Downtown Parking Strategy

How to Participate

Our initial public survey closed on February 18th, 2019. Thanks to the over 850 people who responded. The results and next steps will be announced in March.


Timeline of Key Events

Phase 1 (January and February 2019): Listen, Learn, and Collect

  • Initial consultation (idea crowdsourcing), including with the business community
  • Collect data

Phase 2 (March 2019): Coming Up with Proposals

Phase 3: Consult

Phase 4: Implement


What Has Happened So Far

Summer 2016: first data collection on parking in the downtown and research on parking demand management best practices
April 2017: Draft parking strategy document (view here)
January 2018: Implemented new residential permit application process to better enforce eligibility

As downtown Nelson becomes busier, the availability of convenient parking in the downtown has been raised as an issue by the business community, visitors and the community at large. Council had identified the need to develop a parking strategy as a priority in their 2015-2018 Strategic Plan. The City established an internal parking committee that has been working since the beginning of the year to develop a draft strategy. Staff presented the draft parking strategy to Council on May 15, 2017 and were directed to develop a consultation process with stakeholders.

The draft strategy includes a vision for more efficient use of existing downtown parking as well as opportunities to develop new parking, identification of guiding principles, and strategies and actions for implementing those principles.

In 2016, staff completed an initial review of parking availability in the downtown. This review included paid meters, free two-hour parking zones, institutional and private parking, handicap stalls and loading zones. During the summer review period, it was determined that the average occupancy of public stalls throughout the entire downtown core parking area was 75%, with key locations on Baker, Vernon, Victoria, Kootenay and Josephine Streets being well over 85% during the hours between 10:00am to 4:00pm. Optimal parking stall occupancy is considered to be 85%. With an average of 75% utilization, Nelson’s downtown core is slightly below optimal use. It was also noted in this review, that handicap stalls (50% occupied) and institutional and private parking appeared underutilized, that loading zones were well used and the 15 minute meters were causing confusion for drivers.