Businesses suffer parking headache

Business owners along 11th Avenue say parking problems plague the area and are causing headaches for drivers.

Three business owners told council recently that it’s becoming increasingly difficult to find street parking on 11th between Cedar and Dogwood streets, and some mornings there are hardly any spots available.

The city provides free parking in a gravel lot behind 11th Avenue, between Cedar and Cypress streets, but the owners of three local businesses Moeller Matthews, Johnson Security Solutions Ltd. and TAT Properties Ltd., say the parking lot is often in poor condition.

“There are always huge mud puddles that restrict the size of the parking spaces,” wrote Bonnie Johnson, owner of Johnson Security Solutions, in a letter to city council. “No one wants to park in a mud puddle, so consequently they park helter skelter all over the place and at the edges, creating mass confusion and in some cases, blocking other vehicles in.”

Kent Moeller, on behalf of Moeller Matthews, added that vehicles are parked with no real order, creating “mass confusion.”

He also suggested the city install lighting for safety reasons.

“At night, it’s very dark in the parking lot and with all of the pot holes, someone could easily trip and get hurt,” Moeller wrote in his letter to council.

At last week’s Monday city council meeting, Drew Hadfield, the city’s transporation manager, reminded council that in December it allocated money to pave that parking lot this year.

“During the 2017 budget process, we approved paving the parking lot at Cypress,” Hadfield said. “So that will be a part of the issues addressed in those letters.”

Coun. Colleen Evans said that council needs a way to communicate that type of thing.

“We need to close the loops,” Evans said. “We need to be able to communicate back to these concerned businesses, these concerned residents, what we’re planning to do.”

Coun. Charlie Cornfield agreed and said he was pleased to hear the parking lot is slated to be paved, but added it doesn’t solve the other problem raised by the three businesses the lack of parking on 11th Avenue since the popular craft brewery opened its doors. All three business owners raised the issue of people parking longer than the posted time limit along 11th Avenue.

“Perhaps the city parking enforcement officers should ticket those who park along 11th Avenue for long periods of time, leaving no parking along the 11th Avenue corridor for the other businesses operating there,” Ted Arbour wrote in his letter.

Johnson said it’s making it difficult on customers.

“Patrons of the new pub are using parking along 11th Avenue, beyond the one-hour allotted time, leaving no parking along the northern corridor of 11th Avenue for the patrons of the other businesses that operate there,” Johnson wrote.

Matthews, in his letter, wrote nearly the exact same thing.

“Patrons of the pub are using parking along 11th Avenue, leaving no parking along the northern side for customers at our business or others who operate along there.”

At last week’s meeting, city councillors, in taking those concerns into consideration, directed city staff to report back to council on priority parking along 11th Avenue as well as how the city can implement a communications strategy to inform citizens of when and how council may be addressing their concerns.

story text created on Friday 2/24/2017 at 12:25:12 pm by Kristen Douglas

 

story text modified on Tuesday 2/28/2017 at 7:41:31 am by Kristen Douglas

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