Parking fees headed to downtown Tofino

Parking rates are going up in downtown Tofino.

The district introduced paid parking at local beaches in 2021 and initially expected to introduce city center parking fees in 2022, but reluctance from the town’s council, coupled with staff turnover and competing priorities Postpone that plan until this year.

“In hindsight, the delay proved to be a valuable opportunity to review the lessons learned from the implementation of paid parking on beaches to improve the rollout of the downtown parking scheme,” said Aaron Rogers, director of infrastructure and public works, on March 28. wrote in a report reviewed by the Council of Japan.

The downtown plan is expected to go into effect on May 20 and will run seasonally from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily from May through October.

“Staff understand that any parking plan must include accommodations for residents to shop, use the bank and pick up mail without having to pay for parking during the summer,” Rogers’ report reads. “Previous regional parking studies highlighted that Tofino Parking demand is highest between 10:00 am and 6:00 pm, resulting in a shortage of parking spaces.The Downtown Paid Parking Program recommends eight hours of operation per day from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm to ensure residents can still complete their daily/weekly errand.”

The program is expected to have start-up and operating costs of approximately $210,000 and will generate $440,000 in net income by 2023, with net income of $230,000. Combined with expected beach paid parking revenue, the district is projected to net $700,000 in parking fees in 2023.

The beach pay parking program is administered by Robbins through a contract with the district, which has agreed to a $152,898 contract to pay Robbins to manage the downtown plan.

“The goal of the Downtown Paid Parking Program is to encourage a constant turnover of vehicles to ensure open parking spaces are always available, encourage a shift in mobility patterns, and introduce additional revenue streams to support important district initiatives,” Rogers wrote.

The proposed rates are $1.50 per hour for the first two hours, $2 per hour for the third and fourth hours, $2.50 per hour for the fifth and sixth hours, $3 per hour for the seventh and eighth hours, That means people who occupy the same hours pay $18 for a parking space between 10am and 6pm.

“The intention is to (set) the fare high enough to encourage alternative modes of transport, or to change preferred travel times, but not so high that parkers are penalized for traveling to the city center,” Rogers’ report reads.

The downtown plan will include about 400 paid parking spaces, but excludes Campbell Street because it falls under the umbrella of Highway 4 and the provincial government’s Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure, Rodgers said, “which shows a reluctance to allow paid parking on highways.” Parking 4.”

Rodgers said the ministry has recommended that Tofino take over ownership of Campbell Street from the province and that regional staff are “keen to explore” the idea once the plan launches in 2023.

Any space currently allocated for offshore car parks would not be affected, he added.

The downtown system will be different than the beach system, which means beach parking passes are not valid in the downtown area and vice versa.

Rogers said paid parking expands municipal revenue streams and incentivizes and emphasizes a rapid transition to alternative and sustainable modes of transportation.

“The point of this is to make sure we have parking spaces available, so by pricing parking we want to see turnover, which means there will be open spaces for people to park,” he said, reiterating that another objective was ” Getting people out of their single occupant vehicles and other forms of transportation, especially our seasonal shuttles and bicycles.”

Downtown residents may be eligible for a free annual parking pass and an additional pass, but the cost “has yet to be determined,” he said.

“It’s about helping people get used to paying to park in front of their residence, who may have parked for free for decades,” he said.

Kiosks and signage will be installed, along with a community engagement process, before the program begins on May 20, he added.

“I would call it soft dating, that’s our goal, but parking is parking and sometimes things pop up,” he said.

county. Ali Sawyer asked about fee structures that ease the burden for people who don’t live near the city center, and asked people who just need to park for a few minutes instead of paying an hourly fee.

Rogers responded that the principle was to maintain the parking turnover rate, noting that parking before 10am and after 6pm would continue to be free, and suggested running the system this year and then “seeing how it feels and making adjustments as needed”.

“It’s something completely new to us. We know it works on the beach, and downtown parking lots are a little bit different,” he said.

Sawyer also questioned offering only one free pass to downtown residents, suggesting many households own more than one vehicle.

Rogers countered that residents should park on their property rather than on public roads.

“As stated in our bylaw, everyone should be provided with all the parking spaces for their lot. That’s what our bylaw says,” he said, acknowledging that vehicles “tend to overflow the public right of way that we all pay for,” and It’s hard to analyze how many passes each dwelling should get.

“How do you loosen it? I don’t know. What you can do is encourage people to pay for the space they actually use when they’re using it. I don’t know where I should start trying to figure out what the correct number is…I’m sorry for you There isn’t an easy answer to the question. I really appreciate it, and I look forward to seeing what the community thinks about it, and how downtown residents feel about it.”

Mayor Dan Law noted that public participation in the downtown paid parking program is expected to increase this week, but the contract with Robbins has already been approved.

“When we get to the official public comment phase, how much influence will the public have in changing all of this?” he asked.

Rogers said he has discussed with communications staff a comprehensive project expected to begin April 3, and that pricing, residential passes and hours of operation could still be adjusted based on public feedback.

“There’s room for some action there, but it’s limited to your point of view,” he said. “If I had to allocate a percentage for people to modify, I’d say 75-80% would be set and 20-25% we could move.”

Luo added that residents should understand that “parking is never free.”

“It’s paid for by taxpayers and grants. That’s something I remind myself a lot. Nothing we see is free, someone is always paying for it. It’s a way of shifting the cost of infrastructure to usage.” It’s the human way,” he said.

county. Tom Stere supports moving forward with the plan, but expressed concern about increasing Tofino’s daily living costs.

“Affordability in our communities, affordability in general, is a challenge,” he said. “As we start increasing the cost of living in our neighborhoods, I find it challenging … I still have trouble getting residents to pay for parking in a neighborhood where we’re already having affordability challenges. Saying it’s a big deal; it’s just going to keep adding costs … I can’t get away from that affordability factor.”

Rogers countered that the plan would likely affect tourists more than residents.

“Frankly, it’s mainly tourists who are paying in the city centre. There will be some residents, but it’s likely residents will have the opportunity to avoid the city center because they’re not here on holiday and they can make other choices,” he said. “Instead of seeing us as municipalities trying to charge more, we’re just trying to align who pays why. If you have a car and you park it downtown, you pay for the privilege. If you’re a People who walk or cycle, you’re rewarded for that because your taxes don’t go up.”

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