Olympia's Parking Strategy

Open House - Thursday, July 13

Join us on July 13 and hear what we learned from the online parking survey and join us in the next phase of the process. Event at City Hall, 601 4th Avenue, starting at 6:30 pm

What is the Parking Strategy?

Nine hour parking meters

The 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. To start the process the City of Olympia conducted a Parking survey January 24 – March 6 and over 2,600 citizens responded. The survey helped us learn how users experience parking and they shared their ideas on potential solutions. Visit this page often to learn about opportunities for public involvement and how to give feedback.

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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 (Complete)

The City has contracted with a team of parking professionals led by BERK Consulting, along with Rick Williams Consulting and Kimley-Horn. Together with the City they will 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 (Complete)

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

Step 3: Public Involvement (Ongoing)

The consultant distributed an on-line survey in January to gauge perception and experiences on parking in Downtown Olympia. Over 2,300 responses were received. An Open House is scheduled for July 13 to share the results and to get feedback on possible solutions to enhance the parking experience. An Advisory Committee comprised of stakeholders representing downtown businesses, residents, employees, the Capitol Campus, parking and transportation programs meet will meet regularly.

Step 4: Comprehensive Parking Strategy

A draft strategy will be presented to the City Council in September 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 Debbie Sullivan, Deputy Director of Public Works, at 360.753.8494 or parkingservices@ci.olympia.wa.us