VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – As the old saying goes, all good things must come to an end and that’s certainly the case for people who like parking for free on the street in Vancouver’s West End.
The city is installing meters in what were, until now, free two-hour parking zones.
Director of Transportation Lon LaClaire is defending the move, insisting it’s a win-win for everyone. “Everyone is looking for a free parking space. And a lot of times we would have — even residents who have parking permits, using those spaces, they will be encouraged to use the resident-only parking spaces as opposed to the visitors spaces. This will be a good thing for people trying to visit the West End.”
LaClaire goes on to call it a natural evolution of parking. “When we see high parking demand, first we start with unregulated parking on streets and then if we’re finding the streets are fully parked up people get frustrated without being able to find a spot. And so then the two-hour parking limit is usually the next step.”
He says the idea to make the change surfaced a couple of years ago and it’s in response to concerns that were voiced by people in the neighbourhood. “The residents identified parking as a huge issue for them. And we did some surveys and it really confirmed what everyone was experiencing that residents were taking almost five minutes and driving an extra kilometre to find a parking space. And visitors were spending, on average, about 10 minutes and driving an extra three kilometres around the neighbourhood in search of parking.”
The paid parking meters are being installed and will likely be operational by next week.
LaClaire confirms the city is looking at adding parking meters in the Olympic Village as well.