Montréal, March 15, 2016 – Today the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal presented its recommendations to the Ville de Montréal’s committee on transportation and public works – the Commission sur le transport et les travaux publics – as part of consultations on the Parking Policy. Parking is one of the business community’s major concerns because it directly affects the vitality of commercial streets and the city’s attractiveness. Developing a parking policy is a step in the right direction to improve access to parking and harmonize current regulations.
Harness technological innovation and partnerships to optimize existing space
“Information technology has to be central to the next parking policy,” said Michel Leblanc, President and CEO of the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal. “Almost 30% of the cars circulating downtown are looking for a place to park, something that can be difficult to find. In addition to simplifying parking signage and making it more user friendly, technology can help inform drivers in real time of parking availability and rates.”
“To optimize parking downtown, the new policy should include street and off-street parking,” Michel Leblanc said. “This means developing partnerships between the Ville de Montréal’s new public entity and private parking lot owners. However, the Board of Trade does not support imposing a surtax on off-street parking, because this could widen the gap between supply and demand for two types of parking and hamper efforts to optimize space.”
Add spaces and vary rates to inject vitality into commercial arteries and downtown
“We need a visionary approach for commercial streets to reinforce the business environment and revitalize certain key areas that have been undermined,” Michel Leblanc said. “The Board of Trade supports the Ville de Montréal’s proposal to change parking rules on strategic arteries, particularly on the weekend. This will increase both traffic and the sales of merchants along the street.”
“Optimization has its limits, and we need to face the fact that in some areas parking is already saturated,” Michel Leblanc said. “Real estate development is booming and the need for parking will only increase. If we want to safeguard Montréal’s appeal as a centre of commerce and employment, the Ville de Montréal needs to consider adding parking spaces in some areas of downtown. It can use the multi-level parking garages developed elsewhere in the world as inspiration, with architecture that blends in with the urban fabric.”
Harness the expertise of Stationnement de Montréal
“The Board of Trade is proud of the work it has done over the past 22 years to ensure the sound governance of Stationnement de Montréal,” Mr. Leblanc said. “Privatizing municipal parking generated much higher revenue for the Ville de Montréal than originally projected.”
“The Board of Trade is aware that the Ville de Montréal wants to bring the governance and management of parking back into its fold,” Michel Leblanc said. “But we hope that the Ville de Montréal will protect and harness the expertise developed by Stationnement de Montréal and its teams over the years.”
The Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal’s recommendations are as follows:
- Harness the expertise developed by Stationnement de Montréal over the past 22 years to better develop the new governance model.
- Repatriate the responsibility for parking regulation in downtown to make it more consistent throughout the agglomeration.
- Simplify parking signage and make it more user friendly.
- Ensure information technology is central to the next parking policy.
- Inform drivers in real time of available parking spots and rates.
- Integrate street and off-street parking into the next parking policy, including disseminating information to drivers.
- Establish partnerships with owners of private parking lots rather than imposing a surtax.
- Reduce parking rates on some commercial arteries.
- Develop an algorithm to adjust rates for participating parking lots in real time.
10. Promote innovative initiatives such as shared parking and “Airbnb of parking spots.”
11. Implement the plan to provide 1,000 electrical terminals in the street by 2020 and integrate charging stations in off-street parking lots (underground or multi-level).
12. Build aesthetically pleasing multi-level parking lots in strategic places to relieve congestion in the highest traffic areas of the city.
The Board of Trade’s brief can be consulted by clicking here.
About the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal
The Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal is made up of over 7,000 members. Its mission is to be the voice of Montréal’s business community and to promote the city’s prosperity. It is involved in key areas of economic development, advocating a philosophy of action based on engagement, credibility, proactivity, collaboration, and innovation. The Board of Trade also offers a range of specialized services to individuals and to businesses of all sizes to support them in their growth at home and abroad.
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Advisor, Media Relations
Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal
Phone: 514 871-4000, extension 4042
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