Nine recommendations by City staff to solve parking problems in the West End. The public should have a chance to speak to Mayor and City Council when the topic comes up in the fall of 2016.
A year ago, West End residents learned that the City of Vancouver was consulting the public and looking for solutions to parking problems in the West End. In July 2016 we learned that staff had issued nine recommendations, including a 700% percent increase in resident parking permit fees.
Paul Juzkow, a twenty-five year resident of the West End, has spent a lot of time and effort investigating the issues, taking notes and making observations, corresponding with City Hall, and talking to community members on the topic of parking issues and the nine recommendations. He has kindly shared with us some excerpts of responses from the City, plus his own comments and observations. We are happy to post them here, noting that the opinions are his. See our July 14 post for his earlier comments, plus links to media coverage (Resident critiques City’s bulletin on new West End parking policy recommendations after public outcry).
The consultation process has basically ended, and City staff are expected to submit their report to City Council this fall. That will be the public’s last and only real chance to speak to Mayor and Council, your elected officials, on this topic.
Anyone who will be affected by the proposed parking changes in the West End, now is the time to prepare to communicate with Mayor and Council (once the meeting date is set and documents are available).
Nine recommendations from the City:
- Charge market-based rates for new parking permits
- Keep existing permit holders on the same rates
- Create a parking benefit district
- Divide the permit zone
- Unlock unused parking
- Improve parking enforcement and driving alternatives
- Let visitors park in residential spaces when it’s less busy
- Add parking meters to some visitor parking spaces
- Convert some residential parking to visitor parking
West End Parking Changes Update
By Paul Juzkow, October 18, 2016
The City replied to me on an email that I had sent listing my evaluation of the City’s 9 recommendations regarding parking in the West End (I am “against” 1, 4, 8, 9, “for” 5 and 7, and “neutral” on 2, 3, and 6). (See full details on the City’s web page, http://vancouver.ca/streets-transportation/west-end-parking-strategy.aspx). My comments are based on what I heard from residents of the West End and some of my own ideas. In this post I share the responses I received from the City, and my comments on each one.
Additionally, many people have asked me to comment on the Mobi Bicycles. At the bottom, I share some thoughts about the impacts of the Mobi bike-sharing system, Construction, and Movie Filming, on parking in the West End.
RESPONSES FROM CITY OF VANCOUVER, AND COMMENTS BY PAUL JUZKOW
Recommendation 1: “Charge market-based rates for new parking permits”
City: “The price increase is intended to reduce the difference in cost between on-street and off-street parking. $50/month would fall near the low end of off-street parking prices in the West End. The risk in implementing a smaller increase, or series of smaller increases is that it wouldn’t achieve the goal of equalizing the cost of parking choices in the neighbourhood.”
Paul: My position is “against.” The City doesn’t even mention my main objection, i.e. that this will decease affordability in the neighbourhood. We are going to make our neighbourhood way less affordable to save some residents “5 minutes and over 1 km of extra driving.” I think residents would pick affordability over the 5 extra minutes any day!
Also, the City also doesn’t mention that this dramatic increase goes against the City Council approved Transportation 2040 plan which states the intent would be to “gradually raise prices.” 700% is not a gradual increase!
Recommendation 3: “Create a parking benefit district”
City: “Regarding the re-investment of parking revenues in a West End benefit district: Our recommendations will be part of a council report that will fully state our intentions on this issue. More details on the benefit district and potential ways to create or enhance West End amenities will be available moving forward.”
Paul: My position is “neutral.” If the City does proceed with these parking changes it could result in up to $5 million more collected from parking permits and meters. We would want this money spent in the West End! From the response it sounds like this will be recommended. Continue reading