City councillor wants variable parking rates

Posted By: Laura Casella · 2/19/2013 10:18:00 AM

City councillor Marvin Rotrand says Montreal needs to start looking at street parking as an urban development tool, not just a revenue stream. He is proposing that meter rates be set block by block and month by month to encourage parking in some areas, discourage it in others.

The idea is to make parking rates flexible based on demand. Hence, rates would increase in overused, busy stretches, and drop in underused areas.

Rotrand says this is a more intelligent way of handling parking problems.

"Right now there are certain parts of downtown where it is impossible to park. That tells me the rates are too low or too low part of the day when the demand is too high."

He believes this system, which is currently used in San Francisco, would benefit merchants in busy areas because it would create a high turnover rate. 

"There will be parts of the day where the rates will actually be lower than the current rate," he says, "because people aren't using the spaces. Probabaly not in the heart of downtown, but in the periphery." 

Rotrand has also recommended to the executive committee member responsible for transport that the base parking rate increase to $4 an hour in some areas in 2014. 

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