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'Free until three’ promotion aimed at bringing people downtown Vernon

May 25, 2015 - 4:38 PM

VERNON - A new promotion allowing people to park free from noon until 3 p.m. on Fridays this summer is geared at creating a more inviting atmosphere downtown.

The free parking will be offered in the lead-up to the Avenue Market, which runs on Fridays from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Main Street (30 Avenue.) Previously, the Downtown Vernon Association has placed no parking signs on parking meters two hours before the road is closed for the market, but executive director Lara Konkin said that creates a negative message.

“As the placement of the no parking signs seems to be viewed as a deterrent to shoppers we are looking to change the perception by offering customers the opportunity to park for free rather than move to another space,” Konkin said at a council meeting Monday, May 25.

The impact on parking meter revenue, including ticket fines, would be about $4,000 over the summer, Konkin said.

Coun. Brian Quiring supported the 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. free parking, calling it a good opportunity to bring business and activity to the downtown, and while most councillors agreed, administration expressed concerns about the revenue cut.

“There are few revenue sources to the city other than taxation,” chief administrative officer Will Pearce said. “The administration is concerned about bottom line revenue at the end of the day.“

Administration recommended offering the free parking, but only from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. 

Coun. Juliette Cunningham agreed 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. was a good compromise, suggesting ‘free meter parking hogging’ might occur with people parking at noon and staying for hours.

Even with administration preferring the later time frame, free parking from 12 p.m. until 3 p.m. option passed with a split 4-3 vote. The first Avenue Market and free until three day will be June 12.

To contact the reporter for this story, email Charlotte Helston at chelston@infonews.ca or call 250-309-5230. To contact the editor, email mjones@infonews.ca or call 250-718-2724.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015
InfoTel News Ltd

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