A new parking strategy outlining a variety of parking changes in Nelson could increase the economic viability of the downtown area, according to the city’s development services director.
City council adopted several proposed amendments that would relax current parking restrictions, reduce congestion, and allow access to street parking during the winter months.
“We are trying to find a balance between easier parking and managing maintenance year-round,” says Sebastien Arcand, director of development services for the City of Nelson.
The downtown parking strategy went through three rounds of public engagement during its development. The city conducted two surveys that focused on downtown employee commuting, and a general parking strategy survey with the hopes of getting feedback to shape the recommendations for developing a better, congestion-pollution free city.
City staff compiled all the research from the surveys, and from consultations, to come up with items that would be items that would require immediate implementation. Those amendments include:
Reducing cash in-lieu fee
Adding a dwelling into a home could mean adding an additional parking space for an incoming resident. But that could cost thousands of dollars in assessment fees and construction. The fee is being dropped from $10,000 to $3,000 and would provide curbside parking for a resident. It’s predicted to aid in active transportation over time, staff say.
Double Bicycle Parking
Having more access to bike parking within the city would encourage more active transportation and reduce the need for passenger vehicles, staff say This would also meet the increasing demand for long-term bike parking within the city while promoting a more environmentally friendly alternative for Nelson.
Introducing winter-only parking permits
Weather conditions in winter can hinder parking, especially if you live in the downtown area on one of the laneways off the downtown core, Arcand says Winter-only parking would give those residents access to street parking when the build up of snow and ice make off-street parking in laneways inaccessible.
“These new parking regulations are an option, and are not mandatory,” says Arcand. “All we are doing is providing a more feasible, and financially sound way of parking.”
City council passed the amendments to the parking bylaws after a presentation by development services.