We need to better manage our parking resources. Parking is not free. Residents, businesses and visitors pay indirectly through higher taxes, higher rents, and increased costs of goods and services.
Traditional approaches to parking management aimed for abundant and free parking at each destination, and costs for parking are incorporated into building and development costs and subsidized by governments. However, providing and requiring too much parking is as harmful to community goals as too little. New proposed strategies focus less on an ever-increasing supply of parking space, and rather seek to use facilities more efficiently.
A parking study was conducted 2016 with a focus on the Town Centre, to view the study pdf click here (7.36 MB) . In June of 2018, Council adopted an Integrated Parking Management Plan, which can be found pdf here (2.24 MB) . The plan was developed with input from stakeholder groups in the community.
Before implementation of strategies the community will have a chance to provide input on how to best implement the specific strategy.
- Provide the right mix of parking options to meet the needs of residents, visitors, workers, and shoppers
- Ensure high use parking areas are not exceeding capacity during peak season days on a regular basis
- Focus on using parking facilities efficiently, not simply providing more parking space which comes with a cost
A parking study was undertaken in 2016 with a focus on the Town Centre to provide data on parking usage and a general overview of the problems we are facing around parking. To view the full study pdf click here (7.36 MB) . Despite many initiatives geared towards easing parking in the past few years, problems still persist. The parking study highlighted that parking is presently unavailable at peak times and in certain locations in the Town Centre. This results in people hunting for convenient parking and contributing to congestion at the busiest traffic times. Without improved parking management practices, these problems will worsen. Parking comes at a significant cost, and uses up most of our available space in the Town Centre. During off-peak business hours – roughly 88% of the time, parking is underutilized.
Some key findings from the parking study include:
- parking utilization currently exceeds the 80-85% threshold in high use areas for approximately 21% of business hours during peak season days.
- when considering the entire parking stock, the overall stock is not over-utilized
- parking is under-utilized when considering all business hours
- approximately 85% of open space in the Town centre is used for vehicle lanes, laneways, private & public parking, and signage/traffic signals
- a lack of people parking space (walking, dwelling and social connection)
Over the past two years many initiatives have been completed to help improve the parking situation, some of these include:
- Local transit implementation, doubled frequency of regional transit;
- Improve connectivity for people who choose to walk and cycle:
- Bow Valley Trail CPR Crossing Improvements
- Spring Creek Drive Complete Street Improvements
- End of trip facilities – 200 bicycle parking stalls in and around Town Centre, bicycle maintenance stands installed
- 160 Centennial Park bicycle parking stalls for events
- Vehicle wayfinding signage
- Improvements to ‘Pan Handle’ area by Elevation place
- Additional surface lot adjacent to 10th Street (little house demolition)
- Angle parking on Civic Lane (adjacent to Civic Centre)
- Angle parking 6th Avenue
- Parking stall delineation on Main Street for efficient parking
- Bicycle friendly business program
- Several new on-street patios (people parking)
- 4-hour time restriction pilot
- On-it Regional Transit Pilot 2017
Stay tuned for opportunities to be involved in the implementation of specific strategies.