One hour of free parking in the Uptown may become a reality if Common Council goes along for the ride. Council is being asked this evening to approve a promotion providing one hour of free parking on week days in metered spaces to help businesses in the city centre struggling with both the usual winter slow down and the impact of the COVID pandemic. Statistics show pedestrian counts in the uptown are down by 50-percent and working from home is a significant contributor to the drop in numbers.

The promotion will use the Hotspot parking app and it will be administered by the business improvement group Uptown Saint John. U-S-J has run similar promotions on its own over the past couple of years.

The city will fund the promotion with a $35,000 grant. The program is scheduled to run until the end of March or sooner if the money is used up. The Saint John Parking Commission is estimating the promotion will cost about $600-per day. It will only be offered if the region is not in the RED Level or LOCKDOWN.