AN NPA government will make metered street parking outside the downtown core free on Sundays and statutory holidays, and will reduce meter times across Vancouver to make the city friendlier to families, seniors and those with mobility issues who need cars, mayoral candidate Kirk LaPointe announced Wednesday.
He says meter times will end at 8 p.m. instead of 10 p.m.
“The extended times were brought in for the 2010 Olympic Games, but they have stuck. It’s nothing more than a way to gouge motorists,” he said. “There’s no reason Vancouverites should pay for parking that late into the evening.”
LaPointe said the current rules punish many, including people who must get around by car for work or health reasons, small businesses whose customers include motorists, and parents with young children who bring strollers and other supplies on outings with them.
LaPointe said an NPA government will expand the use of mobile technology and smart meters to share information on parking availability and explore the use of variable pricing to better match demand with supply.
By promoting mobile technology, providing free parking on Sundays and holidays outside of downtown, and reducing meter hours from 10 p.m. to 8 p.m., the NPA is showing respect for Vancouver businesses and motorists, he said.
He said Vision isn’t rooted in reality with its current parking-meter policies.
“[Mayor] Gregor [Robertson] and the Vision machine don’t accept the fact that sometimes driving is the only option for many people. They want Vancouverites who rely on cars to pay up,” he said. A break on parking-meter times could help small business and be good for tourism.
LaPointe said: “Forcing metered parking on the city 365 days a year is a money grab. The NPA wants to add to the liveability of an extremely expensive city by giving Vancouverites, particularly its vulnerable residents, a break.”