Moncton mulls 110 new parking spaces

Moncton is considering adding dozens of new parking spaces it hopes will drive more people to the city's downtown.

Proponents say plan would boost business downtown

The plan would add 110 parking spaces to downtown Moncton. (Google Streetview)

Moncton is considering adding dozens of new parking spaces it hopes will bring more people to the city's downtown.

The $230,000 parking plan was presented Friday to city council. It would add 110 new parking spaces in the urban core to lure people to city centre shops.

Jacques Dube, the city manager, hopes it will help revitalize downtown.

"Clearly we want to attract more business downtown and we want to keep the business we have here right now. This is extremely important to do that," he said.

"This is really an economic development initiative, more than a parking initiative."

Ingo Flohr, owner of Moncton's Unique European Style Footwear, said additional parking is a good start, but  that the city needs to do more.

"If you compare this to other cities, like Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver or Calgary, they do a lot for downtown, they have nice events, even they have free street parking," he said.

Pedestrian friendly

Most of the new spaces will be on Main Street between Highfield and Lewis streets. Others will be on a stretch of Queen Street between Alma and Robinson streets. 

One plan for more parking spaces called for one-way streets and angled parking, as was present on Main Street in the 1940s. But the city said that would not work.

The architect who helped design the plan said pedestrian safety was also taken into account.

"The whole idea is to make it pedestrian friendly. By parking cars, traffic tends to slow down," Pierre Gallant said.

The spaces will be added this summer if council approves the parking plan.

The city hopes to add another 300 spaces in the future if the first phase is a success.