How are we Doing?
Baseline: 69% March 2015
Most Recent: 77% March 2016
Target: Between 70 - 85%
Why is this indicator important?
Maintaining a balance of parking for customers, residents and employees is a strong contributer to a vibrant downtown, and is a priority in Olympia's Downtown Strategy. A 2015 survey of downtown businesses identified the availability of convenient parking as one of the top two issues for their customers.
What influences this indicator?
The number of people visiting, living and working downtown. The number and location of parking spaces on-street and in private and public parking lots, as well as their cost and length of time available. Convenient alternative ways to visit downtown, including bicycling, walking and transit.
What are we doing about this?
The City of Olympia manages on-street parking and several downtown parking lots. Short-term parking is prioritized for on-street parking in core retail areas, so these spaces are primarily available to downtown business customers.
Long-term parking is provided on streets near the edges of downtown, as well as public and private parking lots, to serve employees and visitors who choose to spend most of a day in downtown Olympia. Residents in older buildings without internal parking may obtain permits to park on-street or in City-owned parking lots.
Parking for residents has typically been provided within new residential developments, though it is not currently required.
The City enforces parking rules on weekdays between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Private parking lots generally enforce their rules throughout the week.
The City is updating its Parking Strategy in 2016-2017. The update will address all aspects of parking in the downtown and other areas of the City.
How do we measure progress on this?
The City conducts visual counts of on-street parking occupancy every three months. Counts are conducted four times per weekday. The peak time for parking is the last count each day, at 4:45 p.m. Maintaining parking occupancy between 70 and 85% has been shown to be optimal for efficient use of on-street parking.