| Plateau restricts parking, raises revenues

In an effort to decrease the flow of traffic and better accommodate residents, the Plateau has proposed a plan to restructure local parking. The initiative will aim to limit the number of free spots available, while charging visitors to park in residential neighbourhoods, remedying the Plateau’s problem of outside cars clogging the streets.

Facing a $4-million deficit, the Plateau also hopes to generate $3 million alone each year from the initiative. This, coupled with a smaller snow-removal budget also recently proposed, should alleviate such financial burdens.

At present, there are over 10,000 free parking spaces in the Plateau, most of which are in residential areas. Many of the drivers simply park to use the Metro or walk into the downtown commercial district, according to borough mayor Luc Ferrandez.

The proposed plan is driven by the borough’s recently elected controlling party, Projet Montréal. A public statement by Ferrandez outlined the more detailed elements of the plan, which is still in preliminary development stages.

Metered parking spaces will be greatly expanded, while others will require permits of varying levels – which will be available to non-residents to purchase . The lesser of these permits will be small, short-term cards (around $2) used by guests or temporary visitors.

Ferrandez pointed out that retailers will not be penalized. Shoppers in the Plateau will find some meters with two hours free, a change aimed at maintaining the level of commercial revenue while overall traffic decreases.

According to Ferrandez, the effects of this change will be numerous. Faster turnover of cars will unclog the congested streets, public transportation use will rise, residents will more easily find parking, and the sale of permits will generate revenue.