Kitchener parking changes get initial approval

Kitchener has approved a pilot project which will make changes to residential and overnight parking on city streets.

Council vote now required for changes to take effect

Currently, street parking is limited to three hours at any time, and overnight parking is prohibited between December and March. (Matthew Kang/CBC)

Kitchener city council's community and infrastructure committee has approved two pilot projects which could bring significant changes to parking in the city.

The first will allow drivers to park on the boulevard of a residential driveway. A boulevard is the paved area of a driveway commonly found between a sidewalk and a curb.

Initially envisioned as a yearlong pilot project, the committee passed an amended version of the motion that would only allow boulevard parking from December 1 to March 31.

Currently, parking on the boulevard is prohibited as city planning staff have raised concerns around visibility and property damage. In 2012, 930 tickets were issued for boulevard parking.

However, city operations staff noted that boulevard parking helps reduce road maintenance costs, particularly from snow plowing.

During the pilot period, city staff will determine whether boulevard parking can be used as a long-term solution to address residential parking issues.

Overnight parking time limit waived

The committee also voted in favour of ending enforcement of the three-hour parking limit on Kitchener city streets from 11:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. between April 1 and November 30 this year.

In 2012, 3,460 parking tickets were issued in the evening and overnight periods. 

However, a report prepared by the transportation services to council stated that overnight street parking from April to November does not raise many concerns with regard to traffic flow or access to driveways.

The change would effectively allow drivers to park on the street from 8:00 p.m. to 9:00 a.m.

Transportation services estimates that the changes to boulevard and street parking could cost the city almost $75,000 per year in lost revenue from parking tickets that won't be issued.

Both pilot projects now go to a vote at Kitchener city council. A final vote there is required before they can take effect.