Long-term passes, winter conditions, accessibility discussed Thursday
County councillors are poised to get a staff report about parking options in Picton following a request made by Hallowell councillor Gord Fox at Thursday’s committee-of-the-whole meeting.
Fox told his colleagues he’d been conversing with a Main Street business owner who does not have parking directly behind her store, but who regularly brings in materials. Taking advantage of free parking on Mary Street or King Street had increased the difficulty for her.
“I won’t mention names, but she’s an older lady. It’s quite a burden,” Fox said.
He added that he’d been talking with chief building and bylaw enforcement official Andy Harrison about finding ways to make parking more convenient than the present metered system.
“For those people who don’t have parking, business people, can they buy a monthly parking certificate? Or maybe anyone can,” Fox continued. “Another thing we talked about too was in the winter time, it gets complicated. If the streets aren’t clean or they throw snow against a parking meter, how do you get to it? It will be especially difficult for people with mobility issues.”
North Marysburgh’s David Harrison echoed the concerns.
“I’ve heard complaints now for quite a while and there will be nowhere to winter park without literally being in violation of a bylaw,” he said. “I think the route we’ve taken with parking is on Main Street is basically going to be kill the downtown. People don’t like the meters.”
Fox said he understood Andy Harrison was in the process of collecting data and that he would be prepared to come back to council with a report at a later date with suggestions.
Janice Maynard, of Ameliasburgh, agreed parking is an issue in any semi-urban area and suggested that monthly passes might be a good idea. She also stressed that those people who do have mobility issues and an accessible parking permit can park anywhere in the town.
Maynard wondered, however, about the chain of command given that Andy Harrison was already collecting data and she questioned what he’d be reporting on.
Chief administrative officer James Hepburn said he hadn’t spoken with Andy Harrison about parking, but was aware the new pay-and-display machines offer sophisticated data and that he does review it. He said he couldn’t speak to where Harrison might be in data collection, but noted he expects that information would be a part of any report and possible recommendation.
“In my view, that would be part of this report back to council and we would engage him in conversation and find out what is going on,” he said.
Fox added that he simply had concerns brought to him and he went to ask Andy Harrison about it. The official told him he understood the issues and was prepared to bring them back to council.
“He knows there re problems and all of those things we’re asking for will come back in that report. I’m simply asking for a report (now),” Fox said.
Before committee of the whole endorsed the request, two councillors tacked on requests they’d like to see considered.
Sophiasburgh’s Bill Roberts asked that the report’s authors contact the Regent Theatre as its management had particular concern about time limits and mobility constraints.
“Their audiences are, no average older and less mobile and the things they see last three hours. They’re in a pickle. What do they do? If they touch base and hear them out, that would be very helpful.”
Steve Ferguson, of South Marysburgh, asked the report touch on accessible parking and violations. He said there are daily violations of people without permits parking in clearly marked spots.
“If ticketed, there would be a fairly significant addition to the County coffers and it would certainly discontinue the practice on an ongoing basis,” he said.