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.
“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.
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