While there seems to be a modern trend to monetize parking and squeeze as much revenue out of drivers as possible, the Town of Sidney is taking a different approach.
In what they hope will be a welcome alternative to the aggravating two-hour shuffle many employees have to contend with, the Town has announced the opening of the new Downtown Employee Parking Lot.
On Friday, May 17, residents are invited to the grand opening next to the Mary Winspear Centre at 9 a.m., where they can chat with council and enjoy complimentary coffees.
The parking lot boasts 167 new spaces and is aimed at employees working in Sidney, although visitors can park there too. The Town says it has made the spaces free in the day to attract workers and to combat the perception that Sidney is an inconvenient shopping destination due to lack of parking.
“We are more committed to supporting our downtown business community, residents and visitors with additional parking options than we are to maximizing parking revenues,” said Sidney Mayor Cliff McNeil-Smith.
The new lot will also serve the Mary Winspear Centre, acting as after-hours overflow parking for popular events there. The Town says this is important as the centre is a big attraction and supporting them will potentially help increase visitor numbers to other Sidney businesses.
Some business owners have welcomed the parking lot, saying its location encourages people to stroll through town and offers additional capacity for events like the Boat Show and Thursday Night Street Markets.