January 27, 2014 - 3:40 PM
KELOWNA - City Council approved changes to base parking rates at its regular meeting today and endorsed guiding principles that set the direction for the city-wide Parking Management Strategy. The goals are to improve parking availability, ensure the system continues to pay for itself so that general taxation is not impacted and improve customer service options to residents.
Base on-street parking rates will increase by 75 cents an hour beginning in June. Off-street parking rates will be set to remain lower than on-street rates. This is to encourage greater use of off-street parking, leaving the on-street spaces more available for short-term use.
“Current rates are too low to discourage long-term parking in short-term spaces or to effectively replenish reserve funds to support our parking and transportation infrastructure,” says Dave Duncan, Parking Operations Coordinator with the City of Kelowna. “Current on-street parking rates have been in effect and unchanged for over 20 years, and are well below market rates and the true cost of providing the service.”
City council also approved the development of specific area parking plans as the next phase of the parking strategy. This will allow the City to respond to a number of challenges related to parking in key areas including changes to parking supply; a growing demand for short- and long-term parking in developing areas; and the impacts of increased growth and development on neighbouring residential areas.
“The City wants to ensure there is sufficient parking for customers and visitors to key areas, while at the same time supporting the goal of providing a balanced transportation network from the Official Community Plan, which means encouraging people to carpool, take transit, bike and/or walk to work when possible,” says Duncan.
To allow time for public notification, modifications are intended to begin on June 1, 2014. All monthly parking customers will receive notification of changes by mail two months in advance.
Next steps in the parking management strategy will see the development of individual area plans, beginning with the South Pandosy and Downtown areas. Other areas of the City including Kelowna General Hospital and the Landmark buildings will follow, as required, pending budget approval.
Residents are encouraged to visit kelowna.ca/parking to stay informed as the Parking Management Strategy progresses.
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