Penticton parking problems to be presented to city council | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Penticton parking problems to be presented to city council

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December 04, 2017 - 5:30 PM

PENTICTON - An extensive city report outlining parking issues in Penticton doesn’t include plans to implement more paid parking.

The proposed changes to city parking in the downtown core are estimated to cost $20,000 for signage and paint markings, but will return an estimated $40,000 in anticipated revenue to the city.

City staff is presenting the report with a series of recommendations to council at tomorrow’s regular meeting, Dec. 5.

Among other things, staff are recommending the city continue to allow free parking along Lakeshore Drive and Riverside Drive, changes be made to restricted parking times downtown and other changes to free up more parking spaces for downtown employees.

Staff are also recommending resident only parking around Penticton Regional Hospital and improved signage downtown to identify parking opportunities and regulations.

The recommendations come on the heels of an extensive public engagement process that began in May, where the city learned residents aren’t interested in paying for parking along the lakeshore.

The engagement process also revealed a need for the city to provide more affordable and safe parking options for downtown employees.

Residents indicated parking pressure was on the rise downtown especially among lower paid retail employees who were having a tough time finding affordable parking.

Those who live in the area around the hospital and the South Okanagan Events Centre are concerned about the value of the resident only parking program in those areas saying it restricted their lifestyle by making it difficult to have guests visit or services to their homes.

Staff hopes to improve parking in the downtown area by creating ways to make better use of existing parking spaces.

One example proposed involves changing under utilized parking spaces from metered parking to all day reserved parking during peak usage periods.

The parking spaces would then switch back to metered parking on weekends, providing an opportunity to better use those spaces for employees’ use when the public doesn’t need them.

Up to 198 existing parking spaces could be so utilized for $15,000 to $20,000, measured against the cost of creating 198 new spaces for an estimated $1.98 million.

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