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City rethinks parking strategy after $480,000 shortfall

Apr 12 2012

Victoria will be updating its parking strategy in the wake of a half-million dollar shortfall in last year's anticipated parking revenues.

The $480,000 shortfall came from three areas, said Dwayne Kalynchuk, the city's director of engineering.

Both the View Street and the Broughton Street parkades saw a drop in revenue. The sale of on-street construction permits - bought by developers to take parking spaces to allow for construction - was also down.

"It's just there's a slowdown in construction, so not as many people were taking out the on-street permits," Kalynchuk said.

A walkway to the View Street parkade was closed for the better part of a year due to construction, he said. "That, we think, affected our revenues as people chose not to park there," he said.

He said the number of people using the Broughton Street parkade was down after some government offices moved. "That's starting to rebound now as things are settling down," he said.

Kalynchuk said that overall, revenue from street parking was fairly consistent.

The city has revised projected revenues from parking this year downward to $15.6 million from the $15.9-million 2011 target.

As part of the update of the city's 2007 parking strategy, the city's entire parking operations will be reviewed, Kalynchuk said.

"We're going to review it to see if we're doing it the most optimal way to maximize revenues and minimize costs," he said.

Among the things that will be looked at are on-street parking and how tickets are issued, Kalynchuk said.

"Is there some better way for people to pay their tickets? Can we have them done at the machines?

We're starting to look at all things to see how can we improve our customer service to make it more convenient," he said.

Two years ago, the city replaced the majority of its 1,900 parking meters with 270 new pay stations. One of the expectations was that parking revenues would increase due to the city picking up "found minutes" that motorists left on meters.

With the pay-by-space number system, there's no way of telling whether a spot still has paid time.

Kalynchuk said it didn't turn out to be much of a factor. "I did look at that last year and we discovered it was a very small percentage. So that's stayed fairly consistent over the last two to three years."


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