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Staff recommends more parking lots, pay and display

Changes to parking may soon unfold in Picton.

Councillors, at Thursday’s committee of the whole meeting, will review a report from the Community Development Department that recommends:

-The south side of Picton Main Street from Lake Street to the Royal LePage property be converted from free to metered parking

-The installation of ‘pay and display’ metered parking in Market Lane be approved subject to the establishment of additional free parking in Picton’s downtown core;

-That  council endorses the creation of a Cash-In-Lieu of Parking Bylaw;

-That the municipal property on York Street be identified for parking expansion and that the cost of converting this property to a gravel parking lot be included in the 2015 budget;

-That the municipal property on King Street in front of Benson Hall be identified for parking expansion and that the cost of converting this property to a paved parking lot be included in the 2015 budget;

-That council endorses investigation of further parking management changes including the replacement of traditional meters with pay-and-display meters, the addition of weekend parking enforcement and an increase in hourly parking meter rates; and

– That staff be directed to investigate the potential of acquiring land in Picton and Wellington for the expansion of public parking.

In 2010 a Downtown Picton Parking study was completed by the IBI Group which provided recommendations to improve availability and management of parking in Picton’s downtown core.

Some actions were taken following the study, others, including land acquisition, establishment of new lots, cash in lieu of parking and other revenue generating approaches were not implemented.

Staff created a report, recommending implementing a number of the study’s recommendations, to create funding for parking expansion in Picton and other parts of the County and to identify future locations for parking expansion.

In 2010, council implemented two of 13 recommendations – updating signage at the Mary Street and Market Lane off-stree parking lots and installing 18 marked parking spaces with no meters on the south side of Main Street between Lake Street and the Royal LePage Real Estate.

In 2012, recommendations were again brought forward but not implemented. However, a meter rate increase to 75 cents, from 50 cents per hour was approved.

The report states recent development pressures in Picton and Wellington have brought the issue of parking to the forefront.

“Staff and developers are struggling to identify parking solutions for proposed new developments and to address the increasing tourism traffic in the County’s downtown cores,” the report states. “These problems could hinder business development which would bring with it new employment and tax assessment.”

The 2010 parking study says there are 750 public spaces within Picton’s core and along key roads leading to and from the downtown. Many of these on-street spaces are designated for specific users including taxis, police and specific businesses.

From the report:
york-street-parking
York Street
In the 2010 parking study, municipal property on York Street (south of Main Street) was identified as a location for the establishment of a parking lot within the core. This would allow for up to 70 additional  parking spaces; however, the property is located at the bottom of a fairly steep hill making it only suitable for long-stay (employee) parking and unattractive for visitor & patrons parking when considering accessibility needs and mobility issues.
As a means of reducing the impacts of long-stay parking in areas which should be geared to short-stay visitor  parking, this property represents an immediate, if temporary, solution, provided measures are taken to discourage long-stay parking at downtown lots and on-street spaces closer to Main Street.
The estimated cost of converting this land from grassy open space to a gravel parking lot initially is $180,000.00. Based on an average price per square metre of $55.00, an additional $185,350.00 or $2,600 per space would be required to pave this lot at some point in the future.
Staff recommends that Council identify this lot for parking expansion and commit the funds required in the 2015 budget to convert it to a gravel lot.
Benson-Hall-parkingKing Street – Benson Hall
In addition to York Street, staff has identified a portion of the municipal property on King Street in front of Benson Hall as having potential for 15 – 20 additional parking spaces within the core. This property was once the location of a single tennis court that has since fallen into a state of disrepair.
All that remains of the court at this time is the asphalt which has cracked and heaved. While representing only a modest increase in parking, this site is attractive because:
It is within the downtown core
It is connected to Main Street via an existing walkway alongside the Marine Archives Building
Removal of the old fencing and increased use of the area would increase the visibility and profile of Benson Hall and the public park
The land is already owned by the Municipality and could be easily and quickly converted into additional parking
Using the same average price per square metre of $55.00 for preparation and paving, the cost of converting the Benson property to a paved parking lot would be approximately $40,000 or between $2,000 and $2,700 per space depending on the configuration.
Staff recommends that Council identify this lot for parking expansion and commit the funds required in the 2015 budget to convert it to a paved parking lot.

The full report here: https://princeedwardcounty.civicweb.net/Documents/DocumentList.aspx?ID=86495

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  1. Gary says:

    It’s a program gone mad! Stick a designation on a building and expect owners to to renovate, preserve and protect without providing dollars. If there is no assistance to provide all the necessary funding then it is no one else’s business what the owner does with their personal property. How does one propose to save every old building in the County? When Shire Hall wanted the next door historic property it dropped! You will see a lot more dropping.

  2. Paul says:

    Isn’t that why designation is important maybe not so great for existing owners but future owners will be aware of their obligation. Historically significant buildings need to be identified…

  3. Gary says:

    Sorry Lena that you feel a debate between Marnie and myself was tiring for you. You certainly could have chimed in with solutions but failed to do so. You now carry a heritage flag but are not offering any financial offerings to property owners! You sound like others that feel they have the right to speak about what owners do with their properties without a nickel invested!

  4. Mark says:

    Should have put your money up Lena if it was that important to you. Don’t burden the property owner with unreasonable costs.

  5. Lena Veyatelas says:

    Sorry, I’m know we’re all a bit tired of the Gary and Marnie show we had here, and I don’t want to resurrect it but I did have to comment on the Brick Church. Yes, it was never designated a “heritage site”, which does not mean it was not historically significant. It’s destruction made national headlines and earned a place in the Worst Losses Archives of Heritage Canada. https://www.heritagecanada.org/en/issues-campaigns/top-ten-endangered/worst-losses-archive

    A designation as a heritage building does not make it so, it only recognizes the fact and tries to bring it some protection.

  6. Emily says:

    Exactly correct Mark. As you have proposed if it doesn’t matter where you live to run in any ward why are we not electing the best councilors County wide. And that number could be 8 rather than 15!

  7. Mark says:

    Good point Gary. I tend to suspect or lean away from council candidates that run in wards other than where they live. They lack a feel for the community, do not pay the skyrocketing Picton water bills, have to deal with unpoliced residential streets etc. What reason would a candidate have to not run in their own ward for election other than to find a place they get to the horseshoe without a threat of losing. They use the excuse that ward representation is so important as a reason not to reduce Council size but jump to any ward in an election to sit at the table! How is that ward representation?

  8. gary says:

    You could ask your councilor. But why do candidates run in a ward that they do not live in? Why is the latest Picton candidate running in Picton when he doesn’t live there? Is it a care for Picton or choosing where you have the best chance to win?

  9. R.Richman says:

    If council wants to increase the money from parking first have the by law officier on the street 8 hours a day not 2 or 3. I see every day cars park at no parking. Have our famous OPP get out of their cars and write some tickets, O Iam sorry you never see them on main street driving or walking. When some one gets hit by a car at the cross walk at the Regent because some one has parked at the cross walk to get tickets at the box office or what ever who is at fault. I have seen our famous police drive right pass without even giving a second look. I believe a $100.00 fine is given for this parking bad habit that no one enforces. There are lots of situation similar to this infraction. Has any one else saw such situations

  10. Mark says:

    Paul; It can be difficult for tourists to understand our traffic flow system and I can sympathize with them. Can you imagine coming to Picton for the first time and dealing with the infamous Town hill (who has that) and the craziest street lights in the world at the Walton St, Main, Ferguson and Mary streets. You have a green and before you are through you have a red. Pedestrian signals are 80 percent don’t walk! And we have the only Tim Horton’s in Canada that have their own traffic lights! (lucky them). Then let’s paint the road markers with s..t and let it smear all over the road to create more confusion.

  11. Paul says:

    I agree Mark the painting is poorly done however it has helped visitors to The County to navigate in Picton. I witnessed a driver proceed on the wrong side of the road from Tim Hortons all the way to Metro.I at that point emailed a complaint to the Road Works department it wasn’t long after they were attempting to paint new lines..

  12. Mark says:

    I don’t know who was recently contracted to paint the road markings and turn lanes in town but they are washing out badly and smearing the road.

  13. Gary says:

    Perhaps the latest mayoral candidate Mr.Boyd has some ideas and proposals on how to reduce traffic speed on residential streets, crosswalk problems and parking. The police do not regulate speed in Picton particularly residential so we need a Mayor that can get on their ass since we are paying so very well for their service.

  14. Mark says:

    Why there is not traffic lights and a crosswalk at the corner of East main and Paul st is mind boggling. It’s a no brainer for traffic flow and pedestrian safety.

  15. Mark says:

    Careful with the jay walking Doris although I understand. If you live anywhere’s north of Main St such as King st, Paul st, etc you have to jay walk to get to our Municipal building Shire Hall. There is no cross walk between the Regent and the Community Centre. With few traffic lights and legal crosswalks in Picton compared to towns with much fewer tourist traffic it places the municipality at risk. They are aware of the issue, and have chosen not to act, thus they carry the liability.

  16. Doris Lane says:

    At crosswalks I press the button and wait until the cars coming both ways stop.
    When jay walking wait at the side of the street until a driver motions me to cross.
    BUT everyone does not follow those rules

  17. Gary says:

    That’s good stuff Ken, but the question was about the local business owner you brought into disrepute on this public forum.

  18. Ken Globe says:

    Yes Gary, I have broken traffic laws. But if I can park a 22 foot long truck in a parking spot at the BMO, or parallel park it in a proper designated spot on any street in Picton. I think anyone in a much smaller vehicle should be able to do the same thing. I drive in downtown Picton fully expecting people not to push the button at the crosswalks (why you would ever want to make your intentions known to the drivers). Or better yet, just walk out from between parked cars to dart across the road. Obviously no one remembers Elmer the Safety Elephant’s traffic safety rules down here. I drive for a living and I value my license so I tend to try to follow the rules of the road.

  19. Gary says:

    Ken; have you ever broken a traffic law? Would you like to be identified along with your business on a forum such as this?

  20. Marnie says:

    Ken, in the instances I saw they were tourists – bikes and camping gear strapped to their vehicles and out-of-province plates on one van. I’m sure that locals do it too however. Too bad that they seem to get away with it.

  21. Paul says:

    This has happened to me twice so far this year I’m paying attention at the crosswalk by Giant Tiger watching for pedestrians, thinking its safe to continue only to have tourist crossing in front of The Bean Counter. Its very dangerous when you think its all clear and proceed only to have pedestrians pop out 20 feet from the crosswalk..

    I agree with you Gary our Police should have a greater presence in the downtown core and tickets should be issued to pedestrians, drivers and vehicles that create hazardous conditions..

  22. Paul says:

    I agree with you Gary our Police should have a greater presence in the downtown core and tickets should be issued to pedestrians,drivers and vehicles that create hazardous conditions..

  23. Gary says:

    Sadly it is much safer to jay walk and know you can get across than using the crosswalks. You cannot assume anyone is stopping at a crosswalk and to do so could be travesty. Cars and trucks parking directly next to crosswalks is a serious issue as it blocks the view of the driver seeing the pedestrian. You see it all the time however. I still don’t know why with the glut of OPP officers we have that one can’t walk the beat downtown.

  24. Paul says:

    Public transit is a good idea but geared more towards locals and possibly would only run in the summer this would ease congestion in the core and free up parking for tourist.. I have funny feeling tourist wouldn’t use public transit in a small town they have a hard time using the crosswalks..

  25. Gary says:

    In an ideal world you would have a bypass on the railbed from Hwy 49 to Hwy 33 at Canadian Tire. Many visitors and locals just want to get where they are going and have no interest in downtown. Adding significantly to the problem is that every tourist from the Park that wants a case of beer has to drive all the way down Main St. and all the way back. It’s requires planning and adjustments to make it work. But of course it all costs dollars.

  26. Ken Globe says:

    Are you sure they were summer tourists Marnie? I’ve seen lots of locals who regularly take them. Along with the locals who park in the fire lanes and loading zones at Sobey’s No Frills and the Metro. And there’s also the locals who angle park and take up two spaces in the parking lot at the BMO. I watched (someone) park his BMW right in front of the Regent almost in the crosswalk, hop out, and go to the post office. He told me he couldn’t be bothered trying to find a spot further down the street and “it was only for a couple of minutes”. I see similar things behind the Subway where people will block in the handicapped spots.

  27. Marnie says:

    Gary – Thank goodness Sanmc, myself and others can “jest”. What is life without a sense of humour? While what we said in jest was a joke about the congestion on Picton’s Main Street these days, the situation is not funny. We do not have the infrastructure to handle this influx of tourists. Bloomfield is in similar situation. The resulting traffic congestion is becoming a bigger and bigger problem. I happened to be talking to three different town merchants this week. One of them is a restaurant owner, the other two have clothing stores. They all reported that the summer has been quiet. Lots of people on the streets but not that many buying anything. Shopping in Picton these days is no fun. Interestingly enough on three separate occasions I have watched our summer visitors steal handicapped parking slots without a second thought. They could find nowhere to park and were determined to stop where it was convenient for them.

  28. Paul says:

    Public transit is a great idea but I think it would be better geared towards County Residents use and if it only ran in the summer months it may alleviate congestion in the core and free up parking spaces for terrorist oops tourists.. I have a funny feeling they wouldn’t use a small town public transit system heck they seem to have a hard time understanding and using a crosswalk…

  29. Gary says:

    You and Marnie can put up your signs at the Town border, “No Visitor’s Parking, Reserved for Locals Only”. I can only hope your suggestions were in jest.

  30. sanmc says:

    Gary,
    However, the sh*tt pumping truck makes its rounds and it’s not free. It’s spewed out onto unused agricultural land by a man wearing a sh*tt protective suit. There was talk of it going to Picton and fee charged to put it in the system.

  31. sanmc says:

    To make an Addition:

    A flea market type large warehouse, barn, building, free parking as usual and vendors PAY. This is how the Women’s Institute makes thousands of dollars for one day’s craft show the end of July (a Thurs. I might add) every year.

    The parking fee money is peanuts.

    That’s all folks! um for now.

  32. Gary says:

    Are you under the assumption that wine, gas and sh’tt taxes come into the County coffers?

  33. sanmc says:

    The prob is the circulation of cars and the reasons why the congested downtown. Hmm. WHEN did they come up with this notion ? . . that downtown needed more fee parking spaces? answer > in the summer time? tourists time? back to school time, or in the dead of winter?

    Parking brings in little compared to wine tax, gas tax, sh’tt tax. I say open a County Council (insert mayor’s first name here _______ ) Donut Shop combo grocery store combo beer store and build it next to the traffic circle. I guess the town can’t support any new businesses starting up (greed factor 101) at the risk of them going bankrupt due to seasonal profits.

    Perhaps we taxpayers, should protest for seasonal tax paying as well. This is a ridiculous way to handle car congestion and to get more ppl in town to spend money. I like the option of taking the town to the ppl.

    Wow, I bet Bloomfield, Wellington, Concecon, Rossmore don’t have this congestion issue. It’s a money grab for the summer and for us to pick up the tab in the winter when parking lots and shops are barren, isolated and appearance of bankruptcy (God forbid). Again, seasonal tax paying.

    The shopping downtown models all show if you are going to invest in a new business, downtown is not the place to do it, unless you have a bus to serve it. Competing with free parking malls is silly. County money spent on buses / streetcar / horse & buggy is the answer and take that bus, fill it with beer drive it to Milford & Bloomfield along with patrons/tourists.

    Imagine that, a new idea: a horse driven cart in downtown Picton filled with tourists who parked there car at the fair grounds before boarding. Poor horsee, alright a lawnmower driven cart with a horse / cow head on it along with the fruity loomers logo. Heck build the cart a red barn shape. Promotion at its best.

    Option: no bus! Then, Picton needs a mall just on the outskirts next to Home Hardware. What a delight to go THERE now. A wise move. If that were to happen, perhaps some of those tourists would open seasonal stores for the summer. Hey, like a grand flea market that closes for winter as was done at Stittsville, St. Jacobs. hmm. Quote: “competition .. no no not THAT, cause I was a tourist at one time, and I want to live here, make profit here now.” unquote.

    Think outside the box! Umm, it begs the question > What is the REAL problem here?

    I’m still tiffed. lol

    “Follow the Money”

  34. David says:

    A lot of comments in this thread. Want to go back to Phil’s comments. I agree with what he said. What is most worrisome were his comments related to the CAO. Over the past 9 months. I have had some direct dealings with the CAO, or close friends of mine have as well. When I e mailed a question to him he answered that he would not answer me and that I should basically “keep quiet.” He could only be approached after I had gone through the “chain of command” ( other managers). When I later left a voice message, it was ignored. When friends of mine were finally able to meet with him, one quote he used was “I report to no one”. This is a scary thought given that we live in a democracy. Councillors need to be close to more decisions otherwise what could happen?

  35. Chris Keen says:

    Think we’ve “jumped the shark” now!

  36. Marnie says:

    Best idea yet Sanmc. Rent a farm field for tourist parking and bus the visitors into town. Keep the downtown parking for locals. Existing parking is enough for the year-round residents needs. There’s a great opportunity there for anyone willing to run a shuttle bus.

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