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Ballard’s Secret (and not-so-secret) Parking

Posted by Johnine Larsen on January 12, 2015
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Parking is a pain. You spend ten minutes hunting for a spot, searching in ever-widening circles until you find something. And then—sniped. Someone else darts in and takes it, and you spend another five minutes looking for the next place to park. And this process keeps getting worse, with Seattle ranking as the nation’s fastest growing.

So what to do about it?

Answer: park smarter.

Seattle’s Department of Transportation and Ballard’s Chamber of Commerce teamed up to release a map of Ballard’s more than 1,000 public parking spaces. Many of those spots are tucked away in side streets. We’ll admit, before we saw this map, even we didn’t know about some of these.


The best feature, though, is its color-coding. Anyone who knows the frustration of a closed parking lot will appreciate how this map distinguishes one lot type from another. The map shows which spots are available 24/7, which spots are reserved for evenings and weekends, and which spots obey a strict 6 a.m. – midnight rule.

GitHub user vlandham found this map, too, and he made it even better. He digitalized all the data, so you can zoom to your heart’s content.


Alternatively, you can also use public transportation. Ideally we’d all use public transportation, but our city hasn’t yet reached a point where that’s feasible. Here are the Real Estate Gals’ tips for making the most of the public transportation we do have.


For a more comprehensive, although more complicated, map, you can check out SDOT’s map of all the city’s parking.