Preparing to cope with Lansdowne traffic: part II – parking
By David Baird and Brian Mitchell
This is the second article by the Glebe Community Association’s Traffic Committee examining changes to the 2004 Glebe Traffic Plan that could mitigate the traffic impact of the redeveloped Lansdowne Park, particularly for day-to-day activities.
The redevelopment of Lansdowne means more people will be living in our great neighbourhood and the Glebe will be an even more popular destination for shopping, dining and entertainment – bringing many new visitors. No matter how many people walk, ride bikes or take public transit, there will be more cars. Where will we put them?
Lansdowne Park will have underground parking with 1,350 spaces. Many people are concerned that this will not be sufficient for day-to-day requirements, especially when a regular event like a 67s game is taking place. Since it will be paid parking, we know that many visiting Lansdowne, such as moviegoers or those coming to pick up others from an evening at the Lansdowne Mall or a hockey game, will look for free parking on residential streets.
This year the City of Ottawa conducted a parking study of the Bank Street corridor in the Glebe (from Lyon to O’Connor). It confirmed what most residents already know: the supply of on-street parking is scarce, particularly in the southern part of the Glebe, the area closest to Lansdowne Park.
What adjustments can be made to address this challenge? There are many levers to play with, such as:
- shortening the parking duration on streets close to Bank Street or Lansdowne Park (e.g. from 3 hours to 1 hour);
- making use of the City’s permit parking programs for residential streets including guest parking (a program which, if approved, allows residents to provide 3-hour visitor parking permits for up to 5 guests each day);
- extending the time parking restrictions are in effect, particularly on streets close to the Lansdowne Cineplex (e.g. from 7-10 p.m.);
- adding parking spaces on both sides of wider or one-way streets; and
- changing Sunday to be paid parking on Bank Street and City of Ottawa parking lots (e.g. 170 Second Avenue).
IS A PARKING GARAGE ON SECOND AVENUE PART OF THE SOLUTION?
The City of Ottawa’s 2012 Glebe parking study was conducted to assess the need for a 3-4 storey parking garage on the existing surface level parking lot at 170 Second Avenue, behind the Metro. The study’s assessment of parking requirements was mixed on the immediate need for the parking garage – but there appears to be both funding available and political will in place to proceed with this new facility in 2013-14. The study suggests there are several peak times each week when the existing parking lot approaches capacity – but is that sufficient to justify spending over $4 million on a parking garage?
Like all changes, there are pros and cons – and the parking garage has a long list supporting each side. The Glebe Business Improvement Area (BIA) is in favour of the new parking garage to make it easier for customers to shop or dine. The garage could also be used by area residents for guests or for overnight parking during the winter. And, of course, the parking garage might help address the additional parking demands generated by Lansdowne Park, and limit the amount of new parking needed on our streets, possibly making room for cycling lanes.
On the other hand, Second Avenue is a long way from Lansdowne Park, at least for shoppers who generally want to park within 350 meters from their destination (a preference confirmed in the city’s parking study). An above-ground parking garage could also become a security concern for the community – as it has in the Byward Market. Ultimately, the 170 Second Avenue parking lot is a prime central location in the Glebe owned by the City of Ottawa. Perhaps a broader community discussion on the best use for this site is required.
Parking is not a glamorous topic but the Glebe has a convergence of events that should pique everyone’s interest – the impact of Lansdowne Park redevelopment, possible changes to the 170 Second Avenue parking lot and the ongoing enforcement of on-street parking regulations. Please make your voice heard now to the GCA Traffic Committee – not next year to a bylaw officer! Residents with suggestions on changes that could be made to Glebe streets, parking policies and cycling routes in order to cope with a redeveloped Lansdowne are encouraged to send these to email@example.com.
Brian Mitchell is chair and David Baird is a member of the GCA Traffic Committee.