In addition to the public survey and stakeholder interviews, we completed a thorough review of the current state of accessible parking on City streets and in City-owned parking lots and parkades. This data provided the City with a better understanding of the overall parking demand for accessible parking stalls.
Findings of technical review
Available accessible parking supply
Parking occupancy was generally not busy. This is in contrast to the findings of the survey and stakeholder interviews where the lack of accessible parking was identified as a top issue for the community. There could be several reasons for the discrepancy, such as a combination of existing deficiencies with the design and location of parking that make current accessible parking supply difficult to use, experiences using accessible stalls at private parking lots, or that the perception regarding a lack of accessible stalls is worse than in reality. The City does not have jurisdiction over private parking lots.
On-street vs. City-owned parking lots and parkades
On-street parking was busier than parking in City-owned parking lots. For example, Downtown on-street occupancy during the busiest hour of the day was 54% while parking lot occupancy was 23%. In terms of seasonal variation, occupancy in the Downtown was consistent between the summer and fall weekday period. In contrast, South Pandosy was busier in the fall compared to the summer.
Parking occupancy in the Downtown and South Pandosy was estimated to have declined by an overall average of at least 19% from 2019 to 2020 due to the pandemic. Accessible parking permits issued saw a reduction of 29% from 3,710 permits issued in 2019 to 2,630 permits in 2020.
Average on-street parking duration (i.e., how long a vehicle, based on its license plate, was observed to be parked at a location) was two hours or less for the Downtown and South Pandosy, while parking duration at a City-owned parking lot was up to 2.5 hours. Some vehicles were parked for six hours or more, but these were small relative to the total number of vehicles parked during the day.
Proposed changes to the accessible parking program are detailed on the main project page. Please review the recommendations, answer the quick poll and share any additional feedback in the comments section. Your comments and results of the quick poll will inform the final recommendations, which will be presented to Council for consideration in fall 2021.