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Clarification of West End parking recommendations

July 14 2016

Cars parked on street

We would like to clarify some key facts related to public consultation on the recommendations regarding parking in the West End.

The West End is one of the oldest, and by far the largest, permitted parking areas in the city, and was long overdue for review. This was confirmed by the West End Community Plan, which identified parking as a major issue for the community.

How our recommendations were developed

We conducted a survey on West End residential parking in November 2015 with a high response rate of almost 4,000; 80% of the respondents were residents, and about half of those were current permit holders.

Our current recommendations were developed based on those results, and a survey was recently launched to solicit feedback.

Consultation, including open houses, will continue through the summer and a report will be presented to Council in the fall. We will consider the feedback before implementing any changes.

West End Parking Strategy

Permit costs and a proposed new permit fee

  • Annual on-street permits are currently much cheaper than off-street parking. Permits cost about $6 per month, whereas off-street parking typically costs $50 or more per month. The proposed new permit parking fee of $50 per month is based on market pricing for the area.
  • Current permit holders will not see an increase; the new parking permit price would only apply to new permit applicants. The decision to grandfather pricing for current permit holders was based on feedback from the November 2015 survey; the majority of residents who were not current permit holders were in favour of an increase in permit prices.
  • It has been proposed the additional permit revenue would be directed toward community amenities in the West End.

Current parking issues

  • Parking can be difficult for residents. During busy periods, it can take five minutes for residents to find parking, including over a kilometer of extra driving. Some residents use their permit to park anywhere in the West End, not just near their own residence— this makes parking difficult for other residents.
  • Parking is even more difficult for visitors. During busy periods, it can take 10 minutes for visitors to find parking, including over three kilometers of extra driving.
  • Parking affects everyone in the community; even those who don't drive have visitors and service providers who do.
  • People driving in circles looking for parking increases traffic, pollution, and safety risks.
  • Many buildings have unused parking spaces, sometimes next to buildings where parking is full. Some buildings have more than 100 unused spaces.
  • There are more than enough residential parking spaces for every car. There are about 1.5 residential parking spaces for every car registered in the West End permit area (16,000 cars, 22,000 off-street spaces, 2,700 on-street spaces).
  • There is very little visitor parking available. There are fewer than two on-street visitor parking spaces for every 100 households in the West End.

Goal of recommedations

Our goal with these recommendations is to make it easier for people who live in or visit the West End to find parking.