Seattle Drivers Spend 58 Miserable Hours a Year Looking for Parking

You could be doing so many cooler things.
| Updated: November 27, 2018
The quest to find parking in Seattle costs us time and money.

While passing yet another prospective parking spot that turns out to be a fire hydrant, driveway or inexplicable “no parking zone,” you find yourself humming Pixies’ “Where Is My Mind.” That maddening time is not all in your head; a recent study published by The Seattle Times shows that Seattleites spend an average of 58 hours searching for parking each year. That's fifth worst behind New York City (where drivers waste 107 hours per year), L.A., San Francisco and Washington, D.C.

All those hours spent rolling around the block? It’s costing us about $1,200 in “wasted time, fuel, and emissions,” according to the study.

We wondered, what else could Seattleites be enjoying with all that time and money?

19 Seahawks games
The average football game lasts about three hours which means that you’re missing more than an entire season (16 games per NFL team) of Seattle’s beloved ocean birds. And with all that money you’d be saving, you could buy tickets to six games if you don’t mind the nosebleeds.

A lot of really great sushi
Sure quality sushi can cost a pretty penny, but imagine if you suddenly had an extra grand to spend on it. You could even partake in about a half dozen indulgent meals at Shiro Kashiba’s world-famous eatery, Sushi Kashiba. Pike Place Market, 86 Pine St., Suite 1; 206.441.8844;

A Pike Place staycation
For some locals, the market is a tourist trap. For others, it’s a beloved gem. If you’ve ever wished for a few nights away in the heart of it all, that $1,200 could nab you a couple restorative nights, an in-room massage, and a market fruit basket at the iconic Inn at the Market. Pike Place Market, 86 Pine St.; 206.443.3600;

Roughly 35 movies with concessions
The average movie runs about 100 minutes these days, and at around $16 per viewing, you’d even have money left for popcorn and a drink. For an elevated experience, you can hit up one of Seattle’s more luxe theaters.

200 pints of award-winning beer
In the Emerald City, a pint will run you about $6, and $1,200 is enough to keep you downing a cold one almost every work day of the year. Happy hour, anyone? We recommend checking out these winning brews.

80 bottles of Washington rosé 
$15 or so will get you four glassfuls of Washington’s pinkest wine, making it a slightly better deal than those aforementioned pints. We recommend pairing any wine with a good book.

But, let’s be honest, you’re probably not ditching your car anytime soon, so you might as well load up a few interesting podcasts to muffle the sounds of you cursing the bus riders who hop off, walk straight into the restaurant and snag the last table while you're stuck circling the block—again.

Related Content

Bringing fresh ideas to Seattle magazine, Seattle Business magazine


What Every High School Parent and Student Should Know

A note from the editor

A note from the editor

The West Seattle Bridge may not be open until 2021; the Farmers Markets are starting to come back, and the Tulip festival would like you to stay home, please. All the news you missed in between reading about coronavirus.