Calgary already has the second highest downtown parking rates according to an international parking survey, but it may only get worse if the city can’t keep up with supply and demand, says a local building association.

An annual global parking survey released yesterday by Collier’s International placed Calgary second to only New York in parking costs in North America, with Calgarians paying an average of $460 a month for downtown parking.

Bill Partridge, executive vice-president of the Building Owners and Managers Association of Calgary, said he isn’t surprised by the report because of the market conditions in the city.

“The problem is, when you have an increasing demand for parking downtown and the removal of surface parking, without replacing the lots at the same time they are taken away, you are going to have parking shortages,” Partridge said.

Partridge noted the problem of supply and demand coupled with the city’s transit limitations might cause more problems in the future, perhaps spurring even higher parking costs.

“We’re feeling the effects of a perfect storm. People drive to the core, because I presume, that is what they feel is much more efficient for them,” he said. “High demand and short supply is what is driving the prices up.”

Ward 8 Ald. John Mar’s motion to lower short-term parking costs in the downtown core was shot down by fellow aldermen on Monday; a move he says was “disappointing.”

“I think this (survey) validates what I have been saying all along. It’s one more barrier for citizens being able to access downtown parking.”

While many Calgarians are unhappy with the additional parking costs of working downtown, 27-year-old Jacob Fox said he got lucky when he found monthly parking for just $100 a month.

“It’s just a bit of an extra walk but it’s worth it,” he said.

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