King County Metro will tow cars illegally parked at park-and-rides

SEATTLE -- King County Metro is cracking down on drivers filling up parking spots at park-and-rides, but not using mass transit or carpooling. Starting Monday, those caught illegally parking could have their cars towed.

“Buses are crowded every single day and people need this parking,” said transit rider Karyn Marks. “It’s the people that squat here and leave their cars and don’t use it as the intended purpose that has a huge effect on me.”

Metro is stepping up enforcement at several park-and-rides including Eastgate, Kingsgate, Redmond, and Northgate. Enforcement officials are targeting those lots with high rates of complaints and violations. Staff will issue two courtesy warnings before towing a vehicle.

“I think enforcing the use of the lot and the way it’s intended to be is important,” said park-and-ride commuter Stephen Keating.

As many as 5 percent of park-and-ride spaces are taken by those illegally parking, according to King County Metro. There are 137 park-and-ride lots with more than 25,000 spaces, but drivers say many of the spots fill up early in the morning.

“If you come here late you do have trouble trying to find a spot to park,” said Francesca White, who uses the park-and-ride each morning.

Metro believes enforcing the rules at the park-and-rides will provide more parking spots for transit customers. People are allowed to use the parking lots if they are transferring to a bus, vanpool or carpool.