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Kitchissippi Parking Strategy

Subject: Blog Post about Kitchissippi Parking Strategy
Date: Wed, 8 Apr 2015 20:01:52 +0000
From: Leiper, Jeff <Jeff.Leiper@ottawa.ca>

Hi all

For your information, the following blog post is going to be going up on our website shortly. We intend to talk about this at the Forum next week, and also to invite people to come to the public consultation. Of course, my door is always open and I welcome your thoughts on these matters.

Jeff


Parking in the Westboro Village retail area has been a persistent issue for years – and more recently, it seems to be growing along Wellington West as well. Businesses are concerned that they’re losing customers to suburban malls that offer easy car access, and even some residents find that parking is scarce when they need or want to drive to a local merchant.

When there’s parking pressure, cars begin circling the block for in order to find a spot. This creates traffic congestion and wasted time, increased air pollution and decreased pedestrian and cyclist safety.

Particularly in Westboro, the studies in 2011 and preliminary numbers I’ve seen from a 2014 study seem to bear this out. Parking demand already seems to be outpacing supply. One of the options we have at our disposal is paid parking, which could help create greater parking availability. As a growing urban area, we need to look at this carefully and seriously. But let me be clear about three things:

  • First, I will work to ensure that paid parking is not the only option: we must look at ALL options, including creative solutions not currently on the table.
  • Second: previous discussions of this issue have been hampered by a lack of public discussion and information sharing.
  • Third: in discussing whether paid parking or other tools are warranted in our neighbourhood, I will ensure we don’t look at one area alone. Westboro and Wellington West are different areas with different needs, but they are also tightly connected and serve many of the same customers.

So, when I found out that this summer, a new parking study was to be conducted for Wellington Street West, I asked the Parking Services department to ensure that both the existing Westboro studies and the newer data from Wellington West be considered together as one master strategy.

Kitchissippi Parking Strategy.

This innovative new approach meets my three criteria, which I’ll repeat: 1) full consideration of options, 2) broad consultation, and 3) a strategic, Ward-wide approach.

Westboro Parking will be the theme of Part one. I hope you’ll join us for a public consultation on Saturday, May 2 at the Churchill Seniors Centre from 1 to 3 pm to explore approaches to parking challenges including paid parking in Westboro. We’ll have the most recent parking numbers for Westboro on hand. In addition to your thoughts on how, when, and whether paid parking should be implemented, we also want to know what you think of the parking “levers” that can be pushed and pulled. For example:

  • What would be the appropriate time limits, and where? 90 minutes? 2 hours?
  • What time of day and on which days should paid parking be in effect?
  • How much should it cost?
  • With paid parking, Parking Services could provide more revenue to community projects relating to alternate forms of transportation. If this becomes available, what kind of improvements could we do with these new resources?

These are a just a few of the questions I’m sure we’ll all have.

We’ll look to integrate the same consultation with Wellington West after the numbers come out, probably in September or October of 2015. And if the numbers from the study support the introduction of paid parking, it could begin in November 2015, with the ward-wide introduction of paid parking from Golden Avenue in the west to the O-Train line in the east. From the outset, I’ll be thinking about the whole main street rather than in terms of separate sections.

Of course, I’m committed to continually reviewing paid parking if it’s implemented, and I’m keen to get the feedback on this topic from all of you who live, work and play in Kitchissippi.

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