CALGARY- In an effort to free up spaces in Banff’s popular town centre, drivers will soon be charged to park in certain lots.
Starting August 1, pay parking will go into effect in five lots near downtown:
- 100 block of Bear Street – next to Town Hall
- 200 block of Bear Street – across from the Bison Courtyard
- 100 block of Beaver Street – behind the Clock Tower Mall
- 100 block of Beaver Street – behind the Mount Royal Hotel
- 200 block of Beaver Street – behind the Visitor Centre
Those lots currently see many drivers stay past the time limit. However, handicapped stalls remain free. Rates will be $2 per hour, from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily.
The idea was sparked after a study found there is a current parking shortfall of 125 spots during peak periods, which is expected to triple over the next decade unless action is taken. 30 per cent of traffic in the area is caused by drivers looking for parking, and a survey found 72 per cent of visitors expected to or would pay for parking.
The trial runs until October 31, after which point council will look at the program and if it has an impact on traffic patterns and public perception.