Park Board to expand pay parking within Queen Elizabeth Park

Dec 2 2020, 12:55 am

Free parking within a major lot at Queen Elizabeth Park will come to an end starting on January 1, 2021, after Vancouver Park Board commissioners approved next year’s parks and recreation budget in a meeting on Monday evening.

There is currently one remaining free parking lot, located near the southern end of the park, next to the pitch-and-putt course and tennis courts. Amongst the budgetary items in the approved 2021 budget is turning this parking lot into paid parking.

“This parking lot is being occupied by park users, visitors to neighbouring areas and construction crew on developments in the vicinity,” reads a Park Board staff report.

“By implementing paid parking, the lot would be consistent with other paid lots in the park and will help to deter traffic that is not using it for its intended purpose.”

The low season rate for this parking lot will be $2.65 hourly or $7.25 daily, while the peak season rate is $3.65 hourly or $13.50 daily. An annual pass is $160.

The installation of two metre stations at the parking lot will cost $15,000. Once operational, the estimated revenue from this parking lot is $100,000 to $130,000 annually.

The other two parking lots in Queen Elizabeth Park are paid parking, and there limited free curbside street parking remains within the park’s local roads.

queen elizabeth park pitch and putt parking lot

The Pitch-and-Putt Parking Lot at Queen Elizabeth Park. (Google Maps)

Revenues from parking at parks and community centres typically generate about $8 million each year for the Park Board, but due to COVID-19 and the months-long closure of Stanley Park to vehicles, the revenues from parking in 2020 will be considerably lower.

For 2021, parking revenues are anticipated to reach $7 million within Park Board jurisdiction due to continued health restrictions that will lower demand.

Various Park Board parking rate changes for 2021 will increase total revenues by $225,000 to $300,000.

“Efficient parking pricing provides numerous benefits including improved user convenience by ensuring parking spaces turnover, limited use of parking stalls for non-Park Board activities, and increased revenues. Parking rates are determined based on a scan of competitive lots and meter rates in the relevant areas, with consideration given to affordability of parks and recreation users,” continues the report.

“For 2021, there is an opportunity to increase some parking rates by higher percentages given the factors just mentioned, and that improvement in parking revenues further help support the Parks and Recreation system including Park Maintenance.”

Additionally, the Park Board will align its pay parking policies for Canadian Forces veterans with Vancouver City Council’s recent approval of a year-long pilot project of free parking for vehicles with veterans licence plates. This will limit the confusion between parking lots managed by City of Vancouver and its Park Board department.

The 2021 budget for the Park Board is set at $136 million, with $43.6 million from revenue and $96.7 million from tax-based operating funds. The 2021 multi-year capital budget is set at $77.4 million.

Capital and maintenance improvements from capital reserves for golf course improvements will be directed to finance and expedite the Park Board’s golf strategy.

Over the longer term, the Park Board has plans to perform a redesign of Queen Elizabeth Park. Preliminary planning on a new park master plan is underway.

The entire Park Board budget for 2021 still needs to be approved by city council for incorporation in the City of Vancouver’s overall budget. This is expected to happen on December 8.

Kenneth ChanKenneth Chan

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