The new cost of parking

Update 4 p.m. Jan 27 - It will cost you more to plug a parking meter in Kelowna beginning June 1. Council Monday approved an overall parking strategy in the city which includes a substantial increase in on-street parking. The hourly rate, which has not changed in more than 20 years, will go from 50¢ an hour to $1.25 an hour.

Fines will not change.

Further, the cost for short and long term off-street parking will also be going up.

"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 Parking Operations Coordinator, Dave Duncan. 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."

Councillor Maxine DeHart says she has heard from many tourists and people who move here from other cities who have commented how inexpensive it is to park in Kelowna compared to other centers in Canada.

She says she spoke with a number of people and had no negative feedback.

"I know it's tough...and it is a big percentage but if you look at the dollar it isn't and I'm very supportive of it," says DeHart.

Councillor Andre Blanleil says he would have gone with $1 for on-street parking as opposed to $1.25.

Blanleil slso says the parking policy should have a provision to revisit rates every three to five years to avoid large percentage increases such as these.

It could soon cost you a lot more to park in front of a meter in downtown Kelowna.

City Council will review an extensive parking management strategy report Monday which includes a suggested increase for on-street meter parking from 50¢ an hour to $1.25 an hour.

Long-term parking rates in city owned off-street parking lots would also increase in an effort to support use of alternate transportation modes.

The new off-street rates would also bring city rates in line with rates charged by private parking lot operators.

The new base rates for off-street parking lots are suggested as follows:

Parking Type Today Recommended Base
Hourly $0.50 to $1.00 $1.00
Daily $3.00 to $5.25 $5.00
Monthly $35.72 to $65.00 $53.00 to $66.00
Reserved $83.02 to $88.00 $99.00

In a report for council, it is suggested off-street parking remain lower than on-street rates to encourage short-term use while daily rates remain, at a minimum, higher than the price of a two-way transit trip which is currently set at $4.50.

It is anticipated the new rates, if approved by council, would come into affect June 1, 2014. Meters that do not accept $2 coins would remain at the current rate until they have been upgraded.

In his report, Real Estate Director Derek Edstrom says the increased fees will help the city offset the costs of providing parking including new infrastructure, maintenance, equipment, enforcement, upgrades, customer service applications, replacement of existing infrastructure, land acquisition and management.

Edstrom further states the city's Downtown Parking Reserve will have a deficit of $3M by the end of 2016 using existing rates.

He says the new base rates would eliminate any deficit by 2017 and the reserve would again be available to fund future parking infrastructure.

City produced Parking Strategy Video:


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