Dowtown Victoria not the parking nightmare some say it is

Business association offers its take on downtown parking

Parking really isn’t that bad in downtown Victoria, according to the Downtown Victoria Business Association.

To hit that point home, the DVBA launched a cheeky campaign, dubbed Park Here, on Tuesday, that aims to address some of the more negative perceptions about parking in the downtown core.

“We know that parking downtown is not nearly as bad as it is often made out to be,” said Fran Hobbis, DVBA chair. “We have plenty of spaces, both on-street and off, and very reasonable rates when compared to other downtowns across the country.”

Using an interactive map on the DVBA website, drivers can compare daily parkade and surface lot prices that range from $6.50 at the corner of Chatham and Store streets to $16 at the Victoria Conference Centre. There are more than 5,000 parkade spaces and more than 1,000 on-street spots throughout downtown Victoria, said Ken Kelly, DVBA general manager.

“There’s free parking on Sunday, parking in city parkades after-hours is only $2 and the City of Victoria has their great Smart Card program,” he said. “We’re stacking up pretty well.”

The city could lure more customers downtown by offering its first-hour-free parking promotion to include all drivers, not just those who remember to pick up a voucher from merchants, Kelly added.

A parking review is currently underway at City Hall, and staff expect to have the report back before councillors sometime this fall.

View the new parking map at downtownvictoria.ca.

dpalmer@vicnews.com