West End Parking Strategy makes way for smoother trips to popular neighbourhood
February 9 2017
Council approved the West End Parking Strategy on February 8. This plan will make it easier for residents and their visitors to find a parking near home, while reducing the emissions and potential safety incidents that come with driving around looking for a parking space.
“We heard clearly from West End residents during our planning process to make better use of off-street parking spaces to reduce pressure on street parking and to make sure that new fees do not become cost-prohibitive for long-time West End residents,” says Lon LaClaire, director of Transportation for the City of Vancouver. “This plan strikes a balance between parking availability and parking affordability.”
Parking was identified as a challenge for this neighbourhood in the West End Community Plan, approved in 2013, and better management of neighbourhood parking is a priority in the City’s Transportation 2040 Plan. Currently, the West End has more acute parking issues than any neighbourhood in the City. Lack of on-street parking leads to residents spending about 5 minutes and 1 km of additional driving to find parking, while visitors spend about 10 minutes and drive 3 km to find parking. It is also the largest permit parking zone in the city, leading to cross-neighbourhood driving, rather than permits facilitating on-street parking close to a resident’s home.
During the planning, the City found that the West End has ample unused off-street parking spaces, presenting an opportunity to improve street parking availability for those who need it by encouraging use of off-street parking. The strategy will also reduce time spent circling the neighbourhood looking for parking.
After taking the draft strategy to the neighbourhood in summer 2016, staff revised it based on community feedback. The resulting proposals include:
- To ensure that long-time residents on fixed incomes aren’t unduly impacted by cost-of-living expenses, existing permit holders will be exempted from the market-based permit price
- New parking permits will be $30 per month, a 40%-reduction over the originally proposed $50 per month.
- New permit parking prices will only apply to new parking permits.
These changes are not intended to increase revenue for the City, but are intended to help the flow of traffic and parking in the West End. Revenue from parking will be returned to the community as part of a participatory budgeting pilot done with the community. The model of participatory budgeting is yet to be determined.