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Loss of downtown parking stalls nears 1,500 as surface lots make way for development

With the planned closure of two surface parking lots in downtown Victoria, one of which will cease welcoming vehicles this week, the region's city centre will have lost nearly 1,500 public parking spaces since 2010. And a further reduction of much-needed parking inventory is planned for next year.

Loss of downtown parking stalls nears 1,500 as surface lots make way for development
Finding a place to park in downtown Victoria will get even tougher this week with the closure of a centrally-located parking lot in the Harris Green neighbourhood.
With capacity for 116 vehicles, a lot spanning the 800-blocks of Yates and Johnson streets will close tomorrow as crews set to work on building the two-tower Vivid at the Yates and The Yates on Yates residential project by Chard Development.
The loss of parking capacity will be felt immediately in a downtown core starved for inventory as more and more parking lots make way for redevelopment efforts, the majority of which only include private stalls for residents or commercial tenants upon completion.
But the Yates Street lot’s closure is not the only bad news facing car-dependent commuters and shoppers.
A gravel parking lot with capacity for just under 100 vehicles will also close this fall to make way for a mixed-use residential and commercial development at Store and Chatham streets.
Developer Le Fevre & Company recently secured approvals to build The Ironworks on the property, a 164-unit condominium complex in the region’s burgeoning former industrial district north of Old Town.
Work has also begun on the City of Victoria’s second separated bike lane that will span 1.2 kilometres between Wharf and Cook streets along Fort Street. A reduction of on-street parking capacity along Fort Street will gradually occur as construction progresses throughout the fall and winter months.
Since 2010 Victoria’s downtown core has lost over 1,200 public parking stalls to development. With the closure of the Yates Street and the Store Street lots the total will rise to nearly 1,500, a figure not expected to have been reached until 2020.
Meanwhile the City of Victoria is considering the idea of reducing the parking obligations at low-income and subsidized housing developments within the municipality. Officials believe the need for parking capacity at below-market projects should be reduced in an effort to lower the cost of building affordable housing.
Although Mayor Lisa Helps and councillors recognize the quickly diminishing supply of parking is a major issue affecting the downtown core, there are no formal plans afoot to build a public parkade in or near the city centre. C

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