Pay parking was added to Main Street, Ellis and Front Streets in April. (File photo)

Pay parking was added to Main Street, Ellis and Front Streets in April. (File photo)

City council to mull free weekend parking in December for downtown Penticton

Possible free parking and transit every Friday and Saturday of December

It’s a Christmas miracle! City council is being asked to make downtown parking free every Friday and Saturday of December.

Free transit for those days is also part of the request coming to Tuesday’s meeting.

The city, much like Kelowna and Vernon, have traditionally offered free parking on Saturdays in December to encourage people to shop local.

But this year, the Downtown Penticton Association is asking to add Fridays as well. This will apply to all on street metered parking stalls in downtown Penticton.

If approved by council, the impact on downtown parking revenue will be around $9,000, said a city staff report. Including free transit, the total financial impact is $13,000.

In the staff report prepared by city bylaw services manager Tina Mercier, she said that by offering free parking it will encourage shopping local.

“This will supporting the downtown businesses which contribute to the vibrancy and vitality of our community,” said Mercier. Pay parking will resume Jan. 4, 2022.The new pay parking that took affect in April has been controversial with some downtown businesses saying they have seen a drop in visitors and revenue since. Pay parking was added to Main, Ellis and Front Streets.

The City of Penticton went over budget by close to $100,000 when it came to installing all of the new parking meters and pay stations.

In the end, the city paid $286k for the installation of the 160 parking metres and 19 pay machines according to the city’s general manager of finance Jim Bauer, with some of the new equipment replacing previous meters and pay stations.

For 2021, the city had budgeted for parking revenue at an estimated $1.05 million.

READ MORE: Penticton parking meters $98k over budget amid revenue slump

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