Council approved a pilot Vibrant Spaces Grant Program as a strategy in support of the goals of the pdf Integrated Parking Management Plan (2.24 MB) .
A key finding of previous parking studies is that there is relatively little space for people in the Town Centre, with roads, parking, signage, street lighting, and furnishings using the majority of roadway space. Additions of patios and bicycle corrals with benches in recent years have added vibrancy to the Town Centre, however space for informal sitting and social connection is limited. The Integrated Parking Management Plan recommended finding opportunities to increase space available for ‘people parking’ – through patios, parks, parklets, benches, wide sidewalks, and plazas.
In order to create more informal public space in the Town Centre, the previously-approved capital budget of $50,000 for the construction of two parklets in 2019 and 2020 will be used towards matching grants of up to $10,000 to businesses to improve the public realm in front of their buildings. By leveraging the financial and human resources of businesses, five or more locations through the Town Centre can be improved, rather than two.
Goals of the grant program include:
- Create more spaces for informal seating and bicycle parking in the Town Centre as recommended by the Integrated Parking Management Plan;
- Improve the public and pedestrian environment of the Town Centre;
- Create vibrant spaces for people to meet up with friends and family;
- Embrace unique spaces to create one-of-a-kind experiences;
- Encourage and support economic development in the Town Centre.