Drivers adapting to Victoria’s new Sunday pay-parking rules

Motorists are beginning to adapt to Victoria’s recent move to pay parking on Sundays, city staff say.

“We figure right now that we are at about a 60 per cent compliance,” Susanne Thompson, the city’s director of finance, told councillors in a quarterly update.

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“We are seeing more [parking] capacity on the street. We still have people who park all-day long, [but] we are not in full enforcement yet.”

Thompson said that the Yates Street and Centennial Square parkades continue to fill up on Sundays but there is plenty of parking in the city’s other three parkades.

“So we are not seeing the full movement into the parkades yet, but we do anticipate that … in a week or two when we will start actually formally ticketing,” Thompson said.

The city’s new parking regime went into effect May 1; however, the city is still in the information and awareness stage — issuing reminder notices rather than tickets to people parking on the street on Sundays.

Thompson said that the transition is going relatively smoothly.

“People seem to be, maybe I shouldn’t use the word ‘happy’ to be paying, but we’re not getting a lot of negative comments around it,” she said.

“So hopefully we’ll see more of a transition of the people who are currently continuing to park all day on the street to move either into the parkades or [to using] alternative transportation modes.”

The new Sunday parking rules mean pay parking is in effect at on-street meters daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. seven days a week.

Parking in the city’s five parkades continues to be free on Sundays and holidays and from 6 p.m. until 8 a.m. In city parkades, the first hour of parking is free every day.

City councillors plan to use the estimated $500,000 to $600,000 in new Sunday parking revenue to help provide free bus passes to youth under 18. The estimated cost of the youth bus passes is about $1 million a year.

The change is also designed to improve parking turnover on the street, freeing up more spaces.

On-street parking at downtown meters Sundays have a four-hour time limit, compared with a 90-minute limit the rest of the week.

The hourly Sunday parking rate downtownfor many spots is $2, and $3 an hour the rest of the week. In spots that normally charge $2.50 an hour, the Sunday rate is $1 an hour.

Street parking continues to be free 6 p.m. to 9 a.m. seven days a week and all day on holidays.

bcleverley@timescolonist.com

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