Olympia's Parking Strategy

What is the Parking Strategy?

Nine hour parking metersThe Parking Strategy is an implementation plan spearheaded by the City’s Downtown Strategy, which will help implement the community’s vision and goals for Downtown parking and respond to the needs of our growing, bustling downtown.

For this project, the City has contracted with a team of parking professionals led by Berk Consulting, along with Rick Williams Consulting and Kimley-Horn.

The project will look at many aspects of Olympia’s parking system, including:

  • Parking supply, including on and off-street parking and privately owned parking lots
  • Demand based pricing
  • Shared use of existing privately owned structures
  • Need for a parking structure or structures including siting and financing options
  • Parking requirements for new projects, including fee in-lieu of providing parking
  • Hours and days of enforcement
  • Residential parking program
  • Parking signage and wayfinding
  • Parking technology
  • Changes in transportation and travel modes and their impact on parking demand
  • Availability and accessibility of disabled parking facilities
  • Impacts of converting on-street parking identified in the Downtown Strategy to pedestrian and bicycle uses
  • Parking staffing and management structure

Developing the Parking Strategy

Step 1: Consultant Review of the Current Parking System

This includes a look back at past studies, the recent Economic Development Council’s downtown business survey, evaluation of the existing parking inventory, occupancy counts, and an audit of the City’s parking code.

Step 2: Field Data Collection

This entails field studies of parking occupancy, duration, evaluation of the current hours of operation and residential program data.

Step 3: Alternative Actions

The consultant will evaluate and present alternatives to the current parking system. There will be opportunities for public comment including an online survey and a public open house in Spring 2017. An Advisory Committee composed of stakeholders representing downtown businesses, downtown residents, downtown employees, the Capitol Campus, and the City’s Parking and Transportation programs, will meet regularly during the project.

Step 4: Comprehensive Parking Strategy

A draft strategy will be presented to the City Council in June 2017.

Step 5: Park +

To evaluate existing and future parking demand, the City will be utilizing Kimley-Horn’s Park + scenario planning model. This is a GIS-based scenario planning tool that utilizes collected parking occupancy and behavioral data with known land use information in the community to create a customized, location-specific planning tool.

The Park + tool can be used to assess any number of options as a catalyst for changing parking demand, including:

  • New developments and redevelopments
  • Parking investment strategies
  • Phased parking improvements
  • Parking pricing strategies
  • Variable and data-driven parking management practice


Contact Karen Kenneson, Associate Line of Business Director, at 360.753.8277 or parkingservices@ci.olympia.wa.us