Free no more: City of Vancouver to charge for 2-hour parking spots in West End

Paid parking meters are currently being installed in the area and should be operational by next week.

'Bringing in the metre will actually encourage turnover,' according to City official

The city said rates will start at $1 an hour, but will be reassessed next spring. (Gian-Paolo Mendoza/CBC)

There will soon be no more free two-hour parking in Vancouver's West End.

Paid parking meters are currently being installed and should be operational by next week.

Lon LaClaire, Director of Transportation for the city of Vancouver, said paying to park is actually a good thing for drivers, because it's going to free up parking spaces.

"We saw that people were driving around for up to three kilometres looking for a parking space, which is really a poor level of service," said LaClaire. 

"Bringing in the meter will actually encourage turnover."

LaClaire says parking in the West End will cost one dollar an hour to start, but that will be reassessed next spring.

He said the city is also looking to charge for what is now free parking in the Olympic Village and on Great Northern Way near Emily Carr University.

With files from Deborah Goble.

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