After an 11-year price freeze the cost of obtaining a parking permit for certain streets in the borough of Cote des Neiges-Notre Dame de Grace is going up -- for some.

The borough has adopted a sliding scale for parking vignettes based on engine size, ranging from $50 to $120 per year.

Borough Mayor Sue Montgomery said she was influenced by measures that have been in place in Rosemont-La Petite Patrie for several years.

"In order to encourage people to drive less-polluting cars we would price it according to that," said Montgomery.

She expected the permit system would generate $100,000 in revenue for the borough which would go into a fund to encourage people to drive less and fight climate change.

"Our roads are highly subsidized by everyone, even if you don't own a car, so I think if you own a car and want to leave it on public property there's a price to pay for that," said Montgomery.

Opposition councillor Marvin Rotrand believes the price hike is justified but did not agree with the sliding scale based on engine size.

"A lot of people who might not complain about the permits, if they've had a significant tax increase see it [as] 'I'm getting taxed to death and I'm getting permit effect and the roads are full of potholes in this borough. Why should I be paying that?'" said Rotrand.

CDN-NDG resident Romina Niezen agreed that the price hike was not justified given the shoddy state of roads in the borough.

"It's too much. They have to take into account that most of the car owners who park on the street live here," she said, pointing out that cars were a necessity for many.

Others, such as Cathy Roy, said paying more for a parking permit was part of the price of owning a larger vehicle such as her SUV.

"I think it's a good idea to try and encourage people to buy smaller vehicles, I think of the other incentives that are coming in, stimulation for electric vehicles and those kind of things are all positive initiatives," Roy said.

Montgomery said she would like to see the permit prices increase each year, but that the CDN-NDG borough was not yet ready for that.

She also said the borough was not considering imitating Outremont, which plans to eliminate all free street parking and require all drivers to get permits to park on streets.

The rates are:

  • $50 for an electric car
  • $75 for gas/diesel engines up to 1.6 L
  • $75 for hybrids with engines up to 2 L
  • $90 for gas/diesel engines up to 2.2 L
  • $90 for hybrids up to 3 L
  • $120 for gas/diesel engines more than 2.2 L
  • $120 for hybrids larger than 3 L

With notes from Angela MacKenzie