Parking Tips for those who regularly drive to our office
As many of you have likely heard the City of Kelowna downtown parking rates are gradually being increased (it will take a while for City staff to change all the meters). The hourly rate for metered on-street parking is going from $0.50 to $1.25.
City Councillors point out that these rates haven’t increased in over 20 years, are well below market rates, and don’t cover the true cost of our parking infrastructure.
Nevertheless, it’s a significant hike especially for tutors who spend a lot of time tutoring in our Bertram Street offices. When we spoke to tutors in that situation they told us that as the rate increase takes effect, it will start costing them roughly $20 to $25 a month in parking fees when they use on-street metered parking. Most of them quickly added that it wouldn’t be so bad if they didn’t also have to worry about getting tickets for not making it back to their car within two hours, since they often do two tutoring sessions back-to-back to make the most of their trip downtown.
So, bearing both hourly rates and time limits in mind, Project Literacy Kelowna Society (PLKS) staff have done a bit of research and come up with recommendations for tutors and learners, who drive to our office regularly. Please note that walking times mentioned here were obtained from Google Maps. In fact they will vary from person to person.
The closest free places to park when you are planning to spend less than two hours at Project Literacy
There is free parking two-hour parking on Bertram street, north of Bernard Avenue, past the parking lot on the north-west corner of Bertram and Bernard (next to Home for Dinner and across the street from the Christian Science Society Building). There is also free two-hour parking along Lawrence Avenue east of Richter Street. These areas are both roughly three minute walks to PLKS.
Bear in mind though that once you have reached the two-hour limit you have to move your car to another block. Meter attendants scan your license plate when they pass by so if they find you anywhere within the same block for more than two hours they will ticket you.
The best places to park when you are planning to spend more than two hours at Project Literacy and want to keep your walk under ten minutes.
On the south-west corner of Lawrence Avenue and Ellis Street there is a lot where you can park for four hours. It currently costs $0.75 an hour and it is a four minute walk to our office.
On Lawrence Avenue between Pandosy Street and Water Street you can park in the Chapman Parkade from 6am to 6pm. It currently costs $.050 an hour and it is a six minute walk to our office.
Both of these rates will likely increase as well though this has not yet been confirmed. In any case, Councillors will not likely raise these rates higher than on-street metered parking since City staff want to encourage people to park off-street.
The best free places to park when you are planning to spend more than two hours at Project Literacy and don’t mind walking ten minutes.
If you don’t mind walking a bit you can park on most streets east of Ethel Street for free and without a time limit. If you were to park on Lawson Avenue just past Ethel Street, for example, it would take ten minutes to get to our office. Exceptions to this rule include Lawrence Avenue and Leon Avenue so it is best to check for signs indicating time limits to be safe.
If you would like to learn more about the City of Kelowna’s parking strategy visit their website at: http://www.kelowna.ca/CM/Page4595.aspx