News / Calgary

Calgary weighs pros and cons of opening more downtown parking

More spaces could lead to more congestion in the core

The city is considering relaxing some of the current development regulations on parking in the downtown core, but Coun. Shane Keating has questions about administration’s current plan.

Metro File

The city is considering relaxing some of the current development regulations on parking in the downtown core, but Coun. Shane Keating has questions about administration’s current plan.

Calgary is considering many variables – including self-driving cars – as it tweaks its parking strategy for the downtown core.

The matter is going before the Standing Policy Committee on Transportation and Transit Wednesday.

City administration is recommending council relax some of its current regulations designed to keep the core from getting too congested with workers coming and going.

“They’re giving more options to developers today, saying you can build more parking if you want,” said Coun. Shane Keating

Previously, developers had to account for one parking space for every 140 square metres of office space. However, they couldn’t necessarily build all of those spaces in their new building.

To make up for needed parking spaces beyond that limit, developers contributed cash-in-lieu to a special city fund, which went towards parking development outside the core.

New recommendations suggest letting future developments put 100 per cent of their parking spaces in the downtown.

Keating isn’t fully satisfied with the current plan. He says there needs to be more parking developed near train stations, even if it’s within five kilometres of the core.

I’m not sure if that’s addressed properly in here or not,” he said.

He envisions commuters driving close to the core – say to a parking garage near the University of Calgary – and then finishing their journey into the city by CTrain.

“Why could there not be a huge parking structure somewhere, which is cheaper to build? It doesn’t have to go underground, and it could have a pedestrian walkover right to the CTrain station.”

Even as the city crafts this plan, the report mentions the possibility of self-driving cars cutting into the city’s parking revenue, since they could drop workers off, return home to park, and make another journey into the city

Keating noted that could lead to even more congestion, as those self-driving vehicles would be making two round trips each day instead of one.

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