With ongoing development downtown and more people moving in and out of the core, the City of Edmonton is changing the way it charges for on-street parking.
Starting Sept. 1, 2016, the City of Edmonton is extending EPark hours of operation in the downtown area from 6 p.m. until 10 p.m. on Rogers Place event nights. The rate will be $3.50 per hour from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., according to the City of Edmonton.
“The hourly extension is intended to help balance the limited amount of on-street parking spaces with the high demand for parking by businesses, residents and visitors, as well as to encourage event-goers to use alternate means of transportation, such as transit,” the City of Edmonton said in a media release Wednesday.
Right now, the maximum time you’re allowed to park with EPark during the day is two hours. However, the city’s acting director of parking management said that will also change on event days.
“Commencing at 5 p.m., you will be able to pay for five hours max. So you’ll be able to pay for the full stay from 5 p.m. until 10 p.m.,” Bohdan Maslo explained.
The affected EPark zone goes from 97 Street west to 109 Street and Jasper Avenue north to 107 Avenue.
“It’s an unfortunate side effect of growth and in particular the revitalization and growth of downtown,” Ward 6 councillor Scott McKeen said.
“I don’t know how you allot parking without using price as a way to do it.”
“This will be a work in progress and it’ll probably take a bit of time to get the prices right because we want to ensure that people who want to come and have dinner at one of the downtown restaurants can find a parking spot on the curb.”
On top of this, parking rates at the library and city hall parkades will also go up, effective Sept. 1. The library parkade evening maximum rate will increase to $10 every night.
The maximum evening rate at the city hall parkade will be $16 on event nights. A $1 per hour increase will be implemented after 5 p.m. on non-event nights. Daytime rates at the city hall parkade will not change.
The current daytime rates and free parking after 6 p.m. on non-event nights, Sundays and holidays remain unchanged. EPark rates outside the downtown zone will not change, the city said Wednesday.
The city said these changes are necessary in order to minimize the negative impacts on downtown residents and businesses.
Rogers Place will officially open its doors on Sept. 8.
The city said there are 18,000 parking stalls within a 10-minute walk of the arena, the vast majority of which are privately owned. The city said it has no control over the rates charged to park in privately-owned stalls.
The city will also implement two-hour parking restrictions in some residential areas around the arena to prevent event-goers from parking there. Increased enforcement will be in place to monitor parking violations.
People are urged to take transit to Rogers Place. For those taking LRT, the closest station is Bay/Enterprise Square Station, which is about three blocks from the arena. Extra trains will run on the Capital Line during hockey games and major events.