The Rainer Beach Stewards Council will be hosting a community meeting on June 11 with Seattle City Councilman Tom Rasmussen, chair of the transportation committee, to discuss concerns about the RPZ (Residential Parking Zone) permits that residents will be required to purchase soon.


  • Event: Community meeting on RPZ issue with Councilman Tom Rasmussen
  • Date: Saturday, June 11, 2011
  • Time: 3:30 pm
  • Location: Rainier Beach Public Library

Here is additional background provided by the Rainier Beach Stewards Council:

City of Seattle plans to levy Sound Transit operating costs on residents living around light rail stations.

Operation of the Sound Transit light rail system has created a parking demand along Rainier Beach residential streets which was a foreseeable result of operating the rail line.

The City of Seattle could have required Sound Transit to provide parking during the permit process. Instead permits were granted for construction of the light rail stations with no provisions for park and ride lots to accommodate commuters driving to the train stations or mitigations for the subsequent parking impacts.

In anticipation of the start of Light Rail service, in the summer of 2009, the City of Seattle’s Department of Transportation established a Residential Parking Zone (RPZ 31) around the Henderson Light Rail Station with no request from or consultation with area residents, in violation of the Department’s own policies which required that residents request the installation of a RPZ. Resident request is needed because there is a fee assessed on every household within the RPZ for the resident parking stickers that allow for extended street parking without being ticketed. The City Council subsequently passed an ordinance that retroactively allowed the City to establish the RPZ’s along the light rail line without resident’s consent or even notification.

The cost of the RPZ’s around rail stations is clearly a Sound Transit operating cost. The light rail system cannot generate the level of riders needed to operate the system from residents living along the light rail line. Sound Transit can only expect to generate enough riders if it draws from households that are miles from the stations.

When rail service started two years ago existing residents received parking stickers from the City paid for by Sound Transit. However, stickers were not provided for people who moved in after July 2009. The City now sends a parking enforcement officer to generate revenue from ticketing low-income residents without stickers who are parked in front of their homes. The City of Seattle has sent notification to households within the RPZ’s about plans to begin charging each household in the Residential Parking Zone around Henderson Station 65 dollars for a resident parking sticker and 30 dollars for a guest parking pass, beginning in July 2011.

The bill for the operating costs of Sound Transit’s Light Rail parking impacts should be paid for by Sound Transit and the current arrangement between the City and Sound Transit should be made permanent. The Rainier Beach Stewardship Council delivered petitions signed by one hundred-fifty Rainier Beach residents and Sound Transit riders to the Mayor in April requesting that the City reverse the decision to burden Rainier Beach Residents with the operating costs of the light rail system.

FOR MORE INFORMATION contact Justina Guyott (206) 322-3304 (best), (not checked regularly)