The demise & rebirth of the residential parking program

Local residents were deeply concerned in March, when the City suddenly announced that our neighbourhood would no longer be covered by the residential parking program. This program, which has been in effect in Belgravia and the McKernan Hip for about 15 years, restricts parking to 2 hours from 8 am to 6 pm on weekdays, except for permit holders. Each household can have up to 2 permits.

The City’s rationale in ending the program in much of Edmonton was apparently to cut costs (for administration and enforcement) and open up what was considered an underutilized public amenity (street parking). The proposed changes to the program were approved by City Council’s Urban Planning Committee on March 19, 2024. There was a swift and very concerned response from many residents of Belgravia and McKernan, and from our councillor, Michael Janz, who is not a member of the committee. Cancelling the program in our neighbourhood would result in a substantial increase in the afternoon rush hour traffic backup,

a flood of additional vehicles from the new midrise buildings along the LRT tracks, and hazardous navigation of narrow streets filled with parked cars on both sides.

The BCL board invited Councillor Janz to attend our April 9 board meeting to discuss the impending program changes. Although the meeting was not widely publicized, about 20 residents of Belgravia and McKernan attended along with the BCL board. There was a spirited but polite and informative discussion. Councillor Janz said he would meet with representatives of the City’s residential parking team to present our concerns.

On April 18, we received word from Councillor Janz that the parking permit system would be retained on almost all the streets of Belgravia where it is currently in effect. The BCL board is grateful to everyone who contributed to the public engagement process, and to Councillor Janz for his intervention on our behalf!

A letter from the City describing the revised parking program was sent to Belgravians in early May. There are several important changes, which are being implemented in all neighbourhoods where the program operates, including an annual fee of $120 per permit and extended hours of restricted parking (8 am to 9 pm Monday to Saturday, and 10 am to 5 pm Sunday). The extended hours will be inconvenient for many Belgravians. The letter from the City states that the program’s impact will be studied, and further changes may result. Consequently, the BCL board has decided not to seek modifications at this time. Let’s hope the new program works well for Belgravia. It’s certainly better than having no protected parking at all!

For more information and to view the current residential parking boundaries map:

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