Time’s up for 10-hour parking meters

Daniel MacEachern
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St. John’s set to reduce limits on downtown spaces

Downtown St. John’s parking meters, your time is running out.

The city is set to move ahead with its plan to reduce lengths people can use parking meters — the 10-hour limit on Harbour Drive meters will be replaced with a two-hour limit, while any four-hour meters that are occupied more than 85 per cent of the day will have their limit cut to two hours.

Related stories:

St. John’s set to look into electronic ticketing

The big rejig

“This was planned all along with the building of the two new garages that now provide day-long parking for employees that work in the downtown,” said Coun. Sandy Hickman this week. “The real reason for a meter is for turnover for shoppers, for diners, etc. But we had a problem a few years back before the parking garages were built and there was a need for day-long parking.

Before the garages were built, said Hickman, the city needed day-long meters downtown, and decided the harbourfront was the best spot.

“Now the time has come to move along with our plan, so that’s all we’re doing now,” he said.

City council will still have to approve the committee’s recommendation at a future council meeting. It’s part of a suite of changes the city is considering for downtown parking — other proposed changes include raising rates for on- and off-street daytime parking permits, as well as changing how permits are awarded. The committee this week also recommended pursuing electronic ticketing.

If city council approves the limit changes on parking meters, the city plans to implement the changes May 1.

A report on the meter change says the city will need more enforcement — an estimated half of a full-time position — but expects to offset the cost with more ticket revenue.

dmaceachern@thetelegram.com, Twitter: @DanMacEachern

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Recent comments

  • Jay
    February 29, 2016 - 13:02

    2 hours is not long enough to shop and have lunch. I would recommend 4 hour meters

  • Taxpayer
    February 27, 2016 - 23:31

    In a lot of cases those using the meters are the very ones you are trying to attract to downtown businesses. In most cases two hours is not enough if you want to have a leisurely lunch or have to attend a meeting. Make them at least 4 hour limits. I for one will avoid downtown if my main focus is feeding the meter!

  • Brian
    February 27, 2016 - 15:20

    The decisions that this council and the councils for the past 12 years have made related to the parking meters are all about generating revenue from the shoppers in St. John's . The council suggests that it is about serving the shoppers but revenue from parking and expired meters is the driving force for these changes.Mayor and councillors : fix the potholes, clean up the streets, light the crosswalks and give the Mayor a one way ticket off the Island . I don't mind the mayor going to Florida but I have a problem with him returning.

  • mainlander
    February 27, 2016 - 11:59

    Are these parking garages city-run or run by for-profit companies? Just curious who is getting the revenue.

  • Doris
    February 27, 2016 - 10:30

    Why don't you put more disability parking downtown,I wanted to go to one store downtown last week I circled around four times before I ended up going home,I wasn't looking to park directly in front of the store,but being wheelchair it would have been nice to park a few doors away.All these small business owners who complain about their taxes being raised try getting a blue zone in from of your restaurant so we all can be treated fair.Right now on Water Street there is four disable parking two on each side,on the Waterfront there is one that was just recently put there in front of the Keg.ill try once more to get parking if not I'll order it online,what I need only can be bought at this small store,now look around and see why these stores close up.

  • justin case
    February 27, 2016 - 10:05

    I seldom go downtown due to parking issues. Stressful at best. Now the chances of going there are seldom to potentially never. Unfortunately another nail in the business community of 'ole St. John's . Never saw a council so intent on creating hardship for it's citizens and businesses. Hopefully the next "crew" have a positive approach.

  • Oh no
    February 27, 2016 - 09:39

    This council has to go. People that work downtown need a place to park.. It's bad enough they have to pay for it but next they will have to get dressed and go to feed the meter every 2 hours. If they can't get away, they get a ticket. It's like they want to upset everybody. A 2 hour meter will not help shoppers geta spot. Workers will park and stay there and put up with the tickets.

  • Observer
    February 27, 2016 - 09:08

    About time, I say. And while they're at it as they move into the 21st century at a glacial pace, instead of hiring more enforcement at an estimated half of a full time position, I suggest they raise enforcement hires even more and have them patrol the fire lanes and disabled parking spaces all over this city where people pull up and park with impunity, simply because they can since enforcement is virtually non-existent. The anecdotal evidence that we all witness every day around town suggests that new hires would be money well spent. It's high time we made these repeat parking offenders pay for their sense of entitlement and contempt for the law.

  • Nicolle
    February 27, 2016 - 06:35

    As one of the "shoppers" & "diners" that these meters are supposedly meant for, I often spend over 2 hours in any given restaurant downtown, as well as when I'm shopping on a nice day. Am I expected to leave my meal part-way through to go plug the meter? The maximum should be 3-4 hours. C'mon City Council use your brains.

    • YYT Reader
      February 27, 2016 - 15:40

      There is no charge for meters after 6 PM. How old are you if you're eating supper before 4 PM? If your dinner reservation is for after 4:00 you're fine either way. If it takes you several hours to eat lunch and you have to "leave part-way through your meal" you may want to delve into the reasons you're eating lunch for hours on end. If you're going to take longer than that to go shopping to park in the garage. The harbour front meters should be akin to an express lane at the grocery store. Have some common sense.

  • User
    February 27, 2016 - 05:29

    Too many two hour limits are no good. Often meetings or shopping trips lasts longer than that. Even longer if you have a disability. 10 hour limits are a bit too long, but four hours seem more ideal. A few more 30 minute limits outside banks, post office and fast food places wouldn't hurt.