Downtown parking on city’s radar — again

The City of Ottawa plans to review parking issues in the downtown area this year amid concerns that workers pouring daily into the central core are depriving Centretown residents of places to park their vehicles.

The planned review was noted in the city’s annual review of parking services for 2015, which was submitted to the transportation committee on April 6.   The 2015 review also described plans to install Parking Guidance Systems at city hall and a public garage on Gloucester Street.
The Centretown parking review began with preliminary steps in November, when multiple stakeholders and residents were consulted on parking issues in the area.
The Centretown Citizens Community Association was part of the consultation process. CCCA president Mitch Vandenborn said there are many parking concerns facing Centretown residents.
“There’s a big problem with the number of employees who come downtown during the day and take up on-street residential parking spaces and then leave,” he said. “Throughout the day you find that there’s a lot of spaces unavailable and then those spaces free up when they are not as needed after hours.”
He added that another major issue in the area is the lack of space available in high-rise residential complexes north of Gloucester Street, particularly for visitors and service providers.
The CCCA’s seniors committee has echoed those sentiments, arguing that seniors in the area find the limited number of parking spots is a concern for their visitors and caretakers.
Vandenborn said he hopes the Centretown parking study will bring changes to the way the city handles the flow of cars in the neighbourhood.
“There’s definitely still a lot to be done,” Vandenborn said. “We would like to see less cars downtown, (and) finding the correct way to manage the parking supply to be able to ensure that there is enough spaces for residents, their visitors, and service providers.”
He added he hopes the city considers consulting with employers about providing specific parking spaces for their employees, or doing more to encourage those who visit the area to use public transportation.
Vandenborn said the parking study is a positive step forward to address all of the unique challenges that come with living in the downtown core.
The 2015 parking review also highlighted improvements to the city hall parking garage, where concrete foundation repairs were recently made.
The planned parking guidance system, which was recently implemented in the Byward Market and the Glebe parking garage at 170 Second Ave., “includes dynamic digital display boards outside each entrance that shows the availability of conventional and accessible spaces, as well as digital displays inside that show the number of spaces available on each floor.”
According to report, the PGS technology will be implemented at city hall as well as the city-run garage at 210 Gloucester St.

The final report for the Centretown parking study is to be tabled at a transportation committee meeting in May, according to Somerset Coun. Catherine McKenney’s website.