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Free parking downtown?

Residents, visitors and downtown businesses have long been saying that paid parking downtown is discouraging business, and have suggested free parking on Saturdays, or even daily for the first two hours.

paid parking downtown is discouraging business, and have suggested free parking on Saturdays, or even daily for the first two hours.
Paid parking downtown is discouraging business, and have suggested free parking on Saturdays, or even daily for the first two hours.

A consultant’s report has recommended further study on free parking, and made a number of other observations and recommendations for parking downtown including:

  • There’s currently a surplus of parking, but when planned projects are built there will be a need for 471 more spaces.
  • Municipal Lot 4 on Elizabeth St. is the preferred location for a new parking structure.
  • Current visitor parking requirements for residential developments should be reviewed, given the oft heard concern that visitor parking is either non-existent or insufficient.
  • Coin parking meters should be replaced with credit or cash pay-and-display machines.

The report, and staff recommendations from it, will be considered at committee on Wednesday. The staff report here, Appendix A, Appendix B, Appendix C asks council to approve Phase II of the parking study, which will consider the financial implications of the recommended options, and report back by mid-2012.

My Take: I support many of the options outlined in the consultant’s report, and think we’ve got to get on with developing a financial and implementation strategy to address the concerns about current paid parking raised by the public and various stakeholders. I’m supportive of continuing Phase II of the study.

Your view: Should the city offer free parking on Saturdays, and take some of the other steps recommended? What would you do to solve the parking challenges downtown? Email me at meedwardm@burlington.ca or leave a comment below.

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.

2 Comments

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  1. I certainly don’t mind paying for parking in the downtown core  within a reasonable rate. However i do not visit downtown as the traffic situation to get downtown from North Burlington is insane and time consuming. Easier for me to stay local then to explore the offerings of merchants in the downtown core.

  2. First 2 hours free is a great idea. The downtown core needs all the help it can get. The city only wastes the revenue they collect anyway, on things like…oh… A PIER…and associated, ongoing legal fees.

What's your take?