As part of the objectives of the Municipal Development Plan and Calgary Transportation Plan, it is important for The City to support the creation of vibrant, transit-supportive mixed-use activity centres and corridors. Successful areas typically attract a large variety of visitors, including people who drive and park their cars, which can result in parking congestion. As a result, it is necessary to use on-street parking charges to manage the parking supply in the area. This keeps parking spaces available, manages overall demand and encourages people to use other travel options when parking supply is not sufficient.
Parking costs can create a negative perception for potential visitors and customers to the area, where the cost or limited supply of parking prevents people from visiting. By putting some of the money earned from parking back in the business and community areas for local improvements, these areas can increase the quality of the public realm. This would support visitors who use other travel options, provide small scale parking enhancements where possible and help keep these destinations attractive and vibrant.
The City conducted a targeted survey exercise over February 2016 with Business Revitalization Zones (BRZs) and Community Associations (CAs) in areas where on-street parking charges are currently in place. Five funding models were presented, with the opportunity to provide feedback on these options or identify additional potential options. Thisfeedback was used to create a draft model for discussion.
The revenue policy was subsequently reviewed by The City’s Administrative Leadership Team (ALT). The ALT directed that the model be based on surplus returns only, and that a direct dividend model be used for BRZs. This forms the basis of the recommended model being presented to the SPC on Transportation and Transit on 2016 November 09.
Highlights of the recommended model include:
- 50% of surplus revenues will be made available for distribution via a direct dividend process.
- The surplus amount includes revenues for all parking types (on-street, surface and parkades) in the revenue area.
- The dividend will be allocated based on the share of parking revenue generated in each area.
- The dividend approach allows for a wide variety of mobility, public realm and programming investments to be made.
- Non-BRZ revenues will be retained by The City for investment in these areas, in consultation with Community Associations.
The SPC on Transportation & Transit considered the proposed model at their 2016 November 09 meeting and referred the policy back to Administration with the following direction:
“that the Report TT2016-0695, Parking Dividend Policy, be referred to the Administration to develop a program for public realm improvements that retains all amounts for investments in the Roads Various Street Improvements (VSI) Capital Program but that includes a model for input from Business Revitalization Zones and Community Associations and return to Council through the SPC on Transportation and Transit no later than 2017 January.”
Administration has produced a revised model to address the Council direction. The main changes are that the money would be retained by The City in a reserve, and The City would then make the funds available to City Business Units to complete work on behalf of BIA areas. In some cases, The City may make money directly available to BIAs to implement certain initiatives (e.g. a banner program). Funds will also be generally restricted to a list of eligible items.
Update: February 2017
The report was approved by Council at their 2017 February 13 meeting. The policy was amended slightly by adding the following policy to section 5.a: “These monies are not intended to fund normal BIA operations”. This policy was felt to provide additional clarity on the use of the funds.
- A report creating the reserve to contain the money from the policy will be presented to the 2017 March 07 meeting of the Priorities and Finance Committee. This will then be taken to the 2017 March 20 meeting of Council for final approval.
- 2016 amounts will be determined and reported on by area.
- Once the amounts are known, Administration will meet with BIA areas to determine priorities for 2017. This is anticipated to occur over March and April.