Approach to parking rules/restrictions and curbside management during COVID-19

City of Halifax Councillors are eager to learn what other jurisdictions are doing relative to curbside management and parking practices during this unprecedented period of time. If you are developing a plan, or have one already in, please would you be willing to share your experiences?

Posted by: Victoria Horne, City of Halifax
Date: March 31, 2020


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  1. City of Victoria went a couple of weeks with very limited on-street enforcement and we saw what we would expect, downtown commuters and residents simply parked on the streets all day. While we did not advertise that enforcement was limited to safety issues and lenient enforcement of loading zones, the public understood quickly tickets were not being issued and payments reduced quite quickly. Parkades remained open with regular rates and there was a major decrease in parkade use. Transit became free at the beginning of march and even so most commuters chose to drive to ensure distancing from others, so we were seeing many new downtown drivers. There was resentment from this group as they were not used to paying parking fees.

    Two weeks ago a couple councillors brought a motion to make the parkades free to the public during this pandemic. Council deliberated and asked Staff for recommendations. Last Thursday we brought forward a plan to reduce parkade parking to $1/hour with a $5 daily maximum. $5 is the amount for a day pass on Transit. On-street parking was also reduced to $1/hour with no parking limit. The intent of this is to create some turnover but allow for the option should people want to park longer on the street. Yesterday was day one and a reduced ambassador team issued warnings to remind the public that paying for parking is encouraged. I took many calls yesterday regarding the changes and for the most part people understood, however the public would certainly like to be parking for no cost.

    The main intent to continue to charge for parking downtown is to ensure streets do have some turnover, although obviously business is not per usual downtown, but we do have some still operating and people are still coming to town for short visits to conduct whatever businesses the need to. Keeping staff employed is also very important to Council. Having on-street ambassadors walking the streets (we have them walking in pairs, distanced of course) allows for the City to have eyes on the street and able to report various issues including safety, garbage issues and possible crimes that may have occurred.

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