The City of Surrey has already removed pay parking on its streets around the hospital, and to some extent at city hall. (Photo: Lauren Collins)

City will ask Fraser Health to remove pay parking at SMH, Surrey councillor says

Surrey’s new council has already made parking free on neighbouring city streets

Surrey city councillor Mandeep Nagra says the city will be asking Fraser Health to remove pay parking at Surrey Memorial Hospital in line with its decision to make parking free on neighbouring city streets.

The city has already removed pay parking on its streets around the hospital, and to some extent at city hall, pre-empting a corporate report council is expected to vote on Monday night that that recommends it approve two-hour free parking at the city hall parkade and on-street parking surrounding Surrey Memorial Hospital.

“The parking at city hall, we have two hour complimentary parking there already, and again, all the streets around the hospital, two hour complimentary parking. Around the hospital and city hall,” Nagra told the Now-Leader on Thursday.

homelessphoto

Surrey Councillor Mandeep Nagra. (Photo submitted)

“So if you want to go to the hospital with your loved one, loved ones, it’s free. That’s what we promised and that’s what we delivered, it’s already done. And we will be talking to Fraser Health to remove the parking metres inside the hospital, as well as those underground parking.”

“We listen to people, you know,” Nagra said. “This is what they want and this is what we should be doing for them, right, we’re just messengers for them, what they want, and we’ll get it done.”

Still, the number of parking spaces that until recently you had to pay for on city streets near SMH is a drop in the bucket compared to the number pay parking spots controlled by Fraser Health.

The city operates 103 on-street pay parking spots in the immediate vicinity of SMH while Fraser Health or private companies operate 2,041 off-street parking spaces. It costs $4.25 for the first hour of parking at one of SMH’s 1,790 stalls and $3.50 per additional hour. If you’re parking in one of the Surrey Medical Arts Building lot’s 87 stalls, you’ll pay $3 for the first hour and $2.50 for each additional hour. Parking in one of Surrey Health Sciences lot’s 185 stalls will cost you $2.50 per hour, and SMH has 43 Creekside lot stall that cost $3.75 for the first hour ad $3.25 for each additional hour.s

The 10-page corporate report, penned by Fraser Smith, the city’s general manager of engineering, indicates that council’s commitment to free parking will reduce annual pay parking revenues at the city hall parkade by about $490,000 annually, and annual pay parking revenue from on-street parking around SMH will be reduced by an estimated $360,000. Together, that’s $850,000. “Metered on-street parking generates approximately $880,000 in annual revenue for the City of Surrey,” Smith noted.

City wide, Surrey has 947 metered street parking spaces, mostly in the city centre, around SMH and the four SkyTrain stations and these generate revenue to support parking management and “other transportation programs in the city,” Smith reports.

During the election campaign, Mayor Doug McCallum’s Safe Surrey Coalition promised to eliminate pay parking metres on the streets around Surrey Memorial Hospital and in the underground parking lot at city hall.

READ ALSO: McCallum says no more pay parking at Surrey city hall, near hospital if he’s elected mayor

McCallum said during the election campaign that people complain about having to pay for parking when they visit Surrey Memorial Hospital.

“When you go there you’re under stress or tension because you’re going to visit loved ones or members of your family that is sick and the last thing you need to do is to reach into your pocket and try to find some money to do a parking metre,” He told the Now-Leader prior to the election.

As for city hall, he said at the time, “I’ve always believed that’s sort of the people’s house. It’s not council’s, it’s not the mayor’s. It’s the people’s house and why would you ever want to have pay parking if you’re going to your own house sort-of-thing. If you’re going to city hall to get permits or to pay your taxes, you shouldn’t have to do it and so we’re going to offer free parking at city hall.”

That promise has been kept, at least in part. A sign at city hall reads “Complimentary Parking For City Hall Visitors” with a two-hour maximum Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., with vehicle registration required in the atrium. However, visitors parking outside those hours must still pay an evening flat rate of $3 all days and a $4 flat rate on Saturday and Sunday between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

McCallum said the reasoning for the two-hour restriction is because city hall is near a SkyTrain station.

“If we didn’t put just two hours on it then people would park there all day and take the SkyTrain downtown. We want the parking for people that go in to the city hall,” he said.

McCallum also said he and staff feel people can get their business done at city hall within two hours. However, he said, if people take longer than two hours, then they would have to go back down to the parkade and “move (their) car into another spot somewhere else and do two hours again in that spot.”

Meantime, the corporate report suggests that the two-hour time limit on parking “will discourage workers and other non-visitors from parking in these spaces, thereby maximizing the chances of visitors finding an available parking space.”

Smith notes that the three-level city hall parkade, with 827 parking spaces, was constructed under the Build Surrey Program, was intended to provide parking not only for city hall but the city centre library, and 3 Civic Plaza which includes the Civic Hotel and Kwantlen Polytechnic University.

“The parking utility expenditures include debt repayment for the city hall parkade, parking management, parking enforcement, and capital, maintenance and replacement costs for all parking infrastructure,” Smith reports. “Introducing free parking at any existing pay parking locations will reduce the funding available for these expenses.”



tom.zytaruk@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram  and follow Tom on Twitter

City HallDoug McCallum Surrey election city hall free parking promisesMandeep Nagrapay parkingSurrey councilSurrey Memorial Hospital

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Surrey bus driver tests positive for COVID-19

Routes he drove have not been disclosed

Surrey mayor denies property tax deferral motion

Councillor’s notice of motion for Surrey property taxes to be deferred until Dec. 2 out of order

Team refunds OK’d for cancelled Surrey Mayor’s Cup soccer tournament

The decision follows the amalgamation of the Central City Breakers club with Surrey Football Club

COVID-19: 4 new deaths, 25 new cases but only in Vancouver Coastal, Fraser Health

A total of 1,291 people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus

COVID-19: Don’t get away for Easter weekend, Dr. Bonnie Henry warns

John Horgan, Adrian Dix call 130 faith leaders as holidays approach

COVID-19: Trudeau says 30K ventilators on the way; 3.6M Canadians claim benefits

Canada has seen more than 17,000 cases and at least 345 deaths due to COVID-19

RCMP call on kids to name latest foal recruits

The baby horses names are to start with the letter ‘S’

As Canadians return home amid pandemic, border crossings dip to just 5% of usual traffic

Non-commercial land crossing dipped by 95%, air travel dropped by 96 per cent, according to the CBSA

Logan Boulet Effect: Green Shirt Day calls on Canadians to become organ donors

While social distancing, the day also honours the 16 lives lost in the 2018 Humboldt Broncos Crash

COMMENTARY: Knowing where COVID-19 cases are does not protect you

Dr. Bonnie Henry explains why B.C. withholds community names

B.C. wide burning restrictions come into effect April 16

‘Larger open burns pose an unnecessary risk and could detract from wildfire detection’

B.C. secures motel, hotel rooms for COVID-19 shelter space

Community centres, rooms reserved for pandemic self-isolation

Most Read