Skip to content
Join our Newsletter

Pay parking coming soon to streets surrounding Prince George hospital

City will utilize Hot Spot smartphone app to allow motorists to remotely extend street parking times near UHNBC

Hospital workers, visitors and patients who want to park close to University Hospital of Northern B.C. will soon have an option to extend the length of time they occupy that spot beyond two hours of free parking.

The city is adopting a pay-to-park system in the designated Hot Spot hospital zone that can be accessed through a smartphone application tied to an account that will allow motorists to remotely extend their parking times and avoid being ticketed.

Users will have the option of paying $1 per hour to a maximum of $7 per day through the third-party app to retain their parking spot on streets in the Hot Spot zone.

There will be no change to parking in the area immediately surrounding medical services buildings near the hospital affected by construction of a multi-story parking structure on Lethbridge Street. That will remain a two-hour free parking zone with no option to extend the time.

The digital option for the hospital zone is a convenience that caters to motorists who want to park for the day while also leaving parking spaces for short-term users, council heard Monday night.

Council approved the changes at Monday’s public meeting at city hall and also approved a staff proposal to hire a consultant in the third quarter of this year to modernize the city’s downtown parking bylaws. The policy was last updated in 2014, when technology that reads and records license plates for bylaw enforcement was introduced.

The roads that will remain as two-hour free zones include Alward Street between 10th and 15th Avenue, Laurier Crescent between Edmonton Stret and 10th Avenue, Lethbridge Street from 13th Avenue to Laurier.

Thirteenth Avenue from Winnipeg Street to Lethbridge Street and Edmonton Street between 15th and 13th Avenues will remain a no-parking zone to allow emergency vehicle access.

The Hot Spot hospital zone will include Carney Street and Burden Street between 10th and 15th; 13th Ave between Alward and Burden; 12th and 13th Avenues between Carney and Alward; 1500 block of Edmonton St.;1500-1600 block of Alward; and 1800 block of 10th and 11th Avenues.

Staff recommended the review be based on community engagement and will include an evaluation of each city-owned parkade, the possibility of expanding the C1 commercial zone as it applies to parking, and that the city conduct an inventory of the number of the downtown on- and off-street parking spaces.

City bylaws manager Charlotte Peters said it was appropriate the city looks to modernize its parking policies on the same night council received an update to the Official Community Plan for the civic core, because the two go hand in hand.

“If we try to get this right it’s something that will touch every division (including) planning /development, civic operations, finance, and civic facilities and events,” said Peters.

“We would be looking at things like accessibility issues, looking at what are we going to do about electric vehicles. Transit could certainly come into play. It’s something that touches almost everybody in Prince George and it’s certainly a very contentious issue and it’s something that hasn’t been looked at in over 10 years.”

Hiring the consultant will be done as a request for proposal (RFP) process that will be finalized in the third quarter this year, with the new parking strategy report for council to consider in Q2/Q3 of 2025 and implementation in the third quarter.

Peters was asked if there will be any special consideration given to visitors of residents in the Hot Spot parking zones, particularly for overnight visits, so they are not subject to the same restrictions/fees.

She reminded council that while the two-hour zone will still apply during the day, there are no restrictions or charges for on-street parking in the hospital zone between 5 p.m. and 7 a.m. She also said most of the tickets handed out by bylaw officers are to hospital staff, and very few were to residents.

Peters also said there will be a need for street signs that will have a QR code for motorists to download that will direct them to the Hot Zone app. Each $90 sign will come out of the parking budget and she said the total would not likely exceed $1,500.

Peters said although there was initial pushback when the city switched to the Hot Spot app to replace parking passes for its downtown parkades, the system has proven popular with users because it is considered easy to use.