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Street parking overhaul gets go-ahead from Edmonton councillors

Click to play video: 'Edmonton city councillors move forward on parking overhaul'
Edmonton city councillors move forward on parking overhaul
WATCH ABOVE: On Tuesday, Edmonton city councillors voted to accept a curbside parking strategy that will see public parking fundamentally change throughout the city. Breanna Karstens-Smith reports – Aug 23, 2022

Staff with the City of Edmonton will start work to implement a new strategy that will fundamentally change curbside parking in the city.

The Curbside Management Strategy is a seven-action overhaul of the system.

Read more: City of Edmonton considering widespread changes to public parking

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Changes will differ by neighbourhood and street, but could include higher fees for parking, less time allowed for parking and see some stalls transformed into patios, accessible parking or bike parking.

“Just (like) how we need to figure out how we share our space for other things, we need to figure out how we’re sharing our street space so that… it’s serving more people,” ward O-day’min councillor Anne Stevenson said Tuesday.

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Click to play video: 'City of Edmonton considering widespread changes to public parking'
City of Edmonton considering widespread changes to public parking

A former city planner, Stevenson said she’s excited for the plan and what it could mean for transportation throughout the city.

It is part of the City Plan, which was first approved in 2020. That set a goal of limiting all trips in Edmonton done by private vehicles to 50 per cent. The rest would be walking, biking or by transit.

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Ward sipiwiyiniwak councillor Sarah Hamilton says the plan will help drivers when new amenities like parks, rec centres and LRT stations are built nearby.

“As LRT goes into neighbourhoods, for instance, we want to make sure neighbourhoods are prepared in advance so that they are not having to then go and petition for a parking program, get their passes sorted out,” Hamilton explained.

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“It’s details like that, but it affects livability.”

While this will affect some residents who are used to parking for free outside their homes, the city says it will make changes on a case-by-case basis depending on a neighbourhood’s needs.

Click to play video: 'Edmontonians in Forest Heights voice concerns over parking issues'
Edmontonians in Forest Heights voice concerns over parking issues

Kevin Petterson spoke in favour of the plan Tuesday.

Formerly in commercial real estate, he changed his focus to parking at the beginning of the pandemic.

He founded Zipstall, which helps people find parking and offers them a place to pay for it.

“Instead of forcing people to use seven different parking items, we’re trying to provide a single solution that gives them all the options,” Petterson told Global News.

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“Like Expedia did in the travel space.”

He said he likes the direction council is going with the parking plan but believes there could be more partnership with private agencies.

“The City of Edmonton represents roughly 18 per cent of the total inventory of stalls downtown, and that’s not enough for them to really effect change or to implement full holistic solutions,” Petterson explained.

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The city will move forward on the seven-point plan with the full implementation expected to take between five and seven years.

While staff draft exact details, there will be public consultations and information sessions.

Click to play video: 'Edmonton halts EPark enforcement changes to accessible placard holders'
Edmonton halts EPark enforcement changes to accessible placard holders

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