Montreal is backing down on a project to expand the periods charged by parking meters in the city center, which had been started in the last few days by the Sustainable Mobility Agency (AMD). The Plante administration deplores in particular not having had the time to discuss with the commercial community.

“It’s really unfortunate because it caused a lot of confusion. They left with this pantyhose operation without anyone knowing it. When we were made aware, we immediately put a stop to all this deployment, ”deplored the transport manager on the executive committee, Sophie Mauzerolle, on Monday on 98.5 FM.

First seen this weekend downtown, these new stickers indicated that the parking meters would now be in effect on weekdays between 8 a.m. and 11 p.m., while the current schedule is more like 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. On Saturdays, the tariffed period would now be from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m., compared to 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. previously, and on Sundays, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., while the current tariffed schedule is from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. .

Deploring the “confusion”, Ms. Mauzerolle nevertheless recognizes that there is an “intention” of the City which is indeed behind this project, several “proposals” having already been discussed. “That said, we haven’t had the opportunity to discuss with our partners, our SDCs, the merchants, as we always do when there are proposed changes,” she said Monday.

An internal note obtained by La Presse and transmitted at the beginning of February by the director of the Urban Planning and Mobility Department, Lucie Careau, however clearly states these changes to come. In particular, it is argued that the extension of the city center time slots is planned “from April 1, 2023, where demand remains strong outside the tariff periods”.

“By being more consistent with the opening hours of bars, restaurants and other attractions, these new time slots will increase the availability of on-street parking spaces and improve mobility downtown,” writes Ms. Careau in his missive.

The new time slots, Ms. Careau slice, will be Monday to Friday between 8 a.m. and 11 p.m., Saturday between 9 a.m. and 11 p.m. and Sunday between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. These are the same times that were seen on the new stickers.

“We wanted to go meet our partners, have a little chat with them, discuss and see what they thought. But there, obviously, there were really steps that were skipped. The machine got carried away and it left faster than us. There, we put all that on hold. We are going to see our world as we always do, ”sophie Mauzerolle further justified herself.

In the opposition benches, leader Aref Salem did not fail to condemn the situation. “With Projet Montréal, it’s the same thing every time: we set up, we inform and we consult at the end. Everything is finely orchestrated to quietly swallow a new tax in disguise to the citizens, ”he insists.

“The administration may say that it will consult the partners and that it is a simple mess, its decision has already been made, as evidenced by the budget and a directive sent to the boroughs last February,” insisted Mr. Salem, lamenting that “these new time slots are deplorable and harmful” and that “the administration must commit to abolishing this decision”.