,

Free Christmas & Saturday parking approved with rate increase

Burlington's downtown parking challengesChanges begin this December City council has unanimously approved a range of parking changes for the downtown, as follows:

FREE PARKING on Saturdays at all on-street spaces, municipal lots and parking garage (effective January 1, 2014);

FREE PARKING the month of December at all on-street spaces, municipal lots and parking garage (starting December 01, 2013);

REPLACEMENT OF ALL PARKING METERS with multi-space “pay and display” parking machines capable of accepting a wide variety of payment methods;

INCREASED TIME for on-street paid parking, from two hours to three hours maximum;

RATE INCREASE of $0.25 per hour increase to all municipal parking spaces, and $2 to the daily rate (becomes $14, up from $12.00).

My Take: I’m pleased council supported these changes, which businesses and residents have been requesting for some time. They will improve the experience of living, visiting and working downtown. Though people don’t come downtown “to park”, for many parking is their first and last experience and memory of the downtown. As such, the goal is to make it as simple and user friendly as possible. These changes help do that. They also provide some relief from paid parking, while the rate increase helps to maintain the parking reserve, which goes toward building future parking supply, either in cooperation with future private developments (my preferred) or as a stand alone structure.

I was inspired to seek public office because I believe, like so many of you, “I can do something about that” on the issues we face. As councilor, my role is to take a stand on what’s best for residents and go to bat for it. Pushback is inevitable from those who don’t have the community’s interests at heart. I will stand with you and for you, to achieve the best interests of our city, without caving to unacceptable compromise in the name of consensus.

What's your take?