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‘The numbers are large': City experiencing shortfall in parking revenue
Laine Mitchell, CTV Edmonton
Published Sunday, November 25, 2018 7:12PM MST
Last Updated Sunday, November 25, 2018 7:13PM MST
A shortfall in the amount drivers are paying for parking in Edmonton has one city councillor blaming bike lanes.
A city report found that over the past three years, it’s short about $6 million, money that was meant to help pay for Rogers Place.
It cites downtown bike lanes as one reason behind the low amount, something Coun. Jon Dziadyk agrees with.
“I'm not seeing too many people use the actual bike lanes, but what I am hearing is a lot of people are not coming downtown and parking as they used to,” said Dziadyk. “The numbers are large, I would even say that they're alarming.”
The city also blames construction for taking up some scarce space that would otherwise be metered parking, including the closure of 102 Avenue for LRT construction as well as major projects like Ice District.
With the lack of cash, city staff has had to find money elsewhere to pay off the debit it owes on Rogers Place. They recommend taking it from the Downtown Community Revitalizaton Levy, a unique money-making tool affecting businesses and property owners in a certain boundary downtown.
The levy is meant to help pay for downtown improvements, including Rogers Place, but it's also meant to pay for things like sidewalks and new attractions. Less money from parking will mean more of those taxes have to go to paying off the arena.
“It is what it is right now, and we have to clean this up. We're not living up to the intent of the CRL,” said Dziadyk.
Some people have more optimism towards the issue the city is facing.
In a tweet Ian O’Donnell with the Downtown Business Association suggests it could be more people are taking transit, or walking downtown.
Interesting to note that the majority of parkades/parking companies are reporting the same. Does that mean that more people are taking transit or walking in from options further away... Thankfully, the medium rev scenario still has us 127.4mil in the + for use on projects.— Ian O'Donnell (@IanOyeg) November 25, 2018
The report goes before council Tuesday.
With files from Jeremy Thompson