Two Victoria City councillors hope to implement free parking at downtown parkades to relieve costs for essential workers amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a motion coming to committee of the whole on Thursday, Coun. Charlayne Thornton-Joe and Coun. Marianne Alto propose fees be waived for city parkades during the month of April.
In the motion, the councillors write that many essential workers continue to use their vehicles instead of taking public transit, potentially due to concerns around a lack of space for social or physical distancing.
Many of the city’s parkades are not being used to full capacity, the motion says.
“To assist these workers who, while continuing to work within the confines of provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry’s directions, may not be working full time and are having to live on reduced incomes, it is therefore recommended that council authorize staff to make City parkades free for the month of April.”
Thornton-Joe told Black Press Media that council has been making a number of quick decisions to address the impact of the ongoing crisis caused by the novel coronavirus. Now she hopes council will pass another change to ease the burden on residents.
“We do have a lot of outreach workers, grocery store workers,” she said. “If we can reduce the costs or the stress for them then that is something we should consider.”
The motion will be discussed at the Committee of the Whole meeting on April 2.
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