Granville Island: the End of Free Parking

Just a quick post here: it looks like Granville Island has re-thought the way they provide subsidies to drivers visiting the island: no more free parking during the Olympics:

Drivers can only park for a maximum of two hours, for $3 per hour between 10 a.m. and 10 p.m. Free spots are available only up until 10 a.m.

The new charges came into effect Feb. 1. Tickets for violators are $45. In the past, visitors could use free one-hour and three-hour parking spaces found around the island. Paid parking was also available in the underground lot at Emily Carr and a handful of other lots on the island.

Being familiar with the insane amount of traffic on the Island, particularly on weekends, I have to say that this is a great move. The Island will apparently use the extra money to pay for upgrades to infrastructure, and they haven't yet decided whether to make the changes permanent.

Lisa Ono, manager of public affairs, said that management is "not there yet in terms of when or if we'll go to full paid parking permanently. It's something that's being discussed and we haven't made a decision yet about which way we're going with that".

My take: make it permanent, and, in keeping with my earlier post, pool the money towards extending a future streetcar loop around the island, in a joint project with the city. If you are going to charge for parking, then provide a more direct transportation link to the island.

If I had a magic wand:
Step 1: charge for parking
Step 2: build the streetcar, permanently
Step 3: extend it to a loop around the island
Step 4: increase density in SW False creek and along 6th ave, and provide more pedestrian crossings to the tracks.