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'It's asinine': Inner city residents critical of new street parking permits

Calgarians who live in multi-residential buildings will soon have access to new permits allowing them to park on the street near their home, but it will come at a cost.

The residential parking zone passes, which could cost up to $150 per month, permit owners to park their vehicles in designated street parking spots within 150 metres of their home in high-congestion parking areas.

The permits will be available to Calgarians who live in multi-residential buildings with more than 20 units as well as those that are at least four storeys tall.

"We were aware of the fact that our residential parking system was very inequitable," said Gian-Carlo Carra, councillor for Ward 9.

"It turned over the public street that we all pay for to a limited number of people and it wasn't cost-effective."

Residents of condo and apartment buildings were declared ineligible for parking permits as a result of changes to the policy approved by council in January, 2021.

The current on-street parking permit program allows residents to get permits for free, but that comes to an end in 2023.

"They're, in essence, destroying the property values (of our homes). Instead of being able to recoup that by taxation, they're going to basically nickel and dime us with parking permits, which we've had forever," said Anthony Wecels, who has lived in the community of Mission for 18 years and uses on-street parking.

Under the new permit program, each apartment or condo unit will be limited to just one non-transferable, paid permit. The paid permit doesn't guarantee parking, as the zones will be open to the public.

"It really just gives them the access to the system, so they'll have to consider that in their decision, in terms of buying the market permit," said Chris Blaschuk, interim general manager of the Calgary Parking Authority.

"There's no guarantees. It's asinine. I still can't get over that this decision was made in such a vibrant community," Wecels said.

The exact monthly fee will be determined by council during budget discussions in November. City officials say the proposed price of the new permits is similar to the cost of off-street parking options and a subsidized rate is being considered for low-income Calgarians.

So, what if someone with a paid on-street permit can't find parking within their zone?

"We really encourage them just to look at the full range of travel choices they have and parking options. In addition to parking within their building, they may be able to get stalls from neighbours or park in other locations," said Blaschuk. 

Council approved the new permits on Sept. 13 and the program is expected to be rolled out by the end of the year.

For additional details visit City of Calgary — Residential Parking Zones. Top Stories

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