Sudbury

Parking in downtown Sudbury: the changes you should know about

Parking meters in downtown Sudbury have been replaced with parking pay stations, part of the new pay-by-plate parking system. The new parking system also brought a few changes to parking in the downtown.

Pay-by-plate machines accept cash, credit and debit

The new parking machines accept cash, credit and debit as payment for parking. (Jamie-Lee McKenzie/CBC)

Parking meters in downtown Sudbury have been replaced with parking pay stations, part of the new pay-by-plate parking system.

The new parking system also brought a few changes to parking in the downtown.

The HotSpot parking app was introduced earlier this year. It allows customers to pay for their parking through the app which is connected to a credit card.

A three hour time limit has been set to most downtown street parking — Elm Street parking is limited to two hours — and downtown has been divided into parking zones. Elm Street is zone one and the rest of the streets in the downtown are zone two.

"If [people] need to go to another street within that zone they don't have to enter another payment, that payment is still valid and it's still that maximum three hours... previously if somebody left a parking spot they can't take that payment with them," said Brendan Adair, the city's manager of parking.

The new pay stations accept cash, credit and debit. However, you will not be able to top up your time past three hours. As there are no time limits for parking in municipal lots, Adair suggests if you think you'll need parking for longer than three hours you should park in a lot.

He says because the machines remember your license plate, as long as there is time left in the parking session, you can move your vehicle to any other available spot in the same zone and through the HotSpot app. People can also get a refund for parking time that wasn't used. 

Accessible parking hasn't changed, said Adair, as long as there is a valid Ministry of Transportation accessible parking permit on the vehicle, parking is free up to four hours.

However, there have been some kinks to work out with the new parking system and being able to pay for parking through a machine before 9 a.m. is one complaint that the city is currently working to fix.

The new pay-by-plate machines have a strict three hour limit for parking in downtown Sudbury, Brendan Adair suggests if people need to park longer they should park in a municipal lot. (Jamie-Lee McKenzie/CBC)

"We're actively looking for resolution where payment will be able to be made as early as 7 a.m. but then not applied until 9 a.m. making parking more accessible for people and allowing them to make early payment that is not applied until 9 a.m. so we're happy to see that change," said Adair.

He says while there have been some complaints, which have mostly been about understanding how the machine works, overall the new parking system has been a positive change.

"It will hopefully help us implement incremental parking, where previously parking spaces were very specifically defined by a meter head now with the machines and the use of signs we hope to be able to have additional spaces added on street which hopefully supports downtown parking overall," he said.

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