Paid parking approved around Halifax Common
Halifax regional council has approved a proposal for 90 paid parking spots around the Halifax Common.
Councillors approved the plan — which will affect parking on Rainnie Drive, Ahern Avenue, Cogswell and Trollope streets — without debate on Tuesday.
"In this day and age, no, I don't think it's unreasonable to say that free parking, it's no longer here," said Coun. Dawn Sloane on Monday.
"People want certain amenities in their communities and it's a user-pay system."
Currently, commuters can park on the affected streets all day for free. Once the machines are in place, it will cost $1.50 an hour for parking or $7.50 each day.
A third of the spaces will be limited to two-hour parking spots to ensure people who want to skate on the oval can find a place to park.
"Either we have all free parking in our downtown core or we start looking at other opportunities where we could make money and put it towards our transit so that people would not have to take their cars downtown," said Sloane.
"That's the issue right now, is how do you fund something that is underfunded that needs to be taken care of?"
A staff report said the parking ticket machines could cost up to $70,000 to buy and install, but the parking would generate about $135,000 each year in revenue.
Paid parking around the Halifax Common has been considered before, most recently in the form of daily and monthly parking permits. Councillors rejected that plan.
John Schmeisser, who works at the Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Centre nearby, said he isn't keen on the paid parking but prefers it to the permit proposal.
"Before what they had was, more or less, pay your money and take your chances," he told CBC News.
"That wasn't very fair because if you had a parking permit, you're not guaranteed a spot and I'm sure they wouldn't give you a refund."
David McCusker, the manager of traffic and transportation services for the Halifax Regional Municipality, said it could take six months to decide which machine type to install.