With files from Bailey Nicholson
People moving to Vancouver’s West End may need to rethink their street parking plans.
Annual parking permits for new residents could climb to about $600, if the city’s proposed West End Parking Strategy is approved.
That’s a jump of more than 700%.
Vancouver’s Director of Transportation Lon LaClaire says its about using the market to try and free up spaces.
“It’s the rate that we believe will actually have people make a more careful decision about not renting the spot that’s available to them within their building.”
LaClaire says a high volume of complaints and limited amount of parking spots prompted the proposal, which will be introduced to city council come fall.
Residents who already hold a permit would be grandfathered in at the old rate, and the cash raised from the change would go to pay for new community amenities.
The city says rates currently being charged for on-street parking (about $6/mo) are vastly discounted compared to what private, off street lots offer for monthly service (about $50/m0).
It adds residents drive an extra five minutes and 1km on average looking for parking, while visitors spend about 10 minutes and 3km hunting for a spot.
LaClaire says in a bid to get cars off the street, the city is also looking at letting building owners rent vacant parking spaces to non-tenants.
“The parking demand on the street is way over the top, however there’s actually a lot of parking spaces in the West End, they just happen to be in the basements of the building. With a lot of rental buildings there people have an option to rent a space. What we’re seing is no one’s using the parking in the buildings.”
Other ideas included in the proposal include
- Dividing the West End in three, smaller permit areas
- Looking at new technology for parking enforcement like cameras on City vehicles that automatically scan licence plates
- Putting parking meters on some visitor parking
- Turning some street parking into visitor parking
In the meantime, the city is holding consultations on the plan, including through an online survey.