Council approves study for downtown parking

By Roderick Benns

Council approves study for downtown parking

Tired of circling the downtown corridor to find a parking place? Council has approved the commissioning of a downtown parking strategy that will prepare the City to meet future parking demands.

The City of Kawartha Lakes is projected to grow to a permanent population of 100,000 by 2031 and the strategy will help the City prepare for this growth. (According to Statistics Canada, the population was just 52,600 in 1986 vs 75,423 in 2016.) 

In the last several years demand for downtown parking has increased dramatically. In downtown Lindsay the average rate of use for parking during peak weekday business hours has increased from 61 per cent in 2014 to 81 per cent in 2018.

Bobcaygeon and Fenelon Falls have also seen increased pressure on parking resources especially during the busy summer season.

“Through the study we will assess the state and operation of existing municipal parking infrastructure in the downtowns of Lindsay, Bobcaygeon and Fenelon Falls,” says Adam Found, manager of corporate assets for the City of Kawartha Lakes.

“We will be looking at industry best practices, service model options, cash-in-lieu of parking policy for development and solutions for meeting growth-related parking demands in future.”

With a budget of $100,000, the downtown parking strategy comes from a recommendation in the City’s Transportation Master Plan recognizing the need to expand municipal parking capacity in downtown areas to meet the needs of development and growth.

The study will involve consultation with local business associations, developers, the general public and other community stakeholders.

Work on the strategy will begin as soon as a consultant is retained through a request for proposal, and it is expected to conclude by mid-2019.

The City of Kawartha Lakes has more than 31,000 seasonal residents (2013 Housing Need and Demand Study) and 1.4 million tourists every summer. New residents and tourists help spur the local economy to the level of $99 million a year.

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