There are steps we can take, both large and small, short term and long term, that will preserve what we love about the community, and make changes that will make our city even better
Residents, visitors and downtown businesses have long been saying that paid parking downtown is discouraging business, and have suggested free parking on Saturdays, or even daily for the first two hours. A consultant’s report has recommended further study on free parking, and made a number of other observations and recommendations for parking downtown including: There’s(…)
Parking in the downtown remains an ongoing challenge for residents, businesses and visitors alike, so the city has been working with a consultant to explore the issues and make recommendations.
The staff report is pending, but several issues and ideas have come up in public consultations and via an online survey, including:
- reduce aggressive enforcement at metres and lots.
- implement free parking on Saturdays.
- increase the minimum parking time from two hours to three.
- increase parking supply.
- reduce cost of monthly permits in outlying areas.
My take: The suggestions above from residents and businesses are a reasonable accommodation to address the parking challenges downtown. I support extending the minimum parking to 3hrs, free parking on Saturday, reducing fees for outlying lots, working toward addressing future parking supply, and asking all people working in the downtown to pay for their own parking.
A healthy city requires a healthy downtown. A key focus for me for the balance of this council term of office will be ensuring a vibrant downtown, and moving beyond talk to ensure recommendations become actions.
In January, staff are holding a workshop for city council to explore development options for Lots 4 & 5 in downtown Burlington. Lot 4 is on Elizabeth/John St, facing Village Square. Lot 5 is on Brant Street, facing the Queen’s Head pub.
My Take: I’m pleased we are revisiting the potential for these lots. Lot 4 in particular has potential for office and underground parking development, which would bring much needed jobs, and foot traffic to the downtown, during the day, year round. This would help our local businesses and bring economic benefits to all residents of our city.
Our downtown is suffering, with a number of businesses leaving the core in recent months. One of the key issues that downtown businesses have identified is parking – availability, cost, enforcement. Businesses say their clients are going elsewhere because of parking concerns.
My Take: Taxpayers, and local businesses who are already struggling to survive downtown, should not be subsidizing municipal employee parking. We need a consistent level playing field – either everyone pay for parking or it’s free for all, which would certainly address some of the parking challenges our businesses are facing. I voluntarily pay $104/month into the city’s parking fund for my parking spot.
Burlington’s downtown businesses and residents are paying the price for City Hall’s inadequate plan to address the parking shortage.