Motorists will be able to park for free in downtown Montreal every weekday evening until December 31, when a motion to this effect was adopted Tuesday afternoon.
On October 22, the mayoress of Montreal presented a $ 6 million plan to help businesses in the metropolis in anticipation of the holiday season. This made it possible to make all paid parking spaces on the street free every weekend, from November 14 to December 31, throughout the city.
In reply, the official opposition urged the City to go further through a motion presented Tuesday in a city council meeting. Its initial version thus asked the administration of Valérie Plante to extend this free service on Thursday and Friday, after 5 p.m.
Free parking in the city center
The municipal administration finally proposed to extend free paid parking on the street to every weekday evening, after 6 p.m., in the city center, through an amendment to this motion. This proposal received a unanimous welcome from elected officials at the beginning of the afternoon.
“For us, local commerce is part of our vision of the city and of the quality of life in urban areas,” said the city’s economic development manager, Luc Rabouin. By extending this measure to every weekday evening in the heart of the metropolis, the elected representative of Projet Montréal also hopes that this will help to distribute the traffic of businesses in the area in order to facilitate compliance with physical distancing.
“It shows that there is a link between the presence of accessible parking spaces and the attractiveness of merchants,” said Ensemble Montréal conductor Lionel Perez. Since Projet Montréal came to power, the official opposition has repeatedly criticized the withdrawal of parking spaces by the administration in power. On Tuesday, she found a consensus on this point.
“We are doing everything we can to support our businesses as the holiday season approaches,” said Ms. Plante, on social networks.
In addition, the amended motion provides for reserving on-street parking spaces located in front of restaurants. These will serve as landing stages to facilitate deliveries and take out orders.
This measure is in addition to a $ 22 million economic stimulus plan announced this summer by the City. The City also intends to release $ 50 million for a second phase of this plan, details of which are to come.