Parking the problem, and rolling forward with a fix: Standardizing options for parking in Lowertown

Finding parking downtown can be difficult.   

Whether it is looking for a spot for a business, visiting a friend, or parking your vehicle – it can be stressful if you can not find one.

Over the years, working with residents and the Lowertown Community Association, we have made several changes, including expanding the neighbourhood’s permit parking area into one large zone, which gives equal access to permit holders for all who live in our community.  

Still, the desire to improve the on-street parking situation remains in the residential areas of Lowertown.

The office receives hundreds of requests about this issue – the proximity of homes to the commercial area and major employment nodes which influences on-street residents’ parking availability. 

The fix may be as simple as altering the times of the current parking restrictions. The way to fix this is to standardize parking times in Lowertown’s residential area (North of St. Patrick). It is essential to know that this request to change parking restrictions does not propose any changes to the paid parking in the Byward Market or to King Edward Avenue signage. This area is between Guigues, Boteler, King Edward and Sussex.

Last Winter, we launched a survey discussing options for reducing parking hours and restrictions in the neighbourhood. Initially, responding to a request from the Lowertown Community Association, there was a desire to set daytime on-street parking in residential area to 1 hour during weekday hours. 

The idea was it could increase turn-over and limit access to those who come and work in our area and park on street, free of charge, every day.

The survey results were varied – with concern about reducing the times and comments about who may benefit from changes. All the survey comments and concerns were indeed valid and have helped shape our next steps to resolving the issue. We’ve heard from the survey to not proceed with a one-hour limit weekday (daytime), and we want to move ahead and propose a two-hour parking limit on weekdays (daytime).

We believe in minimizing the business/employee impacts on streets weekday which would free up more daytime on-street parking options for residents and their guests.

Standardization of on-street parking in Lowertown is needed.  The idea is that by standardizing parking from Monday to Friday to 2 hours between 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., this could drastically reduce employees working in the area from overusing on-street parking to benefit Lowertown resident’s livability.

To ensure that the results achieved are indeed the best for the community, we have launched a second survey, Parking Standardization In Lowertown. I encourage all residents to reach out and have their say. Visit and click on the link PARKING STANDARDIZATION IN LOWERTOWN to complete the survey.

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