Make no mistake: The rising cost and declining amount of on-street parking downtown are part of a much bigger plan to reduce Seattle’s carbon footprint.University of Washington traffic engineer Mark Hallenbeck is adamant that Seattle should not go down the same road as Oslo. “Removing parking might have an environmental benefit, but the backlash from it might be so bad,” he said, that drivers will be up in arms, and they’ll punish elected officials for it.
But Hallenback admits there may be a case for phasing out on-street parking in parts of Seattle, if it means a better future with more options and more transit mobility. “Do I get bus lanes, bus rapid transit that actually moves and isn’t stuck?” he asks, “you’ll get way more people in the bus because people can zoom through the city on that bus.”
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