Calgary pilot project aims to create more parking spaces downtown

CALGARY- As the downtown parking crunch continues to infuriate commuters, the city is looking for new ways to increase the number of spaces.

City council has approved a review of the downtown parking policy, to see if there are better ways to keep up with demand.

“We need to figure out how many cars we can pack into downtown, how many more people we can bring in on transit, how many more people we can [provide incentives] to walk and cycle to the downtown,” explains councillor Gian-Carlo Carra, “if we are going to continue to keep this economic engine humming and firing on all cylinders.”
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Calls for more parking spots are coming from the business community, says Mac Logan, the general manager of City Transportation.

“The message that we are getting from the building development industry is the supply of employee parking is not meeting what the market demand is.”

The mayor says part of the problem comes from increased density in the core.

“People [used to have] larger offices, so the ratio had a certain number of people to a certain number of square feet. I am told it’s about half of that now, so we’re getting twice as many people in the same space,” said Mayor Naheed Nenshi. “So it’s probably a good time to look at that ratio.”

The city is currently studying the use of buffer zones around intersections. One idea being floated around is to allow Car2Gos to park in a special zone near traffic lights, freeing up more on street parking for private vehicles.

A pilot project is about to get underway.

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