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SPD: Usage of overnight parking option on the rise

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The city’s overnight parking meters have proven to be a big success since being introduced nearly two years ago, according to Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn and the Seattle Police Department.

The mayor’s office says drivers have opted to park overnight more than 45,000 times since the option was introduced in April 2011, and usage continues to climb. Seattle Police Captain Mike Nolan believes the numbers are an indication that the meters are helping prevent impaired driving. 

“It encourages people not to get behind the wheel of any kind of vehicle when they’re impaired, and that’s ultimately where we want to be in changing the thinking and the mindset about drinking and driving,” said Nolan.

Parking is free from 10 p.m. to 8 a.m. in the city. The overnight meter option allows drivers to pre-pay at 10 p.m. for the following morning, buying them time to return to their cars without risking a ticket. Drivers can pay in advance to park until 10 a.m.

Nolan said he expects the option to come in especially handy for drivers taking part in St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. He added DUI emphasis patrol will be in full effect starting Friday, March 14.