Free parking is disappearing downtown Nanaimo and parking rates are going up for the first time since 2004. It’s part of a new parking strategy for Nanaimo that will eventually see parking meters installed on Commercial St and in parts of the Old City Quarter. Parking in parkades will be cheaper than on-street parking.
On Monday night, Nanaimo Councillors approved the plan, which includes providing free parking in the Bastion St parkade on weekends for one year. That trial period starts October 1, 2014.
Rod Davidson, Manager of Parking Services, says streets in residential neighbourhoods near downtown, like the upper part of the Old City Quarter and Nob Hill neighbourhood, will be turned into 2 hour “Resident Exempt” parking zones. But Davidson says even residents won’t be able to park longer than a day.
Davidons says they’ll spend $50,000 on signage for those 2-hour “Resident Exempt” zones, and they’re getting a new license plate recognition car that’ll automatically keep track.
The changes are expected to net the City $872,500 a year once the parking plan is fully implemented in 2016.