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Sufficient downtown parking supply to meet demand, study concludes

Mar 22, 2017 | Planning | General

The current supply of parking in downtown Orangeville meets average demand, a parking study by Paradigm Transportation Solutions Limited concludes. The study recommends some actions to maximize existing parking but, in general, finds parking inventory appears adequate for typical weekday and weekend demand.

Paradigm notes there are 1,642 parking spaces in the downtown which includes public on-street parking (235 spaces), municipally-controlled off-street parking (343 spaces) and privately owned but publicly accessible off-street parking (1,064 spaces). Approximately 35 percent of the spaces are considered public stalls and 65 percent are considered privately-owned off-street parking.

Parking demand varies by time of day, day of the week, and week of the year. The highest demand for parking is experienced with special events in the summer in the downtown, based on the survey period undertaken. The study, funded by the Town and the Business Improvement Association (BIA), involved parking counts on eight different days over a six-month period to capture parking demand/utilization and duration for a range of days, including special event days. Community engagement, undertaken by Lura Consulting, included an online survey, stakeholder interviews, pop-up consultation events, with a total of 438 inputs received.

The study states that average parking demand can range from 36 to 79 percent of the on-street supply, 33-66 percent of the municipal lot supply, and from 20-34 percent of private off-street supply. The report states that current parking supply is sufficient to meet average demands with utilization about 50 percent. On-street parking has the highest utilization – at almost 80 percent of the available supply.

Maximum parking tends to occur mid-day between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. The consultants conclude that the overall parking supply is sufficient to meet maximum demand with peak utilization about 65 percent. Municipal lot demand approaches capacity during special events in the summer with highest utilization at almost 93 percent of available supply.

Recommended strategies include optimizing parking supply and increasing efficiency through better stall identification, improving wayfinding signage and pedestrian linkages, allocating loading areas, and providing special event shuttles. Strategies to reduce parking demand include promoting other modes of transportation, increasing parking supply by constructing new parking facilities, requesting cash in lieu from developers, and pursuing shared parking arrangements.

Orangeville Council has directed staff to implement the recommendations in the parking study as budget allocation, time, and resources permit.