LETTER: Businesses should provide adequate parking

Following last year’s tourist crush, the County conducted a “Have Your Say” online survey. 108 respondents clearly voiced concern about the traffic/safety problems at Lake on the Mountain.

Staff analysis of the survey concluded that the traffic conditions are “potentially deadly”.

At the February 25th meeting of Committee of the Whole, Councillor Stewart Bailey proposed an amendment to the parking by-law to restrict parking on both sides of the road from Glenora church on the west to one lot past the park’s eastern boundary. The motion passed unanimously. The resort owner claims that the County’s attempt to keep the public safe by introducing parking restrictions will “cripple his thriving business and destroy a much-loved tourist destination”.

The resort owner reports that the Inn restaurant and the Miller House Brasserie can accommodate 160 guests at full capacity. No mention is made, however, of the additional guests who rent rooms at the “House across the Road” who also need a place to park. No mention is made of the number of staff who drive to work and need a place to park. No mention is made of the parking required by guests who attend special events (weddings) at the Pavilion on the resort property. There are no signs anywhere on the property directing the public to the 40 spaces the resort claims to provide.

In actual fact, the western entrance to the resort property has a sign stating “Private Drive”. Can this safety problem be resolved on Lake on the Mountain road ? Yes, it can. The resort owner can easily alleviate the situation by creating a parking lot using the space that is available on their own property. The resort could start by clearly marking with appropriate signage the 8 spaces plus one accessible parking spot they were obliged to construct as shown on the County’s site plan agreement 3772-2016. It is not up to the County or the Province to create parking spaces for local businesses. Just ask any other restaurants/pubs that run a similar business on County Road 8.

In all likelihood these restaurants had to create patron parking spaces in order to run their business. Mr. Kreutzwiser may be correct in speculating that the County’s proposed parking restrictions to the east and west of the park might simply shift the problem from one part of the road to another that is further away from the park.

A suggestion is therefore being put forward that the proposed “no-parking zone’ be extended a full 500 metres east of the park boundary, and possibly all the way from the west boundary to the intersection of Chuckery Hill Road.

Patrons of the resort would then use the resort’s (new) parking lot(s), while visitors to the park could use the provincial parking lot. Additionally, perhaps the provincial authority would consider doubling the capacity of the existing parking lot. Since it has proposed a paid-parking system, the expense of expanding the parking lot would likely pay for itself very quickly. In summary, the safety/parking issues have to be addressed by cooperation of all parties involved. The County can (and should) restrict or eliminate the parking on the shoulders of the road and implement traffic calming techniques.

The Province can participate by creating extra space in the existing parking lot. Finally, the local business owners can (and should) step up and do their part by providing adequate/private parking spaces for their many patrons on their own property.

We, the undersigned,

Howard Bratten

Darlene Griffith

Bonnie Kirk

David Sutherland

Picton