Mayor Valérie Plante has vowed that the city of Montreal wants to put its plan on hold for two weeks to give merchants a chance to extend its downtown parking meter hours amid confusion over extending parking meter hours.
She was questioned about the weekend’s tussle with the Sustainable Mobility Agency, which is responsible for managing parking in the borough.
As of Friday, the Sustainable Mobility Agency has placed stickers at certain meters to announce the extension of the payment period.
The display later indicated that parking would be charged from 8am to 11pm on weekdays, 9am to 11pm on Saturdays and 9am to 6pm on Sundays.
Currently, it is mandatory to pay for your space on weekdays from 9 am to 9 pm, on Saturdays from 9 am to 6 pm and on Sundays from 1 pm to 6 pm.
However, this decision would have been taken without the approval of the Mayor’s office.
“As soon as we became aware of the sticker operation, we suspended this operation while we went to meet our partners,” responded Sophie Maucerol, who is responsible for the movement in the city’s executive committee.
Earlier in the day, Montreal Centre-Ville’s general manager called for a moratorium “at least one year before any change to the price schedule in the city center to allow for a proper evaluation.”
“We are surprised and disappointed by this change in price schedule without notice or consultation,” stressed Glenn Castanheira.
“The moratorium will be for two weeks, we are going to have a dialogue with our partners”, however Ms. at the Municipal Council on Monday. Plante confirmed.
However, the extension of the pricing time was accepted in the Sustainable Mobility Agency’s budget of 19 December. According to the document, these new schedules will come into effect from April 1.
A memo was sent to boroughs on February 8 by Lucy Carrow, director of urban planning and operations.
“City Center Time Slots [sont prolongées] From April 1, 2023, demand will be strong outside of price periods, especially weekday mornings and evenings on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays”, can you read there?
According to the official opposition leader, such a decision would “punish” city traders.
“We’re coming out of an epidemic, we already have a city center that’s empty enough to bring merchants back to St-Catherine Street, and then we come up with price increases without any consultation,” argued Aref Salem. Press conference.
Against this schedule change, Mr. Castanheira also recalled that the city center was still “very fragile”. “This is certainly not the time to implement new binding measures across the territory,” he argued.
However, the plant management is not willing to go back on modifying the plan.
“What we’ve seen in recent months is that people often pay for the last hour at the parking meter and then stay there all night. Finally, by expanding the schedule, it allows for a higher turnover rate,” Ms. Mauzerolle explained.
“This move is not about money, it’s about changing behavior, it’s about supporting small business people who need to have customers,” the mayor said.