City Hall to add pay parking in lot

City council says it's on board with plans to start charging for after hours parking at the lot beside City Hall.

Under the new system, pay parking would be enforced between 4 pm and 11 pm on weekdays, and 6 am and 11 pm on weekends.

Parking Services Manager Dave Duncan says part of the issue right now is that the lot becomes too hot a commodity on event nights.

"Because it's the only lot in the area that is unrestricted in the evenings, it's often the first to fill up. So we get left with the lot being full well before any events start, and then anyone else coming downtown to access any of the other waterfront ammenities - they're left with little options for parking. Or, they can use the parkades," he said.

Currently, the lot is restricted to city employees from 6 am to 6 pm, with free parking after that.

With public pay parking starting at 4 pm, the lot will become a more efficient option, and not fill up as fast on downtown event nights.

Duncan says the nearby Memorial Parkade would also lower its special event pricing to $2.

Duncan also reminded council that parking fees get paid back into infrastructure.

"Parking revenues are used for parking infrastructure - like our parkades, our parking lots, our operations, so that the parking services function does not impact taxation at all - it's completely self-funded, and puts some money away towards major infrastructure projects in the future. And as well, we do have a contribution to offset taxation each year."

City Hall parking will be consistent with other municipal lots, at $1 per hour, and $6 per day.

The idea is to incentivize more people to park in parkades after hours, as they're free when there isn't a special event.