Extended parking zones could come to Calgary downtown and Beltline

With the economic downturn, the City of Calgary is considering converting some short-stay parking zones into long-stay spaces.

City considers 4-hour parking limits for 160 spots during economic downturn

A city council committee heard Wednesday about a plan to get better use from some short-term on-street parking zones by allowing people to park there longer. (Dave Gilson/CBC)

It could soon be easier to park for longer periods of time on some downtown streets.

With the economic downturn, the City of Calgary is considering converting some short-stay parking zones downtown and in the Beltline into long-stay spaces.

Because of a noticeable drop in traffic and vehicles parking downtown, the city is looking at turning 160 parking spaces that are now two-hour spots into four-hour parking zones.

The chair of the transportation committee, Coun. Shane Keating, said this could mean more revenue and better use of the space, even if it costs a bit of money to change the signs.

"Are you going to incur expenses to give better service? Naturally. And is it worth the expense? That's what should be studied, but I think any time that you're giving better service to the residents of Calgary, it's probably worth a small investment," Keating said.

If approved, the new rules would not necessarily be permanent. They could be changed back once the economy rebounds.

City council will discuss the issue later this month.

With files from Scott Dippel