Proposal to charge for parking at Edmonton parks, attractions prompts pushback

There are plans to implement parking fees at some City of Edmonton parks and attractions starting next year.

Beginning in spring 2022, paid parking would be in place at Emily Murphy Park, Rafter’s Landing, Muttart Conservatory, Fort Edmonton Park and Telus World of Science.

Read more: City of Edmonton reveals ‘Reimagine’ plan to dig out of $172M coronavirus hole

Councillor Jon Dziadyk calls this plan “unacceptable.”

“I will be putting forward a motion to prevent charging for parking at our parks,” he explained on Twitter on June 16.

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Councillor Mike Nickel has also said he will not support the changes.

The changes are part of the city’s “Reimagine Services” work, in the hopes of bringing in much-needed revenue and covering service costs.

“Paid parking exists in comparable sites in other cities,” the city’s proposal reads.

Read more: Edmonton begins ‘Reimagine’ plan to recover from COVID-19 financial hit

On June 22, administration will be presenting 18 cost-saving and revenue-generating actions to come into effect as early as 2022.

Administration reviewed five services areas: facility management and maintenance, fire rescue services, fleet management and maintenance, park and open space access, recreational and sport facility access/recreation and cultural programming.

The actions being presented to council will save an estimated $6 million in five years.

On the city’s website, under “cost-saving or revenue-generating actions,” the sites included are outlined, and it says Hawrelak Park will be considered for paid parking once major rehabilitation work is done, in 2026 at the earliest.

A petition was created to stop the city from implementing parking fees.

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The petition’s creator calls the move a “petty money grab” that will make the city less inclusive and less accessible.

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