City Council

Seattle Parks and Recreation

If you care about youth sports, neighborhood gatherings or activities for seniors, you might rely on community centers. In Seattle, some big changes to the facilities could be on the way. Officials say they’re too expensive as the city struggles with shrinking revenue. So they're asking anyone who's interested in community centers to help decide their fate.

Brian Teutsch / Flickr

Seattle drivers who've been accustomed to paying the same curbside parking rates at all times of day could soon be faced with variable parking prices based on market factors, with rates higher at busier times. The Seattle Times reports city officials hope variable fees will mean quicker turnover of scarce parking spaces and reduce congestion caused by people who circle blocks looking for an opening. Market-based  parking rates are already in place in several U. S. cities including San Francisco, Los Angeles and Washington, D. C.

"It helps reduce the traffic congestion, of people finding a spot", said Mary Catherine Snyder, a parking strategist for the Seattle Department of Transportation.

The Seattle Department of Transportation will publish data from its study on parking trends in mid-January, then take several weeks to to reprogram meters to reflect new neighborhood-level rates. Parking meter rates in Seattle will increase this spring to as high as $4.  Included in the City Council's budget is a proposal to require paid parking to a later hour, from the current 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

By 2012, the city would be able to customize rates block by block and alter parking rates by time of day.

Courtesy City of Seattle

A controversial proposal that would allow major employers in Seattle to put signs at the tops of their skyscrapers will be decided in March.  City Council President Richard Conlin says he delayed the vote to give the city time to respond to a number of concerns.

Russell Investments requested the change, to help them re-brand their tower, which is the former home of Washington Mutual Bank.  The company moved to their new 2nd Avenue address from Tacoma this fall.