The City of Vancouver has given everyone three months to think about it and now the the Climate Emergency Parking Plan is back. You can take a look at the report going to Council on Tuesday October 5th here.
There is a lot of misinformation circulating about this proposal, but there are also some interesting stats in the report :25 percent of Vancouver homes do not have a vehicle, and of those, half of those homes are making less than 50,000 dollars a year.
The intent of the report is to implement a parking program that has an overnight parking permit required in all residential areas throughout the city to cover roughly twenty percent of the proposed costs of the Climate Emergency Action Plan (CEAP) championed by the City. With everyone who parks on a residential street paying a 45 dollar charge, the City hopes to have a revenue of 44 million to 72 million dollars during the first four year period. Program costs are estimated to be 1.7 million dollars to set up, and the program will cost one million dollars annually to administer.
While it is noble to say that the funding will go directly to the CEAP, funds collected go directly into the City’s general revenue funds, and then are distributed as Council allocates them. That means that a future council has the discretion to use these funds for other purposes.
Of course the whole idea of implementing a pollution charge is a bit late in the game. As of 2035 the federal government has said there will be no more sales of gasoline fuelled vehicles in the country, and motor companies are undertaking huge shifts to supply electric vehicles. They will be more available and they will be cheaper.
If you have a lower income you will be able to apply for a reduction and pay just five dollars a year for your permit. Starting with purchases of 2023 vehicles, if you buy a gasoline vehicle and park on the street, expect to pay more. The Council report proposes to add a “pollution charge of up to $1,000 to be added to the residential permit fee if you have purchased “gas-powered luxury sports cars, large SUV’s, and full-size pickup trucks.” Smaller SUVs and “most gas-powered sporty sedans” 2023 or newer will be subject to a $500 annual pollution charge.
This is really a curb tax: if you have access to off-street parking at your house or own a garage, and purchase a gasoline powered vehicle that is 2023 or beyond, you are exempt. Some would suggest that those people able to park vehicles on their own property off the street would also be more likely to purchase new gasoline powered vehicles in the future.
If the curbside parking tax is going to be implemented, call it that. If there was to be a more equitable approach that would involve all vehicle owners, a surcharge that is placed on vehicle licencing annually might achieve better parity, and also snag those large SUVs on private property.
Joanne Lee-Young in the Vancouver Sun quoted Andy Yan who found through data analysis that 18 percent of workers in Vancouver are night shift workers when there is no transit schedule or alternatives between midnight and 6 a.m. and must rely on a vehicle.
As Mr. Yan said “There will be some profound challenges in terms of these policies because of the diversity of the neighbourhoods.”
You can take a look at the YouTube video below that shows some positions on the proposed parking program from various proponents, including two members of Vancouver City Council.
ALSO: check out Viewpoint’s CHATBOX on Patreon, to see Sandy and Gord go head-to-head on it.