You have to pay now

As of today, there is no more free parking at the downtown parking lot on York Boulevard and McNab Street. There used to be one hour free parking but now the city is taking that away. It seems like the city is making downtown worse and worse. First they changed all the one way streets and made them into two way streets. Their reasoning behind that was to make it easier for people to get downtown. So far, the changes that they’ve made to the downtown core haven’t been much of an improvement at all.

Downtown use to be a very busy place but throughout the years, it has gotten quieter and quieter. I use to visit the mall and just hang out there with my friends but business started to get slow. Jackson Square used to be very busy and had a lot of variety for you to choose from but as the years went by all of the shops were closing down and Jackson Square slowly turned into one giant food court. Not much good those food courts are if there’s no one to use them.

Compared to other malls in Hamilton, Jackson Square has the least amount of parking space available. If you park on the street, it’s fifty cents for thirty minutes. Bylaw workers like to hang around there because they’re bound to find people who have exceeded their time limit. If you want to park in a parking lot it will cost you anywhere from $1.25 to $5.00 depending on the day. There are a lot of parking lots available but no one wants to pay for it. If you go to Limeridge, Centre Mall or Eastgate Mall you don’t have to pay for parking but not when you go to Jackson Square.

There’s free parking available on the street but you’ll have to wait until 6:00pm for that kicks in. There used to be a one hour free parking but they’ve taken that away. Across the street from the Farmer’s Market is a parking lot that’s owned by the city. I used to park there all the time because I didn’t want to drive around looking for a parking spot. The lot gave you one hour free but if you go over by a minute, it will cost you $1.25 for parking.

Earlier today, I went downtown to get some errands done for my dad. I had to buy him a parking permit for his street. He didn’t have time to go to the Parking Authorities because they close early. By the time I get off work, they would be closed so I went during my lunch hour.

I parked in the usual parking lot since it’s free and I didn’t plan on parking for more than an hour. As I was pulling into the parking lot, one of the workers started shouting out to me that I would have to pay. She knows me because I used to work as a security guard with her so I thought she was joking with me.
After I paid for the parking permit, I went back to the parking lot and got into my car. As I was driving to the exit booth, one of the attendants yelled over to me and asked if I was a monthly payer.I shook my head to tell her no. So she waved me over to her booth. Normally, I would place the parking pass into the machine and it would open the gates if I was there for less than an hour but this time it was different.

When I got to the other booth I was informed that there would be no more free parking unless I purchased something from the Farmer’s Market. I pass through the market all the time but I never buy anything from there since I find that it’s cheaper at the grocery store. Some of the things you find at the market are fresher than grocery stores but their prices are a bit too high for my liking.

I don’t think it is worth it to get one hour free parking just for shopping at the market. It’s a bit ridiculous given the fact that the market doesn’t open every day. It would have made more sense to charge for parking during market days since parking for that area would be more demanding. Now that they’re charging for parking everyday I’m more declined to go to Jackson Square. There’s just no incentive to go downtown anymore. I guess this is how we pay for the tax deduction.