Parking Master Plan for Guelph’s downtown
September 4, 2015
February 19, 2013
Through the Places to Grow Act the Province of Ontario requires increased population density for communities including downtown Guelph. As well, over the next 16 years the number of people who work and live downtown will double from 8,000 to about 16,000 people and jobs and as a result there is a need to plan to have sufficient parking for people living, working and visiting downtown.
Public parking infrastructure downtown has not increased since 1983 when Guelph had a population of 70,000 and as a result, on-street parking and parking lots in the downtown core are at capacity. To accommodate downtown population and employment growth targets, an additional 1,300 to 1,700 parking spaces are needed by 2031. These new parking spaces will be created by replacing downtown parking lots with a series of parkades, starting with 350 new stalls (anticipated to be the Wilson Street parking lot) and followed by 250 new stalls (anticipated to be the Neeve Street parking lot).
The current public parking system relies on a mix of revenues.
- Long-term permit holders, daily and short-term parkers, and tax support contribute to the system
- On-street parking does not generate revenue and its enforcement is paid through a cost-recovery from tickets issued
Project timeline (activities to date)
- Data collection
- Community engagement
- Background study report
- Financial strategy development
- Financial strategy development
- Council workshop
- Community engagement/survey
- Downtown Parking Master Plan approved by Council
- Tender awarded for construction of Wilson Parkade to the Newton Group
- Construction of Wilson Parkade begins
- Update to the Downtown Parking Master Plan presented to Council May 28, 2018
Future parking needs
By 2031 the downtown is being planned to support:
- 8,000 people (4x more)
- 8,000 jobs (30% more)
~1,500 new parking spaces are required by 2031:
- Assumes some shift to transit, walking and cycling
- Addresses current unmet parking needs
- Positions City for redevelopment of surface parking lots
- Required to increase economic activity
- Pooled parking to supplement private development supply to support urban form
- Assumes maximization of on-street parking supply
Sufficient reserves required to support replacement at end of service life and to leverage infrastructure needs to support additional business development opportunities.
- On-street parking in core areas at capacity
- Off-street supply at capacity during the daytime (~150 person waiting list)
- Daytime and event parking spillover to adjacent neighbourhoods a consistent community issue
- Parking turnover is occurring in core, however observations and public feedback suggest some vehicles are circumventing 2-hour limit
- Insufficient surplus available to support economic development, required intensification and the objectives of the Downtown Secondary Growth Plan
To address Guelph’s parking needs, the City will need to build new capacity, maintain existing parking infrastructure, create supportive policy, and plan for future requirements.
- Parking for people visiting the downtown core
- Parking for people living/working downtown
- Parking for downtown property and business owners
- Parking management in the downtown periphery
|On-street parking management||
|Downtown periphery parking||
Financial scenarios and considerations190 KBParking Master Plan – Financial Chart
Challenges in balancing competing interests in the system:
- Downtown employers rely on a robust parking supply with competitive rates to maintain and attract employees.
- The on-street spaces are seen as part of the customer service relationships for ground floor enterprises.
- Enforcement needs to be effective but not a deterrent to access
- Adjacent neighbourhoods are impacted but also are a source of capacity for the downtown area
- Expectations on low or free rates puts investment burden back to the larger community
Proposed parking strategies
The City of Guelph wants to create a parking strategy that leverages several revenue streams to:
- Build two new parkades (first is anticipated to be on the current Wilson parking lot, and the second anticipated to be on the Neeve parking lot);
- Maintain existing and new parking infrastructure;
- Create a reserve fund that can be leveraged to replace the East and West parkades at end of service life as well as enable future opportunities and parking infrastructure requirements; and
- Enable economic development and growth in downtown Guelph.