Parking meter policy changed to meet increasing demand
A new meter parking policy that comes into effect Sept. 1 is expected to help the University meet the increasing demand for parking on campus by ensuring meter spots turn over more often.
Judy Wall, acting manager of parking services and financial and operational analyst in Consumer Services, said the changes will see the U of S charge for meter parking from 7:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week. Currently, meter parking is free from 6 p.m. Friday to 7:30 a.m. Monday. Wall pointed out the rate for weekend parking will be lower than the weekday rate – $.75 per hour as opposed to $1.25 per hour – and the meter time will be four hours instead of two.
A major factor in the change is the potential loss of Parking Lot 1 across from Place Riel due to development of the new transit hub and a possible expansion of St. Thomas More College, she said. The transit hub project will go ahead this fall on a trial basis but if its permanent location encroaches on Lot 1, “parking there will be minimized at the very least if not eliminated altogether so the usage of meters in that area will go up quite substantially. Enforcing the four-hour parking restriction on weekends is necessary to keep users from staying longer than allowed and depriving others of the chance to park.”
The University is doing everything possible to meet the parking needs of both visitors and the campus community, she said, but “there are no grants that subsidize parking. It’s totally fee for service.” Parking revenue from all sources including staff and student lots, and meters totaled $2.7 million in 2005. Those funds pay for snow clearing, gravel, signage, electrified spots, parking permits and a portion of road maintenance on campus. There will be no additional cost to the University associated with the change, she said, because parking enforcement staff already work weekends.
Parking Services will make every effort to ensure both the campus community and the general public is aware of the change prior to Sept. 1, Wall said.