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Parking parking parking.. what of parking?

By shost at 3:10 pm on Friday, November 19, 2010

Interesting Guelph Mercury article on the parking conundrum:

http://news.guelphmercury.com/News/article/723335

“And besides, staff argued at the time, the Wilson Street parking garage would be up and running before the trains arrived so there would be plenty of capacity for the estimated 210 spots required by GO at startup.”

.. “GO’s assumption, as it must be whenever it launches a new service, is that demand for that service will increase over time.

The line last week that must surely have reverberated with city officials was from Gary McNeil, executive vice-president of Metrolinx-GO. He noted when service returned to Barrie a couple of years ago after a decade-long hiatus, it reached its five-year ridership target within the first three months.

Commuting patterns between Barrie and the Greater Toronto Area are likely different than they are from Guelph.

But if service here is met with similar enthusiasm, that “down the road” need for additional parking might be a very short road indeed.”

GOKW writes: Indeed, it is a short road, but who is to blame? There are three stations on the GO network without GO provided parking: Union Station, Exhibition, and Hamilton Hunter St. Why should Guelph be the fourth? Should the city provide parking, or should GO transit? Have your say by adding a comment below.

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Comment by Michael D

November 19, 2010 @ 10:28 pm

None of the above. The city should provide better transit service to access the station, which incidentally would be far cheaper than parking garages and would not waste downtown space.

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Comment by Denis

November 21, 2010 @ 2:06 pm

I agree with Michael! Parking is an expensive and economically unproductive use of downtown space. Better transit service would benefit the entire city.

If any downtown is to succeed, it needs to play to its strategic advantages. Downtown Guelph has a dense network of walkable places, convenient transit to the rest of the city, plenty of jobs, culture, etcetera. Parking doesn’t make Downtown Guelph stronger, it makes it more like the suburbs. Instead, Downtown should be building even more of the things that make it great on some of the massive parking lots that already exist. This brings in more business, more permanent residents, provides the ridership for better transit, and increases tax revenue.

“There are three stations on the GO network without GO provided parking: Union Station, Exhibition, and Hamilton Hunter St. Why should Guelph be the fourth?”

There’s a very easy answer to that question. Do you notice that those three other stations are all in dense, vital, walkable urban areas with easy connections to good public transit? Does Guelph fit that description? Absolutely. There are very few other stations on the GO network that qualify – Brampton, Port Credit, and Bloor (Which also has no parking). This is a distinction that the city should be proud of.

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