On November 1, the City of Mississauga passed a recommendation to implement paid parking in certain areas of Streetsville, beginning early in 2018.

By all accounts, the reaction to this initiative is being carefully evaluated. Some retailers and small business owners are concerned that paying for parking will discourage people from stopping by their establishments, affecting their sales.  But others welcome the initiative, having voiced concerns free parking has been an invitation for long occupancy of their curb space, and an impediment to efficient customer turn over.

Paid parking has been a subject long, and carefully studied.  Probably ever since 1935, when Oklahoma City decided to impose a nickel-an-hour charge for parking in-order-to improve customer access to its businesses.  The result then and there?   A faster turnover of the metered spots and more customer traffic.

Another example—a little closer to home in distance and in time—is the implementation of paid parking in Port Credit a couple of years ago.  According to Jamie Brown, Mississauga’s manager of municipal parking quoted in a recent Globe and Mail article on the subject, the results in Port Credit are the same as in Oklahoma 82 years ago:  paid parking has helped to stimulate turnover.

The BIA is confident that the paid parking program in the downtown core will provide visitors and patrons of our businesses with an accessible and enjoyable parking experience. We encourage tenants, employees and long-term users to take advantage of the reduced rate and free outlying parking that is still available within the BIA boundaries. – Streetsville BIA – Jocelyne Fleming Clancy, General Manager

The trick to implementing paid parking that does not adversely affect businesses and still manages traffic and parking demands is determining the right fee and the way it’s levied.  Charging too much may annoy drivers and discourage them from stopping; charging too little may still be an annoyance without actually being effective at improving parking access.

Streetsville’s parking fee structure is based on the one implemented in Port Credit—$1.50 for the first hour and maxing out at $5 for three hours.  The fee is small enough to encourage shorter stays, but substantial enough to help manage parking demands.

And managing traffic and parking demands is what this is all about.  Let’s face it—Mississauga is growing and finding ways to manage the escalating traffic in our City is one of the growing pains!

Although paid parking carries a negative connotation, there are benefits to it. The benefits can greatly impact the environment and the community as a whole.

We’re proud to have facilitated free parking in the Village for so long, however through recent consultation with City of Mississauga staff we realized that a paid parking program would be the best way to promote better traffic flow in the increasingly congested downtown core.  The BIA is cautiously optimistic that over time the implementation of this program will be the best solution to Streetsville’s businesses parking problems.  – Streetsville BIA – Todd Ladner, Chair, Board of Management

FACTS & INFO:

  • Paid parking began on January 8, 2018
  • Paid parking is available on Queen St. S. between Kerr Street and Barry Avenue, as well as in municipal lot # 9.
  • Paid parking is in effect from Monday-Saturday 10:00am-9:00pm, and on Sunday from 12:00pm-6:00pm. Paid parking is $1.50 per hour for the first two hours and $2.00 for the third hour.
  • Free parking is still available on all side streets, on Queen outside of the above noted area, and in all other municipal lots (except lot #9, as noted above)

Benefits:

Less congestion

By making sure the parking spots are never completely full, paid parking hopes to reduce circling and thus congestion on city streets. This reduces the amount of emissions that are released into the air. It also means more spots available when you need it and provides more opportunity to find a spot close to where you need to go.

Higher transit use

Implementing a paid parking system will encourage people to explore other transportation options. These include lower to no emission options like walking, biking or taking public transit. Although the GO Train only operates at certain times through Streetsville, there are plenty of GO and Miway buses running throughout the day. If you happen to live close enough walk into the village, you can take time to enjoy the beautiful streetscapes they have to offer.

More tax revenue

Parking can have a positive impact on a city’s bottom line by increases their tax revenue. The money generated will be used to better our city. This will benefit city operated programs and initiatives.