Ex­tra Mar­ket Square park­ing not re­quired.

Mak­ing Welling­ton Street one-way to ac­com­mo­date more park­ing a no-go for coun­cil­lors

The Beacon Herald - - FRONT PAGE - GALEN SIM­MONS STAFF RE­PORTER GALEN SIM­MONS/THE BEA­CON HER­ALD

It seems as though the down­town park­ing is­sues many ex­pected fol­low­ing the con­struc­tion of Strat­ford’s Mar­ket Square aren’t nearly as prob­lem­atic as peo­ple an­tic­i­pated.

Among sev­eral rec­om­men­da­tions meant to im­prove park­ing in Strat­ford’s down­town, city coun­cil­lors dis­missed a sub­com­mit­tee re­quest Tuesday evening for staff to re­view two sug­ges­tions that would al­low for the cre­ation of 29 new park­ing spa­ces around city hall and Mar­ket Square.

Stem­ming from an up­date on the city’s park­ing ac­tion plan at the Sept. 27 in­fra­struc­ture, trans­porta­tion and safety (ITS) sub­com­mit­tee meet­ing, five rec­om­men­da­tions were brought for­ward to Tuesday’s ITS stand­ing com­mit­tee meet­ing for dis­cus­sion. Of those rec­om­men­da­tions, coun­cil­lors voted to ap­prove – at the com­mit­tee level – a re­duc­tion in hourly park­ing rates from $1 to $0.75 in the Lower Erie and Kalbfleisch lots, and an in­crease to the max­i­mum time limit at all of the city’s three-hour park­ing me­ters to four hours. Both of th­ese rec­om­men­da­tions will be brought to a fu­ture coun­cil meet­ing for fi­nal ap­proval.

Yet when it came time to con­sider in­creas­ing park­ing around city hall and Mar­ket Square, coun­cil­lors were a lit­tle con­cerned how the ad­di­tional spa­ces would im­pact the aes­thet­ics and flow of down­town.

“The com­ments I’ve re­ceived since Mar­ket Square was com­pleted have not been sur­round­ing the need for more park­ing, as they were when we were con­tem­plat­ing Mar­ket Square. I think peo­ple have changed their way of mak­ing their way around the core,” Coun. Danielle In­gram noted.

Ac­cord­ing to deputy clerk Ta­tiana Dafoe’s re­port to the ITS sub­com­mit­tee, es­tab­lish­ing ad­di­tional park­ing spots along city hall and Welling­ton Street was sug­gested as a way to off­set the po­ten­tial loss of park­ing fol­low­ing the com­ple­tion of Mar­ket Square.

With coun­cil’s pre­vi­ous ap­proval of the con­struc­tion of a new tran­sit ter­mi­nal in the Cooper Site’s Downie Street lot, a to­tal of seven park­ing spa­ces could be added to each side of the bus bays along­side city hall.

Dafoe also sug­gested the sub­com­mit­tee con­sider mak­ing Welling­ton Street one way for south­bound traf­fic only. By mak­ing Welling­ton a oneway street, Dafoe wrote that par­al­lel park­ing next to city hall could be con­verted to an­gled park­ing and nine par­al­lel spa­ces could be es­tab­lished along­side Mar­ket Square, all the way to St. Pa­trick Street.

In to­tal, Dafoe re­ported that an ad­di­tional 15 park­ing spa­ces could be cre­ated if Welling­ton Street was con­verted to one way.

“I think city hall looks nice. Why would you want to line it up with cars now?” Coun. Ge­orge Brown asked. “We’re not hav­ing the park­ing is­sues ev­ery­body thought we would.” gsim­mons@post­media.com

Mem­bers of Strat­ford’s stand­ing com­mit­tee on in­fra­struc­ture, trans­porta­tion and safety dis­missed a sub­com­mit­tee rec­om­men­da­tion Tuesday evening to have staff re­view a sug­ges­tion to make Welling­ton Street one way to al­low for the es­tab­lish­ment of ad­di­tional park­ing along city hall and Mar­ket Square.

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