VANCOUVER City Council on Wednesday approved setting a new flat rate of $2 per hour for parking meters throughout Chinatown. The new flat rate introduces consistent parking pricing and supports the City’s efforts to revitalize the area as part of the Uplifting Chinatown Action Plan approved by Council earlier this year.
“Chinatown is an invaluable part of our city and we remain committed to revitalizing this historic neighbourhood so that it feels safe, easy to access and vibrant for visitors and businesses,” said Vancouver Mayor Ken Sim. “We heard loud and clear from the community that the cost of parking was a barrier to visiting and doing business in Chinatown. Lowering and making parking fees uniform will support the revitalization of this cherished neighbourhood.”
Currently on-street parking in the neighbourhood ranges from $1 per hour to $5 per hour during the day, and from $1 to $ 3 per hour in the evenings. The new $2 flat rate will take effect June 1 from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m., seven days per week and will be in place as a pilot until December 31, 2024.
Staff’s recommendation to introduce the flat rate parking fee was informed by feedback from more than 250 Chinatown businesses and organizations, who requested cheaper parking rates, and pointed out that current rates were confusing given that they varied from block to block.
Throughout the pilot period, the City will also explore how to improve loading opportunities for commercial vehicles, increase parking supply and improve safety in the Chinatown EasyPark lot.
The Uplifting Chinatown Action Plan was approved in January 2023 and focuses on providing Chinatown with enhanced cleaning and sanitation services, graffiti removal, beautification, and additional community supports. Work is underway, including on the City’s satellite office in Chinatown, and many actions in the neighbourhood have already been implemented. As part of this Action Plan, City staff were directed to review on-street parking meter rates, with the intention of making parking more affordable for visitors and businesses.