Downtown Nanaimo parking rates increased in new strategy

NANAIMO – Plan aims to increase turnover on busy streets while filling often-empty parkades.

Drivers will need more spare change to park on downtown streets this fall as the city rolls out the first phase of a new parking strategy.

On-street meter rates are expected to increase for the first time in a decade this October as the city acts on parking changes approved by Nanaimo City Council Monday.

The City of Nanaimo has proposed a $897,250 multi-year parking plan aimed at increasing revenue, filling parkades and speeding up turnover on busy streets. According to a city report, more traffic downtown has created congestion  where parking is free and high use of public streets in residential areas where people park their vehicles and walk to work. It’s left the city with underutilized parkades and merchants that see little turnover of traffic on streets in front of their businesses. The city’s parking rates also don’t support financial obligations for annual repairs, maintenance and debt repayment for parkades, the report says.

The new strategy would eventually see the elimination of free two-hour parking and new meters in popular downtown areas like Commercial Street and the Old City Quarter – a cost politicians will consider during budget talks.

Nanaimo city council has opted to begin rolling out the plan this year with two-hour restrictions in downtown residential areas and new meter rates that will see it cost more for premium on-street parking than parkades.

Street stalls will increase from 50 cents an hour to $1.25 while parkades will cost 75 cents for two hours. There will also be rate increases for off-street facilities, including a hike from $3 to $9 for 12-hour parking at the city’s Cavan, Wallace and Wentworth street lots. A one-year program will offer free evening and weekend parking at the Bastion Street parkade.

Mayor John Ruttan called the plan a positive change.

“I know one of the concerns I get all the time is there’s not enough parking downtown and I think part of the answer to that is there’s not enough movement of cars from the existing parking,” he said. “I think this would certainly help.”

Coun. Bill Bestwick took issue with giving away parkade parking. The city, which recently spent $200,000 on repair work at the Bastion Street facility, would lose more than $2,000 monthly if it allowed people to use stalls at no cost on evenings and weekends.

“We have to maintain that and I can’t imagine giving parking away,” he said.

Coun. Bill McKay suggested the city review parking structure for hotels to increase revenue.

Changes approved this week are expected to be in place by Oct. 1. It will cost an estimated $62,250 and is expected to generate more than $300,000 in increased annual revenue. The entire plan, proposed to take place over three years, would increase revenue by $872,500 each year.

Just Posted

Regional District of Nanaimo is seeking input from the public for its transit redevelopment strategy. (News Bulletin file)
Public input sought as RDN works on transit redevelopment strategy

RDN wants to know where people want bus stops, shelters and pedestrian and cycling connections

Douglas Holmes, current Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District chief administrative officer, is set to take on that position at the Regional District of Nanaimo come late August. (Submitted photo)
Regional District of Nanaimo’s next CAO keen to work on building partnerships

Douglas Holmes to take over top administrator role with RDN this summer

(PQB News file photo)
Fireworks report highlights enforcement challenges for Regional District of Nanaimo

Director: ‘I just think it’s wasting everybody’s time’

Neighbours fight a small late-night bush fire with garden hoses and shovels in Cinnabar Valley on June 5. They couldn’t get help from local fire services because the fire was located in an area under B.C. Wildfire Services jurisdiction. (Photo courtesy Muriel Wells)
Nanaimo residents on edge of city limits left to put out bush fire themselves

Cinnabar Valley residents tackle fire with hoses and buckets for two and a half hours

Nanaimo artist Dave Stevens is displaying paintings inspired by arbutus trees and the Millstone River at Nanaimo Harbourfront Library from now until the end of fall. (Josef Jacobson/News Bulletin)
Nanaimo writer and artist’s work goes up at Harbourfront library

Dave Stevens presents work inspired by arbutus trees and the Millstone River

Members of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ Marine Mammal Response Program rescued an adult humpback what that was entangled in commercial fishing gear in the waters off of Entrance Island on Thursday, June 10. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Response Program)
Rescuers free humpback ‘anchored’ down by prawn traps near Nanaimo

Department of Fisheries and Oceans responders spend hours untangling whale

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

“They will never be forgotten, every child matters,” says Sioux Valley Chief Jennifer Bone in a video statement June 1. (Screen grab)
104 ‘potential graves’ detected at site of former residential school in Manitoba

Sioux Valley Dakota Nation working to identify, repatriate students buried near former Brandon residential school

The Queen Victoria statue at the B.C. legislature was splattered with what looks like red paint on Friday. (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)
Queen Victoria statue at B.C. legislature vandalized Friday

Statue splattered with red paint by old growth forest proponents

Most Read