The City continues to devote enormous sums of money every year to providing free parking spaces for motorists to store their cars. Public rights of way are a limited commodity, yet the City insists that the highest and best use for these rights of way is not for street trees, wide sidewalks, or other “people” and environment benefits.
The above photo is taken on Lisgar, looking west. The intersection in the distance is Bay Street. Note that all the parking spaces in the foreground are empty, at 10am on a weekday morning. The City charges for parking here, as it is an easy stroll to downtown offices. Across Bay Street, every space is taken by a car, and the City charges nothing for long-term on-street parking.
There are several observations possible: people will walk further to get to free parking; the City’s zone for charging for on-street parking is too small (I’d make it EVERYWHERE, 24/7); the City undermines its own policies and goals by enabling and subsidizing private motor car driving by providing free car storage to drivers at taxpayer expense; the parking rates are too low west of Bay; we could have really nice pleasant downtown residential areas if we rolled up some of the asphalt.