Finding a parking spot along Calgary’s popular 4 Street southwest might prove to be a bit easier — at least for a few months.
The city is launching a pilot project that could provide a boost to local businesses.
By reducing the number of loading zones, they’ll increase the number of available parking stalls from 60 to 68.
Currently parking is prohibited on the east side of 4 Street during the morning rush, from 7 to 8:30 a.m. That morning restriction will stay in place, but restrictions will be removed for the evening rush hour from June to November.
“We have direction from city council to try and allow parking on the northbound side of 4 Street in the afternoon, and that will make it easier for people trying to visit the Mission area to visit the shops and restaurants there,” City Parking Analyst Eric MacNaughton said.
The city hopes that 2 Street will accommodate any overflow northbound traffic volume. Staff plan to measure how long it takes vehicles and city buses to travel on 4 Street, to see if the increased parking has any effect.
Businesses along 4 Street said they support any experiment that will bring more customers to them.
“It’s definitely heading in a positive direction,” Paul Overhault, owner of Purple Perk Coffee Shop, said. “We have had off-peak parking on the west side of 4 Street for years now and I don’t understand why they didn’t do that in the afternoon rush hours. It makes it much easier to enjoy the Mission area.”
The test period will last for six months.
The city said they expect to present their data analysis along with recommendations for long-term parking policies to city council early in 2017.