64% of Metro Vancouver drivers against pay parking for residential streets: survey

Dec 14 2021, 10:29 pm

Nearly two-thirds (64%) of drivers in Metro Vancouver are opposed to the idea of being required to pay to park their cars on residential streets overnight, according to the newly released results of a Research Co. survey.

The representative survey was conducted in late November 2021, following the debate within the City of Vancouver on implementing mandatory overnight parking permits for all residential streets. In October, Vancouver City Council narrowly killed the controversial residential parking permit proposal by city staff.

Amongst respondents in Vancouver, 61% noted overnight residential street parking permits are a bad idea, and a similar proportion of 62% in Surrey said the same. For other areas in the region outside of Vancouver and Surrey, 67% are opposed.

Half (51%) of drivers across the region say they park their vehicle in a garage, while 13% have a garage but don’t use it for their vehicle, and 22% park their vehicle in a shared parkade, such as in a condominium building.

For off-street parking usage, there were comparable proportions amongst Vancouver and Surrey respondents, respectively: 46% and 54% having a garage and using it to park their vehicle; 12% and 15% having a garage, but don’t use it for their vehicle; and 17% and 22% parking their vehicle in a shared parkade.

A significant majority of 70% of drivers in the region assert it is harder now to find a vehicle parking spot in their city — up 11% compared to a similar survey by Research Co. conducted in November 2018.

The new survey also found that 27% of drivers in Metro Vancouver have received a parking ticket over the past two years, with 17% receiving a ticket from a municipal government and 15% by private parking management companies.

Respondents in Vancouver reported they were more likely to receive a parking ticket from the municipal government over the last two years, with 30% noting they have received a ticket from the City of Vancouver. In contrast, 10% of Surrey respondents reported receiving a municipal ticket in their jurisdiction.

More than two-thirds (68%) noted they paid their municipal ticket quickly to get a discount, while 26% covered the full amount days later and 6% never paid it.

Tickets issued by private parking management companies saw compliance rates of 56% paying quickly, and 30% covering the full amount later. But the proportion admitting to never paying the fine is more than two times larger at 15%.

In 2019, the City of Vancouver’s total annual parking revenues reached about $75 million, representing a $8-million year-over-year increase and accounting for 5% of the municipal government’s overall 2019 operating budget of $1.5 billion. In contrast, the City of Surrey’s total annual parking revenues in 2019 were $4.3 million on an operating budget of $780 million.

Metro Vancouver Regional District released a regional parking study in 2019 that found apartment parking supply exceeds use across the region for both rental and strata buildings, with parking supply exceeding use by 42% for strata apartment buildings and 35% for market rental apartment buildings.

Municipal governments have also been allowing new building developments to provide reduced parking requirements near major public transit services, and for rental housing. Last year, Vancouver City Council took a step further by approving a study exploring the elimination of minimum parking standards for new buildings.

For residents of these new buildings who use a vehicle, the reductions in off-street parking within buildings increases the demand for on-street parking.

Kenneth ChanKenneth Chan

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