Increased parking rates, fines for downtown
The city will need 750 new parking spots downtown by 2027 if it wants to make up for spaces that will be swallowed up by development – and that’s likely to mean an increase in parking fees and fines.
On Tuesday night at City Hall, council will vote a final time on its plan to hike the cost of parking.
Starting Jan. 1, a parking ticket for an expired meter or for overtime parking at a pay-and-display could cost $25 instead of the current $15. Furthermore, parking for an hour would cost $1.25 instead of $1.
Councillors gave the plan preliminary approval last week; the final vote is on Tuesday.
The idea is to help the city come up with the money to keep enough parking downtown. Councillors heard from city staff last week that roughly 750 parking spaces will be lost to development, over the next decade.
A new urban park will soon be built over the Louis St. parking lot, for example.
Meanwhile, councillors have yet to decide whether they will give half the Brock St. parking lot to Atria Development, which wants to use the space for tenant parking as it converts the former YMCA into the high-end Y Lofts.
There’s also a plan to develop Bethune St. into a linear park, complete with outdoor cafes and cycling routes; that would mean no more driving on the street, and no more street parking there.
Adding another storey to the King St. parking garage is one idea staff would like to consider, but it’s pricey at $30 million.
That cost could balloon to $46 million if construction is put off until 2027, states a new city staff report.
With just $1.4 million in the city reserves meant for parking, council is looking for new ways to raise money: hence the proposed increase in parking fines and fees.
The council meeting is on Tuesday this week instead of Monday (City Hall was closed Monday for Remembrance Day).
The Examiner’s website had livestreaming, tweets and blogging from the meeting. It begins at 6:30 p.m.
NOTE: See more city council coverage on Pages A2 and C1.