Nova Scotia

Permit parking proposal could shut down free parking

The number of streets around the Halifax Common that offer free parking may dwindle because of a proposal to add six more streets as permit-only parking .

Six additional streets proposed for 6-month permit parking pilot project in Agricola area

Permit parking for the new list of interested streets is not a done deal. A majority of local property owners have to vote in favour before a six-month trial period can begin. (CBC)

The number of streets around the Halifax Common that offer free parking may dwindle because of a proposal to add six more streets as permit-only parking .

The proposal would eliminate free parking in those zones and instead require motorists to buy permits.

They could cost between $35 and $40 a month, depending on where the parking spot is, but there would be no cost for local residents.

"Before we do anything, we need to know that there’s an agreement amongst the majority [of residents] on that street that there is a problem that they’d like to see addressed. If there is interest on that block, we would run that [pilot] for three months and then go back and petition again to see if they’d like the changes to remain permanent," said Dave McCusker, transportation planner with the municipality.

Permit parking for the new list of interested streets is not a done deal. A majority of local property owners have to vote in favour before a six-month trial period can begin.

This wouldn't be the first group of streets to agree to permit parking in an effort to deal with congestion from day parkers.

Eight streets, including Maynard and West, agreed to try permit parking as a pilot project in 2011.

Those areas have decided to extend the trial for another year before making it a permanent solution.

Now there is a proposal to put other streets under parking restrictions — including Creighton and John streets, as well as parts of Charles and Agricola between Cunard and West.  

Jennifer Jacobson owns Studio 14 Gifts and Gallery along that section of Agricola.  

"There would be no place for my customers to park. People wouldn't be able to pull up and bring out their framing. It would not be good for business," she said.

The local councillor, Jennifer Watts, said those concerns can be addressed:

"That there are spaces available, particularly at the corners and that is signed for one or two hours," she said.

But Watts added people should get used to paying for parking on peninsula — or find an alternative mode of transportation:

"I think that, that will become a growing reality, that parking is going to be limited," said Watts.

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