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Coronavirus: Penticton suspending pay parking on city streets during pandemic

Penticton’s decision to offer free parking follows what other cities across the nation are doing during COVID-19 pandemic.
Penticton’s decision to offer free parking follows what other cities across the nation are doing during COVID-19 pandemic. Global News

The City of Penticton says as part of its response to coronavirus concerns, it is suspending pay parking on city streets until May 30.

The decision follows what other cities across the nation are doing during the COVID-19 pandemic, including Kelowna, which announced free parking in select areas on Tuesday.

READ MORE: Regina cancelling parking tickets issued to health care workers during COVID-19 pandemic

“This decision supports shorter visits to businesses and access to essential services in our downtown through this difficult period,” Penticton mayor John Vassilaki said in a press release.

“It also recognizes the current reduction in parking activity overall and the reduced requirement to empty meters, thereby allowing our bylaw officers to respond to other more pressing needs across our community.”

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The Downtown Penticton Association (DPA) said it likes the decision to suspend pay parking.

“From the DPA’s perspective, any time the city grants complimentary parking downtown it is a benefit to businesses,” said DPA executive director Lynn Allin.

“Providing free metered parking downtown is a first and timely step toward supporting those businesses that are currently operating during this challenging time.”

READ MORE: City of Kingston waives hourly parking fees in response to COVID-19 pandemic

While it’s free to now park on city streets, monthly parking fees at the city’s scramble and reserved lots, as well as hourly pay stationed lots, remain unchanged.

The city added that all traffic bylaws remain in effect, except for paid on-street parking restrictions.

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“While parking is free, the time restrictions will remain to discourage the long-term use of on-street parking spaces,” says bylaw services supervisor Tina Siebert.