Victoria launches website with real-time parking availability info

Victoria launches website with real-time parking availability info
City of Victoria/Facebook
The Johnson Street parkade is one of the five parkades with real-time availability information on the new website.

People who drive downtown Victoria are familiar with circling around trying to find an open parking space or parkade with availability, and a new website launched by the city hopes to reduce that.

The website will provide real-time information about the five City of Victoria-owned parkades so drivers can see which have open parking spaces. The website also has tabs to show if there are accessible, one hour free, or three hours max parking spaces available.

“Parking demand soars on busy days, leading to frustration for those visiting the downtown core,” said Kerri Moore, the city’s director of business and community relations. “With real-time parking space availability, the stress of trying to find a parking space is eliminated, so people can save time and energy during their visit downtown.”

The website uses motion sensor technology to count the number of vehicles entering and exiting parkades. The accessible parking spaces have specialty cameras in them to track whether they are occupied or not.

The city says it is one of “several” Canadian cities using this technology, and Moore says Kelowna is the closest city to Victoria using it.

While the website does provide real-time information, Moore says drivers are discouraged from checking the site while behind the wheel of a vehicle.

“This is something that we want residents to look on the website prior to leaving to go downtown so that they’re planning your trip accordingly,” Moore said. “They would even be able to see that two or three parkades have availability so that just makes the trip that much easier and quicker.”

Moore says this website has been under development for 18 months and has cost $155,000.

READ PREVIOUS: City of Victoria looking into app to identify available parking spaces

Editor’s note: The City of Victoria previous said the website uses heat sensing technology. The city later clarified that the website uses motion sensing technology. The story has been updated to reflect this.

Laura BroughamLaura Brougham

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