Many downtown commercial locations have closed their doors -parking outside those doors is now free - go figure.

News 100 yellowBy Pepper Parr

March 17th, 2020



There is an upside to this COVID-19 business: in its continuing effort to support citizens and slow down the COVID-19 virus, payment is not required for on-street parking or in municipal parking lots until further notice.

Wow !

This is to take away numerous people touching the same parking machines throughout the day.

Parking MMW + Brian Dean with head of meter

Brian Dean and then ward 2 Councillor Marianne Meed Ward holding one of the last coin only parking meters in the city

Parking enforcement for lack of payment is also suspended. Machines are being put ‘out-of-order’ and covered with stickers to let patrons know that payment is not required.

Parking enforcement is currently limited to safety-related issues such as fire routes, accessible parking, no parking/stopping areas and blocked areas. Time limit restrictions have been relaxed to help those working from home or self-isolating.

For this measure to be successful and deliver its intended relief, it is imperative that parking permit holders in municipal lots continue to park in their assigned lots.

Residents who would like to dispute a ticket, can do so online or via a phone meeting. Because ticket review requests have dropped in volume, parking services is reducing the number of days per week that online and phone requests will be reviewed.

Online and phone ticket reviews will be held on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays between the hours of 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., until further notice.

The city advises that the best thing residents can do to protect themselves and the community, is stay home.

The Crisis Management Team (CRT) has certainly busy. Earlier in the day the Mayor announced that the city is now at a Level 3, which means the CMT is Full Activation – High – Crisis – Mission Critical – Impacts the ability for the Corporation and/or Department or other service areas to deliver essential services and/or impacts the community on a large scale.  A Level 3 activation would mean the activation of the City’s Emergency Control Group (ECG).  No definition of just what power the Emergency Control Group has and how it operates.

For further information and updates, the City has launched the webpage

Mayor Marianne Meed Ward is in “complete support of the City’s decision. The COVID-19 situation has created a lot of uncertainty and worry for many residents — paying for parking while ducking out quickly for food or supplies shouldn’t be one of them.

“In addition, relaxing time limit restrictions will help those community members working from home or self-isolating. These are difficult times, but we will get through them, as long as we continue to follow the advice of our medical professionals and employ social distancing. Please remember to check in on family, friends and neighbours via phone, email and social media.”

Ward 2 Councillor Lisa Kearns has advised that “At this time, it’s so important as a city to focus on essential services, including parking.

“Keeping visitors and patrons safe while parking in the downtown remains a priority. We recognize our downtown partners require support as many have temporarily closed or modified operations.”

If all the commercial doors are closed – why will people be downtown? Just asking.

Kearns - office art

Lisa Kearns – gets a price for the nicest office decor

Kearns adds: “I am encouraged that offering this relief is one additional way we can show that we are all in this together.”

Brian Dean, Executive Director, Burlington Downtown Business Association “appreciates the flexibility in parking operations toward our continued growth in this uniquely challenging time.”

There is a lot of sunshine and lollipop banter in some of the dribble coming out of city hall.

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3 comments to Many downtown commercial locations have closed their doors-parking outside those doors is now free – go figure.

  • Stephen White

    If City Hall were really smart they would forego charging parking for several months after the COVID-19 pandemic has ended in order to spur retail sales purchases and help rejuvenate local businesses that have been hard hit.

  • steven Gardner

    And for anyone bored at home Fifferent Drummer Books is offering free delivery of your purchases.