Motion to explore parking outside of downtown Victoria passes unanimously

File photo of parking meters downtown Victoria.

Victoria continues to look into ways to reduce vehicle traffic but increase foot traffic in the downtown core, and now a proposal for parking options has passed in the committee of the whole.

The motion directs Victoria staff to look into the possibility of building a parkade or expanding other parking options outside of the downtown core, in the hopes that people will leave their vehicles at the parkade and find other means to make the final leg of the trip.

“As we’re trying to create a downtown environment that is more pedestrianized and has less vehicles moving around our downtown core and has more space for people,” Coun. Matt Dell said while introducing the motion.

“It kind of stemmed out of our motion last week on the rapid transit lanes going ‘OK, we’re getting rid of more parking downtown, we’re building rapid transit lanes downtown, what do we do to those displaced people, just people who are coming in downtown, either parking in that spot or driving in those lanes? How do we make sure that they’re still coming into the downtown core?'”

The original motion directed staff to look into the possibility of a parkade or other parking options north of the downtown core, but council unanimously voted to amend the motion to change it to just say outside of downtown.

“I think the north side of downtown is logical, but I also think that there are potentially other areas as well,” Mayor Marianne Alto said when introducing the amendment.

“And I’d like to have staff have the latitude to consider them and abandon them if they think that they’re not relevant or useful but if they were to find another option that wasn’t in the north side of the downtown, I’d like to hear about it.”

Council voted unanimously in favour of both the amendment and the final motion at the committee of the whole.

The motion will have to go through council to be approved. If approved, staff will then look for locations and options for parking.

Council also indicated it would be ideal if it could connect with transit or have some kind of bike rental nearby so those using the parking had other options to get into the downtown core.

READ PREVIOUS: Victoria councillors pitch motion for new parkade north of downtown

Laura Brougham

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