Pembroke Delays Free Parking Pilot Project


Pembroke is delaying a plan to experiment with free parking in the city's downtown core.

On Tuesday night, City Council agreed to begin the six month pilot project on January 1, 2020.

It will see free two-hour parking along metered areas of Pembroke Street West between Mackay Street and Hincks Street, and on metered side streets along that stretch, except for Renfrew Street.

A previous council decision laid out a November 1st start date; however, Council voted to reconsider the matter after hearing from the Pembroke Business Improvement Area and others.

Because free parking is already offered during the month of December to promote shopping downtown over the Christmas shopping season, Council decided it would make more sense to begin the 6-month experiment on January 1st.

The move will allow them to gauge the reaction and response to it during a variety of weather conditions.

The experiment is part of a bigger plan to assess the future of downtown parking, sparked in part by a PBIA request to remove parking meters altogether in a bid to make downtown shopping more attractive.

The City brings in $48,000 a year from the meters and would like more time to evaluate the response to the pilot project before making a decision on the future of the meters.