Report to committee in December
Parking in the downtown remains an ongoing challenge for residents, businesses and visitors alike, so the city has been working with a consultant to explore the issues and make recommendations.
The staff report is pending, but several issues and ideas have come up in public consultations and via an online survey, including:
- reduce aggressive enforcement at metres and lots. I’ve received many complaints of residents being only a few minutes late and receiving a $20 ticket (or more), which is a disincentive to return.
- implement free parking on Saturdays. Businesses have been asking for free Saturday parking to promote more people to come downtown, instead of malls. Parking currently is free after 6pm (when most businesses are closed) and on Sundays and statutory holidays.
- increase the minimum parking time from two hours to three. Residents getting their hair done or enjoying a meal have said two hrs isn’t long enough. Residents also want to be able to transfer their parking stub between lots and on-street if they are stopping in several different places during a three hour period.
- increase parking supply. The consultant’s report indenfitied a current surplus of 421 spaces in the downtown during peak periods, but projected an increase in future demand to be 895 spaces, requiring an additional 474 spaces.
- reduce cost of monthly permits in outlying areas. Respondents to the parking survey said monthly permit fees were too expensive, and recomended “zone” pricing, where lots closer to Brant Street would be more expensive and lots further away much cheaper. Such policy would make it easier for all people working in the downtown to pay for their own parking.
What do you think? Send me your ideas for improving the parking situation downtown, or comments on the suggestions above, by leaving a comment below or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
My take: The suggestions above from residents and businesses are a reasonable accommodation to address the parking challenges downtown. I support extending the minimum parking to 3hrs, free parking on Saturday, reducing fees for outlying lots, working toward addressing future parking supply, and asking all people working in the downtown to pay for their own parking.