Downtown Penticton stores see lower revenues from new paid parking lot – Penticton Western News
The new paid parking lot on Main Street is a double whammy for small businesses already hit hard by the pandemic.
Claire Keys, owner of Teas and Weaves in the 200 block of Main Street, said paid parking was felt immediately after it was implemented and enforced by bylaws officers.
“It has drastically reduced revenue, but also customers expressing annoyance and frustration when they only want to take a phone order for a tea bag that costs $ 5. They feel penalized for paying an extra $ 2, ”Keys said.
“I have heard many customers say they would shop elsewhere or online. I like to think of our downtown as a welcoming and pleasant environment, but paid parking has been a game changer, ”Keys said.
Accent Chocolates in downtown Penticton says revenue has declined by 50% since paid parking took effect. Chocolate maker Eva Pölöskey said customers were also unsure of how to pay for actual meterless parking outside.
“People just want to throw money in a yard. There are a lot of older people who don’t have apps and who use smartphones, ”she says.
The vending machines that are along Main Street are spaced about a block apart, so they’re hard to find, she said.
Pölöskey and the owner of nearby consignment clothing store Polka Dot Purse Consignment said customers were frustrated.
“The reason for using vending machines (versus stand-alone meters) on Main Street is that they integrate better aesthetically with the new revitalization work,” said Blake Laven, City Manager of Development Services.
The bookstore also said paid parking was distracting customers.
“People don’t want to put $ 2 in paid parking to buy a $ 5 book,” said Lisette Stevenson of The Book Shop.
Already hit by travel restrictions limiting visitors to Penticton, paid parking has been an additional issue for the iconic bookstore, Stevenson said.
Teas and Weaves had an efficient curbside pick-up system, with regular tea buyers calling ahead and picking them up.
“It would be greatly appreciated to consider having meters that allow customers to pay for 15 minutes or half an hour instead of $ 2 for an hour.”
Keys also suggests that the two parking spaces used by the settlement officers be used as free 15-minute parking for downtown business customers.
“The regulations officers are vigilant and do their job, but they’re also off-putting to customers, and when tourists can come back, I think that’s not the best way to greet them,” Keys noted.
The City of Penticton expects a lot of money from all paid parking lots in the city.
For 2021, the city has budgeted $ 900,000 from revenue from meters and pay stations for on-street and in-lot parking. This increase is based on increasing transit rates to $ 2 per hour, expanding metered parking on Main, Ellis and Front streets, and eliminating free one-hour downtown parking. , said Jim Bauer, CFO for the City of Penticton.
Before the pandemic and before the new paid parking came into effect, the city raised $ 308,000 in revenue for paid parking in 2019, Bauer said.
“We continue to monitor parking revenues, but remain hopeful of recognizing these levels of parking revenues in 2021 with the recently announced provincial reopening plan,” he added.
The expansion of the parking program has seen the use of the two meter heads, which have been deployed on Ellis Street, Front Streets and side streets, and ATMs, which have been deployed in parking lots and on Main Street .
ATMs are relatively user-friendly, and you don’t have to walk back to your car to put a receipt on the dashboard, Laven said.
The City encourages people to use the passport.ca app, which is the easiest way to pay and lets you know when your time is running out.