Drivers have yet to find Kelowna's newest parking spaces - InfoNews

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Drivers have yet to find Kelowna's newest parking spaces

Library Parkade expansion part of $1 billion worth of projects planned for the city.
September 15, 2017 - 9:00 PM

KELOWNA - Can’t find a parking spot during the day in downtown Kelowna? You’re just not looking in the right place, according to city parking manager Dave Duncan.

While city is still putting the finishing touches on the Library and Memorial Parkades, they’ve been almost fully operational since May and have yet to reach capacity.

“They haven’t been full yet,” Duncan says. “Even on Canada Day it wasn’t well used. People haven’t figured out it’s there yet.”

Duncan says it’s taken time for people to realize there’s now 139 public stalls available weekdays in the $20-million Memorial Parkade and the Libary Parkade has also expanded its public parking offerings.

“It’s time restricted on the lower floors so it pushed the long term parkers higher up but people are only just starting to use the top floor,” he adds. “It’s not really a matter of of you can’t find parking, it’s the mentality of demanding it be right outside the front door. We are a growing city and that might not always be possible anymore."

Signboards giving real time parking space availability will soon be installed at both parkades. Staff are also looking to eventually push that information to the city’s website, Duncan adds.

Despite adding hundreds of new parking stalls over the last two years, Duncan says the city is about to update its downtown parking plan and try to stay ahead of the strong growth the city is experiencing.

While no new parkade site has been publicly identified, Duncan says engineers will consider the possibility of adding new levels to the Chapman Parkade on Lawrence Avenue, although he cautions it may be cost prohibitive.

“Our first goal is to make best use of our current inventory,” he adds.

To that end, the city will beging occupancy and turnover counts in high-traffic areas of downtown.

"If a car is sitting in front of a retail store for seven hours, in a prime spot, that’s not the best use of the space. We need to know that so we can make changes,” he adds.

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