A new survey shows Calgary has the second-highest monthly downtown parking rates in North America, right behind New York City — and not by much.
The Colliers International global parking survey was released on Wednesday — just two days after Calgary city council rejected a proposal to reassess downtown parking fees.
The survey found unreserved parking in New York City costs $500 US a month. In Calgary, comparable parking costs the equivalent of $460 US a month.
Ramona Holmes, who parks downtown every day, said she's resigned to paying $21 daily for her prime spot on Ninth Avenue S.W.
|Canadian metropolitan parking rates||Median monthly rate (US)||Median daily rate (US)|
|Source: Colliers International|
"I'm actually quite lucky because my office is just quite close by," she said. "My husband is a few blocks further, a little bit further east, closer to the Westin and stuff, and there, per day ... it's way more than what I pay."
Dale Fraser of the Calgary Parking Authority said the city's parking rate is still a lot cheaper than what private companies charge. He expects the rates will slip as demand decreases in a slower economy.
Calgary Ald. Joe Connelly said the high rates are hurting the local economy.
"I talked to businesses that won't locate in the downtown because they've got to pay their employees 500 bucks a month on parking. That's a big hit when you're a new business coming on," he said on Wednesday.
However Noel Keough, an assistant professor of sustainable design at the University of Calgary, said the parking fees can actually help wean people off their vehicles.
"One of the best carrots to get people into the mode of taking transit is to increase parking fees," he said.
Toronto has Canada's second-highest downtown monthly parking cost at the equivalent of $305 US a month, and is slightly ahead of Calgary in the daily rate: $22.50, compared with $22.