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Survey: Free Parking in December – keep or scrap?

The Burlington Downtown Business Association, Downtown Parking Committee, and myself as Ward Councillor are reviewing the Free Parking program weekdays for the month of December. (No changes are proposed for free parking Sat/Sun/Holidays and after 6pm to 9am the rest of the year).

The review is a result of concerns from some businesses and customers that it is harder to find parking weekdays during Free P in December. Concerns have also been raised that the program is being abused by permit holders who would normally park further away in lots, but are now taking up prime spots on the street and in lots close to Brant.

Please take the following survey to share your thoughts on keeping, scrapping or modifying the program: Free P in December

Written by Marianne Meed Ward

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.


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  1. Free parking for 2 or 3 hours should be applied all year round. Not until designated staff and owners of downtown be registered for parking permit, are in place. They should be placed around all the different lots downtown, away from core streets.

    There is not one, how resident or not one, how business owner that would vote against free parking all year or December for downtown. If there is, it’s made up..

  2. One would think that reducing landlord costs would help reduce rental costs. So would an increase in rental units through greater vacancy rates and increased competition.

  3. I’m for keeping, but if what Chris Ariens says about some employees and others parking all day, and ripping off the intended benefits is significantly true, then how about a 3 hour limit, and keep the meters active?

    • We’ve tried a number of different strategies: even with free parking on street and in the lots, the 3-hr time limit still applies on street; we have closed the lots close to Brant before 9:30 when shops open to prevent employees from parking there. We’ll continue to look at a range of options to prevent abuses of the program.

  4. If you can’t afford property taxes move out. Just like government workers tell the many renters. “If you move to Hamilton it’s cheaper”.

  5. Vince Fiorito, increasing the cost. Are you serious? What about renters? Where is their freaking tax break? Many renters in Burlington pay more than a mortgage payment.

    Thinking green. Forget about the cars make public transit available for all. Not, for Monday – Friday workers.

  6. I support a revenue neutral municipal tax Green shift. Increase the cost of driving and parking GHG emitting vehicles in Burlington and then cut our property taxes, by the increased revenue. Since visitors will pay more, the result would be a net decrease for Burlington residents.

  7. Keep it,but ensure that persons who park in non assigned spots(i.e.truck delivery areas etc.) are still ticketed.

  8. Look at supply/demand. What inevitably will happen is people will take advantage of the free parking. It has value. Those who get there first (mainly employees), will take the best spots on the street. If space is full, it will create congestion from cars driving around looking for spots. It seems there is always lots of space in the garage, other than on event days. Maybe the garage should be free, and on-street parking should be paid. Ideally, we price it so that there is usually a couple of spots available on every block (which means varying by time and day), and use the revenue to make Downtown a better destination.

  9. If you pollute, you should pay. We must design our cities to make walking, biking and public transportation more convenient and affordable than GHG emitting cars. Make the parking free for electric cars only. Disclaimer, I don’t own an EV…. yet.

  10. Keep it’s brings a lot to downtown shoppers. Also it over laps with burly calling so it’s a great combo, in the busiest time of the year.

  11. Keep, but… the covers that go over the parking meters should be Christmas wrap!…oh yeah, no more meters, would love to see the ROI on that. The new meters never work properly.

  12. Charge a tad more through land taxes to all commercial zoning
    Go for a storm water charge on each parking space in all of the Halton Region
    These will help even things up with the environment we all share

  13. Yes, yet I am surprised that time is even taken to discuss such an obvious value add to local businesses. There are more important issues to seek our input on!

  14. Let’s discuss more important issues, like, why are so many people acting according to the demiurge which Yaldabaoth has endowed them with?

  15. If the December free parking was initiated to encourage people to utilize the shops and restaurants, it may be a good idea to issue the vendors with some sort of exempt permits. That way one has to purchase in order to get free parking. How this could be achieved with the new machines may be a problem. One more thing for Paul to figure out (smile).

  16. Keep it. It gives the local business more of a chance to win customers away from our growing number of big box stores, It gives an incentive to stay longer than an hour to grab a bite to eat without feeling rushed. #TisTheSeason

What's your take?