Calgary administrators to examine ways to increase downtown office parking

AntTruckThumnailicipating dramatic population growth in the next few years, Calgary city council gave its administration the green light to explore options to increase downtown parking.

In a unanimous decision June 23, administration was charged with the task of examining options to increase the amount of parking spaces for downtown offices.

Reducing the parking ratio is an option that could be considered. The parking ratio for one stall is currently 140 square metres.

According to the General Manager of Transportation, Mac Logan, some downtown businesses have requested the city increase the amount of downtown parking spaces.

Multiple councilors noted that while the current downtown parking policy has been a boon in its ability to encourage transit ridership and maintain the integrity of inner city neighborhoods, changes are needed to lessen the parking crunch and keep the downtown dynamic.

"The reality is we have an unbelievably vibrant downtown," says Coun. Gian-Carlo Carra. "Our downtown is going to continue to grow and we have to accommodate more people going into downtown. This downtown policy review is saying let's make sure it is up-to-the-minute to deal with the growth we'll be experiencing."TelusConParkadeThe current parking ratio for a parking stall is one parking stall per 140 square metres. Changing that ratio is a potential option that Ciy Council will consider to increase the amount of downtown office parking spaces. This is the parking lot of the Telus Convention Centre.

Photo by Paulina Liwski.

Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi said "there is a sense the pendulum has swung too far" and the policy now does not fit with the amount of people working downtown and the fact office spaces are smaller than in past years.

Coun. Druh Farrell supported a review of the downtown parking policy, but she urged administration "to proceed cautiously" because the current policy "is the envy of many cities across North America." She said a misstep could "undo generations of good work" in putting forth a prudent parking plan for the downtown core.

City council will discuss the findings of this pilot project in July.

The next city council meeting will not take place until July 21 due to the Calgary Stampede.

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