The hourly cost of parking around Maple Ridge city hall is going up, effective today.
The city is working on a new commuter parking lot that is located on Edge Street, directly east of the Haney bus loop and the Ridge Meadows RCMP detachment.
And while construction is expected to take at least a month to complete, and a new fee structure will be imposed on that space once it’s done, the cost of parking at city hall is changing – effective July 1, said Mayor Michael Morden.
In past, both underground and surface parking lots at city hall were free for the first hour. After that, drivers previously paid 75 cents per hour to a maximum of $4.
Changing the decade-old rates, Morden confirmed that it now costs $1 per hour (with no free first hour any longer) between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. Mondays through Fridays.
But then after 6 p.m. there’s further changes. It now costs $3 for a flat evening rate between 6 and 11 p.m. during the week. And on Saturdays, Sundays, and statutory holidays, the first hour is free (with a registered licence-plate number) and additional hours are $1 up to a maximum of $4 for the day.
Moving forward, all parking will be registered using licence plate numbers versus the spot numbers.
Meanwhile, the cost or parking in the soon-to-be completed commuter lot will be $4 per day, or $60 a month, with details about how to obtain monthly parking permits promised closer to completion.
The new, permeable surface lot will add 128 new parking spots to address parking demands in the heart of downtown, the mayor said.
“Council ordered the construction of the new commuter lot as an interim measure along with rate adjustments to manage the weekday demand for parking,” Morden elaborated in a press release issued by city staff at the end of the day on June 30.
“This plan encourages commuters to use transit and recognizes the importance of supporting downtown events and activities on evenings and weekends. The new rates also fund development and maintenance of the new and existing parking facilities. Council has signalled future work to develop a comprehensive parking plan for the downtown core.”
For those not willing to pay the fees, there are a hundred spots available within a four minute walk of city hall that offer free parking for one- and two-hour durations, he added.
Pointingd to the successful introduction of the R3 Rapid Bus service, he said it has resulted in a significant demand by commuters for space in the underground parking structure, prior to COVID-19, limiting availability for customers at city hall and the adjoining business tower.
As the province moves into Phase 3 of the BC Restart Plan, transit ridership and parking demands are on the rise again, and he predicts the parking issues at city hall would return. He sees the commuter lot as a temporary solution.
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