Downtown parking examined, paid parking rejected

Published: November 22, 2017


Parking fines and restrictions along Howey Street will remain unchanged after a thorough examination by municipal leaders this month.

At the Nov. 13 Committee of the Whole meeting leaders spent over a half hour discussing parking fees and options for the stretch of road between the streetlights and the Government Docks after being presented with an option paper from the by-law enforcement department.

The Supplementary Parking Analysis, completed by Stantec, offered three options related to on-street parking that included upholding the two hour parking limit but releasing municipally controlled parking spaces, creating a residential parking permit or installing parking metres or pay per plate machines. Two additional options were provided related to the municipally run parking lot located adjacent to the CIBC.

“We may have needed it 20 years ago when every building there had a business in it, do we still need it?” remarked Councillor Sandy Middleton while discussing the two hour parking limit.

More than $4,200 was collected in parking fines in 2016 and By-Law Enforcement Officer Beth Sullivan reports $890 has been added to the coffers so far in 2017.

“Due to compliance, it is expected that annual revenue will ultimately decrease in subsequent years which is the ultimate goal of enforcement,” added Sullivan in her report.

Councillor Carol Baron questioned the need for making changes receiving clarification that very few complaints had been received on the current system.

Currently a two-hour parking limit has been set for both sides of the street. Sullivan says municipal-led enforcement was amped up in 2016 as a result of “reoccurring complaints”. The municipality owns 39 parking spaces to facilitate off-street parking that generate approximately $5,500 in revenue each year. The report also notes metred parking would cost upward of $37,000 in capital cost and pay per plate machines would require a $60,000 capital investment. 

Middleton also initiated a discussion on the need for paid parking in the area noting: “It strikes me as odd that we require payment for this parking lot but other places it is free.”

Councillor Fred Mota inquired as to whether business owners in the area had been polled on the presented options advocating for a consultation process before any further consideration is given to the options.

Discounting each of the options presented the group adopted the report for information and elected to leave the street and municipal parking lot fees and fines unchanged.   

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