Victoria council will discuss recommendations to reinstate on-street parking rates and time limits after enforcement was relaxed for the COVID-19 pandemic. (Black Press Media file photo)

Victoria to talk nixing reduced pandemic parking rates

Staff say lack of turnover causing issues for local businesses

Parking fees in Victoria are on the docket for council this week, with staff recommending a return to regular rates and time limits for most parts of the city.

Parking costs were lowered in April to alleviate financial burdens for drivers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Now city staff are recommending regular hourly rates be reinstated for on-street metered parking and the Yates Street and Centennial Square parkades.

The staff report says usage increased in June and has continued to climb, noting that for the week ending July 10, usage of 90-minute metered spaces jumped by 125 per cent compared to 2019, indicating capacity challenges.

RELATED: Victoria reduces parking fees during COVID-19 health emergency

Staff say they are receiving complaints from businesses that a lack of turnover in time-limited zones is impacting access for customers. They say a rate increase is warranted to achieve higher turnover and a targeted occupancy of 85 per cent at the city’s busiest parkades.

They propose hourly rates go back to $2 per hour for the second and third hour of parking and $3 per hour for the fourth hour and beyond. Effective Sept. 1, monthly rates would return to $175 for the Yates Street parkade and $130 for Centennial Square.

However staff ask to extend reduced parking rates for the less busy parkades on Broughton Street, View Street and Johnson Street, where the daily rate is currently $1 per hour with the first hour free and monthly rates of $85. The Broughton Street parkade is experiencing the lowest usage at only about 50 per cent of 2019 volumes.

Parkade utilization is roughly 55 per cent of last year, staff say, and is up 40 per cent from early June.

Council plans to consider the motion Thursday.

READ ALSO: Victoria limits parking in James Bay to create space for pedestrians


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