Committee approves charging for residential street parking in Calgary
CALGARY -- Calgarians could soon be charged for street parking in residential areas near their homes.
A city commitee voted 5-4 Wednesday in favour of a proposal which says residents should be charged on a sliding scale between $52 and $125 per year.
The matter will now be voted on by council as a whole next month. If passed, the change will come into effect in 2022.
Under the current residential parking rules in Calgary, there is no maximum on the number of permits an address can have. The first two are free and the rest cost $52 a year. Vehicles must be registered to the address and each residence can get two visitor passes.
By comparison, in Edmonton a maximum of two vehicles can be registered to an address for free, and residents get up to two visitor passes. And in Montreal, drivers can get one permit per person, which costs between $13 and $260 per year, depending on what part of the city they live.
In Toronto, permits are based on need, with no maximum, and are sold on a month-to-month basis, with the first vehicle at a residence with no on-site parking costing $226 a year and additional permits $476. Permits cost $667 if there is on-site parking available.
In Vancouver, residents can get unlimited permits at a cost of $39 to $386 per year, depending where they live. Visitor permits are $10 a week for up to three months.
Prior to Wednesday's vote, Ward 11 Coun. Jeromy Farkas called the proposal "complete nonsense."
"It’s ridiculous to charge people to park in front of their own homes. People shouldn’t have to pay to park in front of their own house. This is just more nickling and diming," he said.
"The city is partially to blame with approving developments with huge parking relaxations in the first place, which has really further escalated the problem. Especially in an economy like this, I don’t think we should be increasing these fees so a charge to park in front of your own house is really the last thing we need right now."
Calgary's Residential Parking Program has been in place since 1974.
"Calgary’s system was introduced after a period of growth in the 1960s and 70s that led to parking congestion in areas immediately surrounding downtown," reads the report.
"Originally only capturing a few neighbourhoods south of downtown, as the city grew more zones were added. Today there are 80 zones spanning all four quadrants.
"The program has evolved through various decisions of council, bylaw amendments, internal policies and practices, but it has never been included in The city’s overall parking strategy. Because of this, the residential parking program has not kept pace with changes the city has seen over the same time."
According to the report, about $100,000 is recovered each year and the program costs about $1.4 million to operate.
With files from CTV Calgary's Mark Villani