City council will reassess the trial after the two years and decide whether to make it permanent. To limit congestion on the busy street, parking is still prohibited during peak traffic hours – 7:30-9 a.m, and again from 3:30-6 p.m.
Drivers can park for $2 for a maximum of one hour in the eastbound curb lane on Elm Street, between Elgin and Lisgar streets.
“Motorists wishing to park longer than one hour may use an alternate parking meter, pay and display or attended parking lot,” the city said in a release.
The trial follows a three-month experiment city council approved last summer at the request of the Downtown Sudbury Business Improvement Area and the Downtown Village Development Corporation, endorsed by the Downtown Sudbury Master Plan.
The groups want to make downtown more shopper friendly by making it easier for people to get out of their cars and shop. City staffers opposed the plan, both this year and last, citing safety concerns. Studies conducted last year found more drivers were getting stuck on the downtown rail tracks because of increased congestion.
But there were no accidents directly as a result of the trial, and many councillors said the congestion would ease as drivers got used to the new parking spots. So they approved the two-year trial, similar to the approach they took with the ATV bylaw, which allowed the vehicles on certain city roads.
That bylaw became permanent after a successful trial.
Parking remains free of charge in downtown Sudbury, including Elm Street, during the evening and on weekends. For more information, go to the city's website, www.greatersudbury.ca, or dial 311 for municipal services.