Vancouver's Chinatown $2.00 per hour street parking rate starts in June

Apr 27 2023, 1:32 am

A new measure to help support struggling businesses in the historic Chinatown district was unanimously approved by Vancouver City Council this afternoon.

City Council followed City staff’s recommendations and endorsed the introduction of a new flat rate of $2.00 per hour for metered parking on the curbside on-street parking spaces throughout Chinatown.

The new $2.00 flat rate for all streets within Chinatown will start on June 1, 2023 from 9 am to 10 pm, seven days per week, and will remain in place until at least December 31, 2024.

It will be a pilot project to determine its effectiveness.

Currently, on-street parking rates in the district ranges from $1.00 per hour to $5.00 per hour during the day, and $1.00 to $3.00 per hour in the evenings. The new parking framework for Chinatown was made after consulting with over 250 businesses and organizations in the area, who supported the measures.

vancouver chinatown parking area map

The highlighted area of Chinatown represents where $2.00 meter parking will apply. (City of Vancouver)

The measure is intended to not only support businesses by bringing more potential customers to the area, but also improve public safety in the area by increasing street visibility through added pedestrian traffic.

“Chinatown is an invaluable part of our city and we remain committed to revitalizing this historic neighbourhood so that it feels safe, easy to access and vibrant for visitors and businesses,” said Mayor Ken Sim in a statement.

“We heard loud and clear from the community that the cost of parking was a barrier to visiting and doing business in Chinatown. Lowering and making parking fees uniform will support the revitalization of this cherished neighbourhood.”

Based on the consultation, 58% of Chinatown businesses and organizations wanted cheaper but not free parking, based on the rationale that free parking would result in less turnover. As well, businesses desired less variability in the parking meter fees from block to block and wanted to see a more consistent meter rate across Chinatown.

When asked what the biggest challenges related to parking in Chinatown are, 40% said street parking is too expensive, 23% said there is not enough parking for customers and visitors, and 15% said rates at off-street parking lots or parkades are too expensive.

In addition to the new street parking flat rate, City staff will also explore ways to increase parking supply and improve safety in the Chinatown Parkade, and explore ways to improve loading for commercial vehicles

In January 2023, City Council approved City staff’s urgent relief plan for Chinatown, including about $700,000 in direct measures for Chinatown such as additional street cleaning, feces collection, graffiti removal, and garbage cans, as well as the creation of a safewalk program and a new mini-office for City Council to work from. The relief plan was rolled out several weeks ago, shortly after the approval of the 2023 operating budget.

Kenneth ChanKenneth Chan

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