Victoria parkade upgrades continuing

City council requests review in face of financial shortfalls

Major upgrades will continue at the city’s parkades, some of which celebrate their half-century anniversary this year.

The ongoing $8-million project is two-thirds complete. It has resolved pooling water during heavy rain, added an accessibility ramp, improved security and repaired cracked concrete and rusted rebar.

“Some of our facilities are quite long in the tooth and they’re well past the national life expectancy for a parking facility,” said Victor Van Den Boomen, manager of parking services. “The money we’re spending is a lot cheaper than replacing the structures.”

Using a low-ball estimate, replacing the city’s parkades would cost $22 million. Instead, the repairs aim to extend the parkades’ lifespans by another 20 years. Trickiest on the to-do list will be replacing worn-out stairs at the View Street parkade.

“It means you’re going to have to jack out the whole staircase,” said Van Den Boomen.

Ongoing deck work will take place at four parkades. When moisture seeps in through the decks, it rusts the rebar, which expands and breaks away the concrete, he explained.

The goal, he added, is to spread the work out so as to minimize the impact on the public. “It’s hard because a lot of people depend on the parkade.”

Maintenance closures have resulted in some lost business.

In 2012, parking revenue fell short by $494,155, but there are many reasons for the dip.

One factor is the HST, which increased daily rates from $11 to $13.50. For instance, in 2011, revenue at the Broughton Street parkade dropped $163,000.

“The main issue is less people are coming downtown shopping and there is less use of the parkades,” said Dwayne Kalynchuk, director of engineering and public works, at a budget discussion last month.

“We need to look at parking seriously,” said Coun. Shellie Gudgeon. “Looking at parking as a revenue source is a really dangerous slope to go down.”

Maximizing profits is not the key principle guiding parkade policy, said Van Den Boomen.

“Our goals aren’t for the revenues so much as providing the short-term shopping parking.”

That said, parkades do earn money for the city. They typically generate approximately $5 million in revenues, more than offsetting the $2 million spent by the city on operating costs.

rholmen@vicnews.com

Big ticket item

• This year, the city has earmarked $3.1 million to rehabilitate parkades in 2012. It’s one of the bigger ticket items in its $56.4 million draft capital plan. The actual cost, according to the project manager, will be somewhere between $1 million and $2 million.

Just Posted

Chinese Culture to light up 2019 Victoria Day Parade

Groups hopes Greater Victorians ‘view the culture, embrace the friendship’

Struggling Victoria adoption agency elects new board that intends to keep it open

The previous board announced that Choices would close May 31

Royal and McPherson Society pleads its case to Victoria council

‘Dark days’ at Royal, user groups’ weekend priorities make scheduling other entertainment challenging

Uplands Park champion to earn provincial award

B.C. Community Award for Margaret Lidkea coincides with Sunday’s volunteer celebration

Oak Bay Sgt. struggles through emotional testimony in double murder trial

Andrew Berry is charged with second-degree murder in deaths of daughters Chloe (6) and Aubrey (4)

VIDEO: Killer whales hunt for seals in Vancouver harbour

Bigg’s killer whales feed on marine mammals like seals, sea lions, dolphins and even other whales

Wanted by Crime Stoppers

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Do you think the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris should be rebuilt?

Images of one of the word’s most iconic landmarks were seared into… Continue reading

VIDEO: B.C.’s waving granny gets incredible send-off from school kids

Tinney Davidson has been waving at students on their way to school for over 11 years, but is moving in a month

Island-born Snowbirds pilot enjoying homecoming in skies over Comox

Logan Reid once stood clinging onto the fence outside the Comox Air… Continue reading

Attack on student in Courtenay ‘way more than bullying’, says mom

A Comox Valley mother said “it was way more than bullying” at… Continue reading

Vancouver man, 19, charged in human trafficking case involving teen girl

The 16-year-old girl was reported missing and later discovered in Vancouver

Blaine, Wash. inn owner, charged with smuggling people into B.C., granted bail

Robert Joseph Boule ordered to turn away anyone indicating a plan to enter Canada illegally

Most Read