Port Hope parking study gets first approval

Study recommends more meters and moving long-stay parking further from the downtown core
Downtown parking should be short-stay and lots for long-stay parking should be added on the outskirts of the downtown core, a new draft parking study states.

Downtown merchants asked council for a new parking study last May. Twenty years after the last complete parking study was done in downtown Port Hope, a new $29,050 parking review by IBI Group was presented to council, on Tuesday, Feb. 16.

The study included a parking survey over the week of the All-Canadian Jazz Festival in September. It found the highest demands were on Walton Street, the free parking on Elias Street was at capacity throughout the weekdays, and turnover was high at the on-street meters.

"The key findings shouldn't really come as a surprise to anybody," said Stuart Anderson, from IBI Group.

The consultant recommend leasing additional parking lots for long-stay parking, which should be moved to peripheral parking lots.

"We have to give employees somewhere to go before changing the system," said Mr. Anderson.

Once the extra parking is in place, the report recommends changing existing spaces on Ontario, Elias, Queen and Augusta streets to metered parking spots. That could bring in an extra $27,000 in annual revenue.

The existing 34 on-street meters would stay in place and the Elias Street lot could have a pay and display machine installed to replace the meters there.

More paid parking lots could be created after extra space is provided for long-stay parking.

An after-hours taxi stand was recommended near the Walton and Ontario streets intersection.

The 72-hour parking currently allowed would be eliminated. Drivers could park for 12 hours and the municipality will provide permits for overnight off-street parking.

Bike parking racks should be added to downtown streets to give people an alternative to driving.

The consultant also recommended the municipality establish a capital reserve fund for future parking system improvements.

Council gave the Comprehensive Downtown Parking Study and Strategy first approval. It will come back to the Feb. 23 meeting for the final vote. Municipal staff were asked to review the recommendations and return to council to outline priority actions, budget implications and implementation timelines.

"This is quite a thorough explanation and review of our parking situation," said Councillor David Turck.
IBI Group
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