Here is a quick update on plans for parking and transportation due to the Auditorium expansion. The vast majority of what was presented was similar to what was presented at last month’s meeting. I’ll stick here to new information.
There were a few points in the Rangers presentation of the plan that they prepared in collaboration with city staff that neighbours of the Auditorium will appreciate.
- I didn’t need to request that the carpooling lot be for vehicles with 4 or more people. I assume that sharing our response in advance helped to change the original plan of requiring 3 people to be 4.
- The Rangers plan a parking and transportation package that will be mailed to all season ticket subscribers outlining their parking and transportation options. I believe that also includes information on how to be respectful of residents needs and parking regulations.
- The Rangers have already started to promote care pooling. The image below will take you to a page on the Rangers website that features the first in a series of videos to encourage more people to car pool. The page also helps people to make connections for car pooling. The team also plans on having social events organized by postal code that can help fans get to know who else is going to games from their neighbourhood. These initiatives should help make the carpooling lot a success. I hope that it may even expand spaces dedicated to this purpose.
Notes of caution
Some unexpected news was that the plan for 109 new parking spaces on the Auditorium site is not as straightforward as expected. It seems there are storm water related issues on the site as a whole that have implications for the new spots.
I was asked by Councillor Vrbanovic whether the ANA liked the plan. At first I said no. I qualified it by repeating being happy with what has been proposed as a major step forward but that we were looking for at least 385 new spaces to be added or diverted. Last month we understood that the plan if successful would only equal 300 spaces and then on Monday night that number had been reduced to 254 spaces. As a result, 130 – 250 more cars would be parked on residential streets.
What I didn’t say was that street parking is still an important part of the mix. But why should it be? It isn’t part of the plan to park people going to the Centre In the Square and people living near Victoria Park have their streets blocked off for parking when festivals are happening, so why should residents around the Auditorium be expected to have their streets used for parking for people going to a city facility?
In short, 254 spaces is an excellent start but there’s still work to be done.
Council seemed to be interested in getting Grand River Transit to play a bigger role–even bigger than what the Rangers and the city have discussed so far with them. They especially seemed to like the idea of a Ranger ticket getting the fan a free ride. But a motion was not proposed nor a promise of any other action. Councillor Daniel Glenn-Graham is willing to assist with moving forward on that front. I’m hoping that the specials with connections to high volume transit locations such as the iXpress stop and Ottawa and Charles will also be explored.
A big part of the reason why council didn’t consider getting more involved in pursuing additional solutions was that Kim Kugler, the city’s new director of enterprises, needs to get council’s approval on several aspects of the plan:
- to add new spots on the site (including I assume address the storm water issues)
- to implement a paid parking lot
- to create the carpool lot
A report on these elements will be prepared to go to a council committee in late April. I believe that process is that it (or a revised version) would then go to a Council meeting the following week.