In spring 2018, SDOT conducted a study of parking conditions in the neighborhood following the change. This analysis showed:

  • Expansion of RPZ 29 led to an increase in parking availability in the neighborhood. New RPZ areas went from 86% full to 61% full during 5PM-7PM, meaning that parking was available for residents returning home and evening visitors to the neighborhood. 
  • Expansion of paid parking led to increases in parking availability in those areas, but parking was still quite full from 6 PM to 8 PM.

For more details, please see our September 2018 handout.

For information on obtaining RPZ 29 permits, please visit our RPZ website.

Final Plan Mailer:


Door Hangers for blocks with No Parking changes:


Through the Community Access and Parking Program, SDOT works in neighborhood business districts throughout the city to improve parking and access.  In Columbia City, SDOT spent over a year on outreach and data collection to develop a proposed plan for parking changes, which was released in February 2017.  We used feedback from our proposal, in concert with SDOT's parking management programs and policies, to develop a final neighborhood parking plan.

Existing Conditions

  • Parking in Columbia City is a mix of restricted parking zone parking, unrestricted parking, and parking with time limits.  These are shown in the following map. Note that this map only shows parking on streets immediately in and around the Rainier Avenue business district.  For detail on surrounding streets see the RPZ Zone 29 map and/or the Seattle Parking Map.

Map of Columbia City parking restrictions showing restricted parking, time limited parking, unrestricted parking, and no parking

Commercial Area Parking Study - March 2015

SDOT completed a parking study in the Columbia City neighborhood on Tuesday, March 31, 2015, surveying both parking occupancy and duration on about 170 parking spaces adjacent or near businesses.  It found the following items:

  • Area parking exceeded 90% occupancy from 10 AM until after 8 PM.  This likely indicates that individuals who drive to the neighborhood likely circulate on local streets searching for available parking. 
  • In terms of duration, most vehicles observed parking in the area for short stays, with 78% of vehicles parking 0-2 hours in the study area (54% observed stayed less than one hour).
  • While most vehicles stayed for short periods, the small number of vehicles that parked all day had a big influence on parking availability.  Over a third of observed spaces were occupied by a single vehicle parking 6+ hours. 

View a map showing the March 2015 parking study area and summary results.

Outreach - Past Meetings and Materials

February 6, 2016: Neighborhood Mailer and Online Survey Link
February 17, 2016: Columbia City Business Association Meeting
February 20, 2016: Public Drop-n Session at PCC Display Boards 
May 1, 2016: Columbia City Intercept Survey Full Results Presentation
May 10, 2016: Parking Advisory Group Meeting Agenda and Notes
May 18, 2016: Columbia City Business Association Meeting Intercept Survey Summary and Online Survey Presentation
June 7, 2016: Columbia City Business Association Meeting Presentation
June 23, 2016: Parking Advisory Group Meeting Agenda and Discussion Sheets
July 7, 2016: Transportation Resource Fair, Filipino Community Center
August 17, 2016:  Columbia City Business Association Meeting Discussion Sheets
October 18, 2016:  Parking Advisory Group Presentation
November 29, 2016: Residential area parking study memorandum – summarizes parking studies completed in July and October 2016.
January 12, 2017: Parking Advisory Group Meeting
January 23, 2017:  Columbia City Parking Proposal Mailer
February 4, 2017:  Southeast Neighborhood HALA Meeting Poster, RPZ FAQ, and General FAQ
February 7, 2017: Columbia City Business Association Presentation
February 7, 2017: Columbia City Landmark Review Board Presentation
June 2017: Final Plan Mailer
July 10, 2017: RPZ Public Hearing Presentation
August 2017: Notice of RPZ Final Decision Postcard
September 13, 2017: Columbia City BIA Meeting
October 3, 2017: Columbia City Business Association Meeting Handout
October 3, 2017: Columbia City Landmark Review Board DRAFT Updated Pay Station Installation Plan
October 18, 2017: Citywide Landmarks Board Review and Approval
November 4, 2017: Transportation Fair, Columbia Health
November 7, 2017: Columbia City Business Association Meeting
September 4, 2018: Columbia City Business Association Meeting Handout

In the News

Columbia City Source, February 6 2016: SDOT looking for neighborhood feedback regarding parking
SDOT Blog, June 9 2016: Columbia City Tells Us How They Get Around the Neighborhood
South Seattle Emerald, June 12, 2017: Metered Parking Coming to Columbia City
SDOT Blog, June 13, 2017: Parking Changes Coming to Columbia City
The Urbanist, June 14 2017: SDOT Finalizes Columbia City Community Access and Parking Program, June 14, 2017: Parking changes coming to Columbia City


Greg Spotts, Director
Address: 700 5th Ave, Suite 3800, Seattle, WA, 98104
Mailing Address: PO Box 34996, Seattle, WA, 98124-4996
Phone: (206) 684-7623

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The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) is on a mission to deliver a transportation system that provides safe and affordable access to places and opportunities for everyone as we work to achieve our vision of Seattle as a thriving, equitable community powered by dependable transportation.