Council votes to remove parking meters and unloading zone due to lack of use

Herald file photo

Prince Albert City Council has decided to remove all 14 parking metres and one five minute unloading zone on 15th Street between First Avenue East and First Avenue West. 

Transportation Manager Evan Hastings said over the last 18 months, the 12 metered parking stalls in the area used by the former Sears department store earned a total of $58. In 2015, these same stalls earned a total of $11,300. 

“Operationally, these parking stalls are no longer justified to maintain upkeep,” said Hastings.

Following the 2021 Transportation Master Plan, the City widened 15th Street from First Avenue East to Sixth Avenue East to three lanes in the east and west bound directions. 

“In 2022, we see more and more people using that third lane and traffic flow continually improving,” Hastings explained.

Hastings said there is a bottleneck with unused parking at 1st Avenue East that could be turned into a third lane that would allow traffic flow out of the city. The businesses along that corridor, including the Prince Albert Fire Department, YWCA Our House, Prince Albert Police Service, and the Gem Denture Clinic were consulted before the recommendation was made. 

The Gem Denture Clinic declined to support the move due to two metered parking stalls in front of their business they did not want removed. 

Hastings countered that the clinic still has 29 metered parking stalls in a directly adjacent parking lot that is already in use. 

The Prince Albert Fire Department fully supported the recommendation with the belief that the added third lane would reduce emergency response time. 

“I think it is time at this point to move forward,” said Councillor Zurakowski. “I appreciate the public work’s effort in communicating with the folks and how they are going to be affected.”

The recommendation was carried eight to one with Coun. Charlene Miller opposed.