While the area is popular among locals and visitors, Granville Island parking can be a nightmare.
As such, the shopping district is introducing year-round pay parking. Right now, over 60 per cent of the island has free parking. After the parking strategy comes into effect on June 19, 2019, parking will only be free before 11 am and after 6 pm.
The Granville Island 2040: Transportation Strategy predicts the district's future growth, as well as its current and projected congestion. Specifically, it addresses the need to improve access to the area, as its success depends on increased visitation while decreasing the number of cars.
Vancouver Is Awesome spoke to Scott Fraser, Marketing and Communications Officer for Granville Island, who explained that the plan is designed to address a number of issues.
"Granville Island is one of the last remaining places with free parking in Vancouver," he explains. "As such, some people will leave their car and go elsewhere. By 11 am or noon, parking congestion extends up to 4th Avenue."
He adds that the plan isn't to increase revenue, but to make the area more accessible. When asked if the changes will affect businesses, as some people may not want to pay for parking, he added that he thinks the reverse is true.
"We believe it will be an improvement for businesses. Right now, some people are unable to find parking. In fact, I know a woman who has put off doing workshops on the weekend for this reason. The weekends are too busy and she knows that many people won't attend."
Currently, Granville Island charges $3.50 an hour for its pay parking all year round. After the new strategy comes into effect, however, the rates will differ depending on the season.
From October to April, parking from 11 am to 6 pm will cost $2 an hour. From May to September, parking from 11 am to 6 pm will cost $3 an hour.