ABOUT THE PROJECT
In January 2021, City Council adopted new residential parking policies. This policy update renews the residential parking policy framework and aims to:
- Ensure fairness, transparency and clarity in how Calgarians interact with residential parking,
- Make the system easier to use,
- Use a data-based decision-making framework, and
- Consider the views and needs of all parking users including residents, visitors and businesses.
As part of the 2015-2018 parking policy workplan, Council directed City staff to conduct a review of the Residential Parking Permit Program (RPP). The objective of the review is to:
- improve the parking experience,
- increase long-term financial stability of the program,
- ensure efficient use of street space, and
- achieve the objectives of the Municipal Development Plan (MDP) and Calgary Transportation Plan (CTP)
Residential parking restrictions exist in all quadrants of the city, typically in inner-city communities and near major parking generators such as, LRT stations, post-secondary institutions, hospitals, etc. Calgarians living in areas where the program is located are able to obtain parking permits which exempt them from on-street restrictions.
In phase one engagement, we asked you to tell us how the current program is, or is not, meeting your needs so that we could make informed decisions about possible changes to the program.
We used the input we received in phase one, along with best practices and technical expertise, to create possible changes to the program. In phase two engagement, we asked you to tell us which policy options you felt would improve the experiences for concerns you identified in phase one. Your feedback is included in the What we Heard report, and the summary report, under Links, on the right of this page.
What We’ve Done
Based on what we heard in phase one, along with technical expertise, the following two policy changes will be included in the recommendations to Council:
New Petition Process for RPP Restrictions:
We heard that many of you feel the petition process to establish a new residential parking permit zone can be challenging and that some of you feel pressured to support restrictions you don’t necessarily agree with. As a result of your input and to ensure a fair and transparent process, we are recommending to Council that the petition process be revised and use of it minimized.
Establishing New Parking Restrictions:
We also heard that the frequency and types of parking restrictions in a single zone can be confusing and frustrating. To make on-street parking easier to understand and more predictable, we are recommending to Council to reduce the number of parking restrictions within an area. In addition, we are recommending that restriction types be based on clear and consistent criteria.
Thank you for providing your input.
Your input has helped us develop recommended changes to the program that have been presented to the Standing Policy Committee on Transportation and Transit on October 21, 2020.
If you would like more information on current Residential Parking Permit zone restrictions, please review the Residential Parking Permit booklet.
The Parking Policy Framework is located under Links for those interested in reading what was presented to Council.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What are residential parking permits?
A residential parking permit is a permit issued by the Calgary Parking Authority (CPA) to residents living at a qualifying address within a residential parking zone. Residents living at qualifying addresses can apply for two vehicle-specific permits at no cost. There is a fee for the third and subsequent permits. Residential parking permits are valid for two years from the date they are approved. In AAA and YY permit zones, only one permit is available per qualifying addresses and there is a fee for these permits.
When was the residential parking permit (RPP) program established?
The program was established in 1974 to address parking problems in the downtown and beltline area. Originally, there were four zones – today there are 80 zones in all quadrants of the city.
Where are RPP zones located?
Calgary has 80 RPP zones, spanning every quadrant of the city. RPP zones are typically located in inner-city communities and around facilities that draw many visitors like LRT stations, hospitals, and secondary institutions. However, there are also zones that do not have major facilities nearby or are still in place after a facility was removed.
What’s the difference between Calgary Parking Authority (CPA) and The City of Calgary?
CPA and The City of Calgary work together to operate municipal parking throughout Calgary.
The City develops policy standards, and reviews and updates the policy as the city grows and changes. CPA, implements and administers the program using the policy standards The City has developed. They issue permits, oversee day-to-day operations and conduct enforcement.
What has this review looked at?
With this review, we have received public and expert input on:
- The intent of the program
- Concept of “Ownership” and the effective use of on-street space
- Confusing on-street restrictions used on block-by-block basis
- The challenges of a commercial/residential interface
- In-zone commuting
- Relationship of permits to on-site parking requirement
- Cost of the program
What are the benefits to Calgarians in participating in this review?
This review will create a consistent, fair process that is easy for Calgarians to understand and balance the changing parking needs of residents, visitors, businesses, and neighborhoods.
How are RPP program operations funded?
The program is currently funded from the revenue generated by property taxes. Through this policy review, we are looking at different revenue options to finance operations of the program through CPA.
Will I have to pay to receive a parking permit in the future?
At this time, no decisions have been made.However, through this policy review, we are looking at a variety of revenue options to finance program operations which we have asked Calgarians to give input on.
Operational costs include administering the program, issuing permits, installing and maintaining signs, and enforcing the zones. We are trying to understand whether these costs should be covered through property taxes or user fees paid by permit holders or a combination of both.
The input we receive, along with technical expertise, will help us develop a recommendation to present to Council in early 2020.
Why are there no options to improve commercial on-site parking?
We did hear from Calgarians that commercial on-site parking can be frustrating; however, this aspect is not being addressed in the RPP policy review.Input related to this topic will be forwarded and possibly used in adjusting commercial parking policies as they are updated in the future.
Parking is determined through the Land Use Bylaw at the time of a development permit application.
Requiring additional parking on sites where there is already an existing development is challenging and often considered based on the use, the intensity and the surrounding context. Once development is approved, there is no opportunity to require additional private on-site parking, unless another application is applied for (typically to change the use).
Parking is also balanced with the need to provide quality designs and ensuring other forms of transportation options are accommodated. Relaxations for required parking may be considered by The City should there be merit in the application.
What are the next steps?
Your input, along with technical expertise, will help us develop recommended policy changes that will be presented to the Standing Policy Committee on Transportation and Transit March 18, 2019 and then Council April 2020.
FAQ related to the Calgary Parking Authority (CPA)
How are residential parking permit zones enforced?
Residential parking zones are patrolled using ParkPlus automated enforcement vehicles and supplemented by foot patrol/mobile enforcement officers when required. Using photo enforcement is a much more efficient way to provide enforcement as the vehicles simply drive through the community. The vehicles can cover a much larger area faster than the enforcement officers could cover on foot.
Over the years residents have told CPA that they would like a more frequent and consistent level of enforcement within these zones and automated enforcement is how they are able to achieve that.
How do you apply for a residential parking permit?
To apply for a residential parking permit you require a valid Alberta Vehicle Registration showing the address where the permit is required within the RPP zone. Residents can apply and manage their permit(s) at www.cpa.permit.calgaryparking.com.
If you do not have access to the internet, please contact the customer service team at 403.537.7000 and they will help you set up an account.
Where can I find out more information about the residential parking permit program and how to apply?
Please visit www.permits.calgaryparking.com for information on all aspects of the program.
When did permits become digital?
In 2017, CPA transitioned from paper permits to digital permits. Over the years residents living within restricted zones expressed a desire for more frequent and consistent enforcement and this is how the CPA can achieve this.
Why did public engagement for the policy review happen after changes were made to the visitor permit process?
In 2017, CPA began issuing permits and registering visitors online. This was a change in how the program is operated on a day-to-day basis.
The policy review is a separate assessment of what the program aims to achieve and how it is doing. It is a scheduled review as result of a Council directive, and is not related to CPA’s online registration process.
If you have concerns with the online process, please connect directly with CPA.
Your input, in combination with technical expertise, have been used to develop recommended updates to the Residential Parking Permit Program. Recommendations were presented to the Standing Policy Committee on Transportation & Transit on October 21, 2020 and approved by Council in 2021.
A phased approach, and implementation of the updated Residential Parking Permit program will begin in 2022.