Friday, February 23, 2024

Paid parking in downtown Victoria could get more expensive; here’s why

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Just when you thought downtown parking couldn’t get more expensive, think again. 

Victoria’s City Council approved a motion on Monday aimed at extending paid parking hours downtown from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. as a way to introduce more funding for services and activities in downtown Victoria.

Councillor Matt Dell introduced the motion as a way to revitalize a downtown core that’s struggling to maintain its vibrancy during this time of economic turbulence.

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“Over the last number of years, our downtown has struggled. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still a fantastic place with great businesses but it needs some love and investment from our council,” said Dell.

“Cities need to take an active role in our downtown. We can’t let the small business community do the heavy lifting alone. We need to be right there with them. The challenge we face in this incredibly challenging economic time is finding the funding to support our downtown. With inflation at 7% and cost pressures escalating daily, we just don’t have the funds that our downtown deserves,” said Dell.

At present, pay parking throughout Victoria is in effect from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily and parkades have pay parking in effect from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday to Saturday with free parking on Sundays.

Among the two councillors who voted against the motion, Chris Coleman expressed his concern that the longer paid hours would discourage people from coming downtown.

“I’m still not interested in lifting rate or rates for parkades, because I think that there is this interplay where you can say to folks who perhaps have lost the desire to come downtown to say come back, give us a try. Again, we want to recapture you, and by the way, from six o’clock on it’s free parking and under parkades.”

This motion will return to Victoria council on March 16th where they will discuss the feedback received on the draft financial plan before making a final vote for or against the proposal.

Do you think increasing hours of paid parking will help the growth of Victoria’s downtown core?

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