Parking in downtown Vancouver? Get ready for some changes

VANCOUVER — If you park in downtown Vancouver and don’t like change, you may be in for a rather unpleasant surprise soon.

The city is gearing up for some major changes, including new parking meters and a substantial parking rate change starting on March 1.

City leaders say the changes are designed to “decrease operational costs, improve the customer experience, encourage private investment in the development of additional downtown parking structures and make (Vancouver’s) parking program self-sufficient.”

Vancouver is revamping parking in its downtown area, replacing hundreds of coin meters with new pay stations
The city of Vancouver will replace these older coin-only parking meters throughout its downtown this spring and will place the coin meters in congested areas of the city’s Uptown Village neighborhood, which currently has unmetered, free parking. Photo by Kelly Moyer

Here are a few of the changes in store for Vancouver’s parking situation in the downtown core and Uptown Village areas:

Coin meters shifting to Uptown: The city is replacing the old coin-only parking meters in the downtown area with new, electronic parking stations over the next few months. The parking stations will accept both coins and credit/debit cards and will print out a parking receipt that customers place inside their car to show parking enforcement officers that they’ve paid. The city also will install several coin meters in congested sections within the Uptown Village neighborhood, which currently has free parking.

Vancouver is revamping parking in its downtown area, replacing hundreds of coin meters with new pay stations
Parking in downtown Vancouver as well as in Uptown Village is going to change very soon, starting with a rate increase on March 1 from 50 cents an hour to $1.25 an hour at the city’s downtown electronic pay stations. Photo by Kelly Moyer

Rate changes: Parking in Uptown Village will shift from being free to costing 50 cents per hour, payable through the coin meters that the city will install in the area this spring. Rates in downtown Vancouver are also changing, moving from 50 cents per hour to $1.25 per hour on March 1. These rate changes are the first in Vancouver since 2009.

Mobile parking: The city is looking into providing a mobile parking app that would allow drivers to pay for parking using their mobile devices. It would also allow people to add more money to their parking meter remotely, using a mobile device or computer.

Vancouver is revamping parking in its downtown area, replacing hundreds of coin meters with new pay stations
The city of Vancouver will soon shift parking in its downtown area over to this type of electronic pay station, located near Esther Short Park, instead of using the old coin-only meters currently found throughout the city’s downtown core. Photo by Kelly Moyer

The city has already rolled out part of its parking overhaul at the start of 2017 with a rate increase of $20 per month at parking lots, garages and on-street parking spots. For instance, on-street, general-access monthly parking used to cost $37 a month, but now costs $57 a month as of Jan. 1, 2017. To see a list of rate changes at the city’s various lots and garages, click here.  

Parking in downtown Vancouver and in Uptown Village will continue to be free on weekends, city-recognized holidays and after 6 p.m. on weekdays.

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About The Author

Kelly Moyer has been reporting for community newspapers since the mid-1990s, including the Newport News-Times on the Oregon Coast; the Lewistown Sentinel, a daily newspaper in central Pennsylvania; the Gresham Outlook, Wilsonville Spokesman, Sherwood Gazette and South County Spotlight newspapers in the Portland metro area; and The Reflector newspaper in Battle Ground, Wash. She also is the former managing editor of Midwifery Today, an international magazine for birth professionals. Kelly, a University of Oregon alumnus and Pennsylvania native, lives with her family in Northeast Portland.

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