DWBIA pleads with council to reject expanded parking enforcement hours

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The Downtown Windsor Business Improvement Association is pleading with council to vote against a recommendation to expand parking enforcement hours.

DWBIA chair Chris MacLeod appeared before council Monday as part of the public consultations for the 2024 budget process.

MacLeod says they're concerned when you increase parking limitations, you unfairly impact business that are located within areas with on-street parking versus other choices consumers have within the city.

"When they can go somewhere else for an evening dinner, that doesn't require them to pay for parking after 6 p.m., that decision by council will change people's decisions and their behaviours," he says.

A recommendation in Windsor's proposed 2024 budget calls for parking enforcement hours to be extended by three hours.

Parking meters are currently enforced Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. but the budget recommends extending parking meter enforcement to 9 p.m. in a move to increase revenue.

MacLeod argues that if the goal is to increase revenue, the city is already using the Parking Passport program, an app that allows people to pay for parking via their phones.

"It could be expanded to other areas of the city that don't currently have metered parking at minimal additional investment because it is an app. You are looking at signage not a significant capital investment. It would share the burden among other businesses throughout the city and not disproportionately impact our downtown businesses," he says.

Currently, most lots charge a flat rate fee between 6 p.m. and midnight. The draft budget also recommends increasing the fee from $3 to $5.

City council will continue the budget process on Monday, Jan. 29, 2024.