Parking Changes to Kelowna's Urban Centers
The City of Kelowna is making efforts to better manage parking congestion downtown.
On Monday, councillors approved a variable rate system, which will see rates increase for on-street parking.
Parking Services Manager, Dave Duncan explained that part of the change is to encourage the staff of downtown businesses to move into other facilities.
“Part of the recommendations is reducing the paid parking hours in the parkades from 6a.m. to 6p.m. down to 9a.m. to 5p.m. and at the same time increasing the on-street. So, it’s really having that shift in people from the on-street to the off-street and keeping spaces open for that short term customer traffic,” said Duncan.
Other changes include evening pay parking near the lake, a third hour addition to on-street parking and expansion of pay-parking to side streets in Urban Centres.
Natasha Elliott, with Urban Systems, said the downtown core will be subdivided into 3 zones.
“Zone A is the core right close to the lake and this area would have the introduction of evening pay parking. Zone B is the rest of the main downtown core and that's basically our status quo with a few tweaks to the rates and times. Finally, Zone 3 is up sunset drive and the northern end of Ellis St. These are mainly residential areas that we're seeing high occupancy, so this is the intro to pay parking but with no essential time restriction,” said Elliott.
The time limit for on-street parking will now include a third hour for $3.50, double the price of the first two hours, to encourage long-term parking in parkades.
Staff’s recommendations also addressed the issue of public parking spreading into residential streets.
The City is now adding a three hour time restriction on weekdays between, 9 a.m. and 6 p.m., for on-street parking in residentially zoned areas within major Urban Centres.
“The restriction, the reason we've got it on day times only, is really to stop institutions or businesses from using those residential areas as their parking lot,” said Duncan.
Residents can apply for street parking through the Residential Permit Program and Individual streets can submit a petition to have on-street parking restricted altogether.