City council has designated the the west side of the 300 block on Cedar Street near the curling rink as a pilot project to provide all-day parking for commuters. Currently there are no meters on that block and parking is free.
Twenty-one meters will be installed that will charge $5.00 per day, the equivalent of the rate charged at the parkade. The matter came to council because anything other than the current $1.25 per hour in city parking meters requires council’s approval.
City planner Alex Thumm told council on Monday that the pilot is part of a larger downtown parking strategy that will come to council in the near future. He said the idea of designated commuter parking zones is not new.
“It is a tried and true method (in other cities) for people who need to commute to work.”
Explaining the rationale for commuter parking zones, Thumm’s written materials presented to council read: “Many commuters currently rely on two-hour parking and must move their vehicle several times a day. Creating distinct, metered commuter parking zones may make it easier for commuters to find parking in less time than it currently takes if they know where these zones are. Commuter zones should also help reduce direct competition between downtown residents and commuters for parking.”
Councillor Robin Cherbo asked if there is a similar plan for Lakeside Drive near the airport. Thumm responded that Lakeside Drive may be a future site for commuter parking.
Councillor Michael Dailly said if the city is bringing in a new parking strategy it should include encouragement of ride sharing and carpooling for commuters.
Revenue from the 21 commuter parking meters would amount to about $2,100 per month.
This story was altered on January 12 to add the second sentence in paragraph 1.