The City of Kelowna will consider a request to provide free Saturday on-street parking in the downtown area this December.
According to a staff report, the city has provided free Saturday street parking in December for the past 26 years. This has been done as a Christmas promotion at the request of the Downtown Kelowna Association, which said free parking on Saturdays will help increase traffic to businesses during the holiday shopping season.
“Local businesses play a vital role in Kelowna’s local economy by providing jobs and preserving the Downtown neighbourhood. This is an important value-added initiative for Downtown retailers, services and restaurants during the holiday shopping season. This year, it’s even more important as we continue to navigate through COVID-19 issues,” wrote association executive director Mark Burley in a letter addressed to council.
City staff support the association’s request, saying it aligns with council’s priorities to create vibrant neighbourhoods and increase the economic resiliency of Kelowna. They are also exploring the possibility of a corporate sponsor to support similar initiatives in the future, such as two hours of free parking per customer per day to make sure on-street parking is maintained for short-term use.
Council will be considering the request at its next council meeting on Monday, Nov. 1.