Prince Edward County has denied a request by the Picton Business Improvement Area to offer two-hour free parking and is going ahead with installing new pay and display stations in the downtown core.
On Tuesday night, council approved putting in 11 pay stations on Main Street, eight on Walton, Elizabeth, Ross and King Streets and three on Market Lane. Free parking will only be offered to those requiring municipally designated accessible parking spaces but will have a maximum two hour limit.
The original meters were removed when construction began in the core and now that it’s complete the County will install pay stations at a 2017 budget approved price of $225,000.
After completing a member survey, the Picton BIA had requested offering two hours free and asked that the County enforce it by increasing parking fines from $7 to $35 so that the discount isn’t abused by merchants, staff or the general public. The BIA also asked if council were to install pay and display machines that parking be free for two hours in the winter months.
A letter to council from BIA chair Robyn Molyneaux indicated there was no clear “winner” and that members are split between supporting
two hour free parking and pay and display.
Councillor Kevin Gale was quick to voice his concerns on providing free parking.
However, Councillor Gale was in favour of installing parking meters instead to keep with the heritage design of the downtown area.
Mayor Robert Quaiff has long said he is opposed to bringing back parking meters.
The new King Street parking lot will remain free parking at this time.
Controlled parking on Picton’s main streets will cost $1 an hour and controlled Market Lane public parking from Ross to Paul Streets will be offered at $0.50 an hour.
The project will go out to tender soon.