Parking in Vancouver: Council to consider pollution surcharges in climate plan
Vancouver drivers may soon be paying more, as a controversial proposal to increase parking fees is set to go before city council Tuesday.
The "Climate Emergency Parking Program" recommends requiring overnight parking permits on all residential streets across the city between midnight and 7 a.m.
The program aims to address climate change, but is raising concerns about affordability in what’s already been dubbed the most expensive city in Canada.
“I think this proposal is fundamentally flawed, and it fails, it worsens affordability, it really fails from an equity perspective and it doesn't take into account the input of residents and we've heard overwhelmingly that people are opposed to this plan,” said Coun. Sarah Kirby-Yung.
The new permit would cost $43.29 a year, before taxes, or $5 for low-income households. Overnight visitors would also be charged $3 per night.
“It feels like it's a war in the working class on people that don't have the access to a driveway or off street parking or own a strata condo for example,” said Kirby-Yung.
A report from the city’s engineering services also recommends adopting a new overnight permit pollution surcharge.
It would apply to vehicles classified as moderate or high polluters.
For example, drivers of most gas-powered luxury sports cars and SUVs would face a surcharge of $1,000 a year.
Vehicles built in 2022 or earlier and those specialized for wheelchairs would be exempt.
A $500 fee would be added for vehicles deemed "moderately polluting," including sporty sedans and more efficient small SUVs.
Only about 10 per cent of city streets currently require permits.
Kirby-Yung is concerned that those who live in secondary suites or multi-generational households could face the additional cost.
“It really disproportionately impacts some of the lower-income neighborhoods in the city and also those with higher visible minority populations,” she said.
The city's goal is to reduce carbon emissions by 50 per cent over 2007 levels.
The proposal says the parking surcharge program would achieve about seven to 14 per cent of that.
“I'd rather see us pursue a vision, such as trying to get a streetcar network across Vancouver and really give people viable alternatives to get out of their cars, because that's what they need is an alternative and choice,” Kirby-Yung told CTV News.
The overnight residential parking permit and annual pollution charge are forecast to generate between $44 million to $72 million over four years starting 2022.
The proposal says that revenue would go toward addressing the city’s climate action plan such as investments in transit and electric vehicle infrastructure.
With files from CTV Vancouver’s David Molko and Kendra Mangione
Vancouver Top Stories