Parking, parking, parking – free on Saturday’s and all of December. Add to that an increase of 25 cents an hour.



By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON. June 24, 2013.  The city is getting creative.  They are totally revising the way parking is going to be managed and paid for starting with a fee increase of 25 cents an hour.  BUT – parking will be free on Saturday and free for the full month of December.

The city manages 1400 parking spaces in the downtown core.  People in this city have complained for years about having to pay for downtown parking – “it’s free at the malls” they will say, to which those commercial establishments downtown scoff.  Free, not a chance – the cost of parking at the malls is built into the rent the retailers pay.

The new high tech parking , meters come in all sizes – they can be pretty pricey as well.

But the perception is still there – so the city has decided to do everything it can to make parking easier.  “People don’t come down to park”, Brian Dean told a council committee meeting.  “They come downtown because it is a destination they have chosen and we want to move the experience to the destination and not putting money in a parking meter”.

To make all that happen the city will be installing new parking meters.  You will no longer park in a space that is set out by parking spots – there won’t be any parking spots.  You park your car wherever there is space and walk to the nearest parking meter and make payment.  Meters will be conveniently located.

The units chosen by Edmonton came in at a reported price of $12,ooo EACH.  Given the buttons on the thing one might have to take a quick course at city hall to learn how to use the thing.

And – making that payment is going to be a lot easier.  Cash, credit card, debit card and via your Smart phone are all options that will be part of the new parking meters.

Depending on which technology they go with a system might allow a merchant to give you token you can put in a meter or validate your parking receipt and deduct the cost from your purchase.  Much of that will be worked out when the decision is made as to whose equipment will be purchased.  The city has set aside $487,000 to buy new parking meters and instructed the Director of Transportation Services to have them in place and operational by the end of the year.

One will need a sense of humour to fully appreciate what the new high-tech parking meters are capable of doing.

The new parking meters are expected to have a number of payment options – how many will determine on who the equipment provider chose.  The city has decided to go high-tech and make parking much less of a hassle and have you focus instead on the reason you came downtown in the first place and not on that parking meter.

Currently the time limit at a meter downtown is two hours – that will be upped to three in January 2014.

When will all this wonderful stuff happen?  Assuming Council passes the recommendation July 2nd – the units will be in place and operational the first of January – unless they count that as a holiday for parking purposes.

Now if they’d let you put your election ballot into that card slot you could tell them how you really feel about the new parking deal coming your way.

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1 comment to Parking, parking, parking – free on Saturday’s and all of December. Add to that an increase of 25 cents an hour.

  • Downtown parking fees discourage downtown shopping and use of museums/art centres, parks, etc. Parking at malls may be built into product prices, but I haven’t noticed prices at downtown merchants being any lower than those at the malls. We use city streets freely to move around (costs covered in city taxes) so why not allow us to stop and shop without having to pay for the privilege? For this added convenience, I use the malls and seldom bother to go downtown.