Montreal's Plateau hikes parking prices
Borough looks to visiting drivers to solve budget shortfall
Last Updated: Thursday, October 28, 2010 | 9:03 PM ET
Parking will soon become more expensive in Montreal's Plateau Mont Royal borough thanks to the addition of hundreds of new parking meters combined with a meter rate hike.
Parking rates in Montreal's Plateau borough will go up in 2011. (CBC)The borough's plan includes adding 600 new parking metres to commercial streets running east-west and raising the rates to $3 per hour in 2011, officials announced Thursday.
Borough Mayor Luc Ferrandez said the new parking plan will generate an additional $6 million a year in revenue, money which should eliminate the borough's $2 million budget deficit, as well as its $2 million debt.
A recent deal made with the city of Montreal allows boroughs to take a cut of parking revenue.
Ferrandez also says the revenue will go toward projects on the specific streets where metres will be added and other tasks that have been neglected.
"For years, we didn't have this $2.3 million to invest in the cleanliness of our parks, the cleanliness of our streets," said Ferrandez. "Now, we will have this money, so the residents should see an enormous difference."
Paying for that difference will be the approximately 80,000 drivers jostling for parking every day on the Plateau. According to borough statistics, almost 50,000 of those people don't live in the borough.
Ferrandez says the new system is a way of generating revenue without increasing taxes to all Plateau residents, 50 per cent of whom live without a car. Ferrandez also says in the spring, the borough will begin selling a pass to Plateau residents allowing them to park on any residential street for $5 to $10 a day.
Despite the efforts to mitigate the effects of the changes, parking will become more expensive for Plateau visitors, and businesses are worried more expensive parking will mean less customers.
Tasha Morizio, who works at Rouge Nail Bar, a nail and pedicure spa on Saint-Laurent Boulevard, says the business is still recovering from a summer of construction, and she worries higher parking rates might do even more harm.
"To raise it on top of that is ridiculous," said Morizio. "Our customers already have a hard time parking on the Main, so to eliminate free parking is taking a toll on our clientele."
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