City of Vancouver considering mandatory parking permits for all residential streets

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Residential parking permit requirements could be extended to all residential streets, based on a new proposal from City of Vancouver staff.This recommendation, which will be presented to city council next week, is part of a list of major strategies that are part of the new Climate Emergency Action Plan (CEAP) proposed by city staff.

If approved, parking permit requirements would be extended to all residential streets in Vancouver starting in 2021.

Currently, beyond the downtown Vancouver peninsula, residential streets requiring a mandatory parking permit are typically located near employment areas, such as shopping districts.

Annual parking permit fees currently range from $ 41.32 for residential streets outside the metro area to $ 393.27 for the market rate in the West End of downtown Vancouver. The non-market rate in the West End for low-income households is $ 82.67.

The rate is currently higher at $ 61.02 for residential streets near and within the Vancouver General Hospital campus.

City staff say they are currently modeling the impact that varying city-wide parking permit rates would have on transportation behavior, vehicle purchasing decisions, overall ownership and emissions.

This includes a possible additional surcharge on parking permits for new, more expensive gasoline and diesel vehicles, with the aim of discouraging the use of these higher emission vehicles and encouraging the purchase of zero emission vehicles, like electric battery cars. Initially, this will apply to new vehicles with a higher purchase price.

Prices for parking permits will initially be set “low” to provide residents with an adjustment period. City staff say their long-term goal is to create a market-driven parking permit program “in which the price of a permit fluctuates with supply and demand taking into account income. , disability and other equity-oriented factors ”.

In 2019, parking permits brought in $ 1.2 million in revenue to the municipal government. Expanding the parking permit requirement across the city will increase this revenue stream from $ 1 million to $ 2 million per year initially, and potentially $ 15 million per year after three years.

“Today, almost a third of the space on city streets is dedicated to parking. This significant part of the street space is only available to households with vehicles. For more than a quarter of Vancouver households who do not own a vehicle, it adds little value, ”reads a report from city staff.

“In addition, the majority of on-street parking is either free or grossly undervalued in relation to its value to the community as a whole and does not reflect the demand for parking for the space or the potential for redefining priorities. space to serve public transport, walking, cycling or additional public space. ”

As part of the CEAP, the city is also taking steps to eliminate parking minimums in newly constructed buildings across the city and establish “modest parking maximums”, which includes protecting the supply of accessible spaces. By allowing new developments to build fewer vehicle parking spaces, this policy is intended to be another municipal tool to discourage car use and encourage travel by public transport, on foot and by bicycle.

Eliminating parking minimums could also reduce the cost of housing, as developers pass on the cost of providing parking to owners and tenants. Depending on the city, each underground parking stall can cost up to $ 50,000 to build, and there are also additional emissions related to the amount of concrete used.

City staff say the elimination of parking minimums should be done in conjunction with the city-wide parking permit requirement, as “there is great potential for new residents to use free parking and unregulated nearby to store their vehicles.

Last month, city council also passed a motion from its members asking city staff to explore eliminating minimum parking standards.

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