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Guelph throws another $126,000 at free parking

This time it's in presumed lost revenue from parking tickets for parking overnight on city streets, if that's any comfort. A rough tally of what we're planning to spend on driving in and around Guelph over the next few years is now at a minimum of $481,312,500.00 of announced programs.

$400,000,000.00 - estimated cost of new Highway 7 between Guelph and Kitchener.
$50,000,000.00 - estimated minimum cost of Hanlon upgrades (only between Clair and Wellington, three other sections will be upgraded/built in the near future).
$30,000,000.00 - estimated minimum cost for two 500-stall parking garages downtown.
$686,500.00 - approximate lost revenue to the City from having free 2-hour parking downtown during business hours.
$126,000.00 - lost parking ticket revenue from allowing overnight parking without calling 836-PARK for permission, for the next six months, added to the list at last night's council meeting.

For reference, Guelph Transit has a budget of $18,155,960.00 this year, of which $10,315,909 is projected to come from fare and other revenue (such as on-bus advertising), for a net expense of $7,840,051 taxdollars this year (according to page 24 of the City's budget). All things being equal, our general subsidies into cars in Guelph and area (not counting things like existing road maintenance) over the next couple of years would allow the various levels of government that are currently preoccupied paving over the region to make riding the bus free by paying all of Guelph Transit's revenue -- for approximately 46 years. Incidentally, that's only slightly more than the number of years of monthly bus passes each parking space in the new parking lots will cost.

So effective is our road investment in Guelph that to attend the council meeting last night, in which Council agreed to give up our dependency on $126,000 of revenue from violating our parking laws, that I needed to drive the 6 km from my home to City Hall. I could have taken the bus, of course, but with Guelph's ingenious 40-minute peak-hour service, I'd have had to leave over an hour earlier than I did to arrive on time for council's sitting.

Canadian Auto-Workers Union, take note! Guelph is doing its part to ensure more cars get and stay on the road.

Posted at 17:20 on April 29, 2008

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