The Kingsgate Park and Ride is one of nine park and rides in the area that will join King County Metro’s Carpool Parking Permit program. Kailan Manandic, Kirkland Reporter

King County implements reserved parking at local park and rides

King County Metro is expanding its Carpool Parking Permit program next month to nine more park and ride locations, including Kingsgate, Bothell and Kenmore.

The program, which reserves parking spots for permit holders, goes into effect Nov. 1.

Permit holders will have access to reserved spots until 8:30 a.m. on weekdays, when the spots become open to everyone. The South Kirkland park and ride has offered reserved parking since February, when Metro implemented the program at six initial locations.

“Parking stalls are in very short supply at park and rides that serve our most popular transit routes,” said Joel Pfundt, City of Kirkland transportation manager, in a press release. “We’re optimistic that this new program will help get more people riding the bus. It provides another vehicle parking option for people that need to drive to a park and ride in order to ride the bus.”

The program had a positive impact on the six original locations in Redmond, Issaquah Highlands, South Kirkland, South Renton, Northgate and Eastgate. Metro decided to expand the program further because of this success, according to Daniel Rowe, senior transportation planner at King County Metro.

“Some customers are frustrated because (park and rides) are filling up earlier and earlier,” Rowe said. “We offer guaranteed parking for customers who’re willing to commit to carpool.”

The 15 park and ride locations that host the permit program are at least 90 percent utilized. Currently, these are the only locations that exceed 90 percent and Metro isn’t going to expand the permit parking spots to locations that don’t meet that mark, according to Rowe.

The program only initially occupies five percent of the total parking spots at a given location, which will reserve about 25 of the 502 spaces at the Kingsgate park and ride, 11 of Bothell’s 220 spaces and about 30 of Kenmore’s 603 spaces.

Metro will place signs at these spots, but cover the signs that are not in use. This allows Metro to limit the amount of reserved spots to the number of permit users, Rowe said.

“A lot of customers don’t have opportunity to use park and ride because they’re full,” Rowe said. “(Now), customers who arrive after 8:30 get lucky a little later in the day.”

The program averages 100 active permits per month, according to a Metro press release. As of Monday, the Kingsgate park and ride had nine completed permits and six that were still processing.

Permits are free and available to groups of two or more transit customers who ride the bus or use the park and rides for a carpool. Permit applications are available for all 15 locations through Republic Parking Northwest.

Regular transit use is not initially required to obtain a permit, but at least two carpool permit-holders must ride transit 12 days per month to stay qualified, according to a Metro press release.

Metro has increased their enforcement effort at park and rides because of drivers who don’t use the locations for transit, according to Rowe, but there have been few problems with drivers who park in reserved spots without a permit.

Metro issues one warning per site, per week, on average, Rowe said. Drivers get two warnings before their car will be towed for parking in a reserved spot.

“I think parking is difficult period at many park and rides,” Rowe said. “We’re also looking to add new parking opportunities, because most are offered as first come first serve.”

Metro partnered with Diamond Parking Service to offer paid parking near transit locations. There are locations at the Northlake Unitarian Church in Kirkland and the Kenmore Safeway.

For more information on paid parking and parking permits visit www.parkbytransit.com and Metro’s Permit Parking website.

More in News

After Seattle’s controversial employee head tax was repealed, King County Executive Dow Constantine wants to bond against existing tax revenues to generate $100 million for affordable housing. Photo by Joe Mabel/Wikipedia Commons
County executive proposes $100 million affordable housing bond

The money was already coming, but Constantine wants to speed up the process.

Kenmore City Hall. File photo
Kenmore proclaims Pride Week for first time

Pride Week will be June 24-30 in the city of Kenmore.

Kenmore City Hall - Reporter file photo
Kenmore to consider plastic bag ban

Potential ordinance would encourage use of paper, resuable bags.

Sheriffs respond to stabbing in Bothell

A Bothell man stabbed a woman after an argument on June 16.

Seattle and King County officials want a safe injection van

The mobile project—an alternative to permanent sites—still doesn’t have a defined timeline.

An autopsy found that Tommy Le was shot twice in the back during an fatal encounter with a King County sheriff’s deputy. Photo courtesy Career Link
New report calls for increased transparency from King County Sheriff’s Office

The fatal shooting of Tommy Le served as a case study for researchers.

A scene from the 2017 Women’s March Seattle. Photo by Richard Ha/Flickr
County sexual harassment policies could be overhauled

One King County councilmember says male-dominated departments have “workplace culture issues.”

Bothell plans transportation improvements

Projects include road widening and Safe Routes to School.

Western Washington could see more wildfires this year

Lots of grass and warmer weather could make for worsening fire seasons.

Bothell sees benefits of state budget investments

The city received a $2 million check to fund the preservation and conservation of Wayne Golf Course.

St. Edward Lodge renovation to begin in July

The project to turn the old seminary building into a lodge will get underway this July.

Eastside groups discuss homelessness and affordable housing at community events

Five area service providers recently hosted a joint event to educate community members about the impacts of homelessness.