News Local

Barrie councillors eyeing changes to neighbourhood parking 9 

Bob Bruton

By Bob Bruton, Barrie Examiner

Thursday, September 11, 2014 7:31:26 EDT PM

City councillors have asked staff to look into ditching the ban on parking within 1.5 metres of driveways, but switch the no-parking bans from one side of the street to the other in mid-month, on a rotating basis. A pilot project could begin on College Crescent this fall.MARK WANZEL/Photo

City councillors have asked staff to look into ditching the ban on parking within 1.5 metres of driveways, but switch the no-parking bans from one side of the street to the other in mid-month, on a rotating basis. A pilot project could begin on College Crescent this fall. MARK WANZEL/Photo

Parking in Barrie neighbourhoods could be harder to understand, but easier to do, in the future.

 City councillors have asked staff to look into ditching the ban on parking within 1.5 metres of driveways, but switch the no-parking bans from one side of the street to the other in mid-month, on a rotating basis.

A pilot project on the latter measure could begin on College Crescent this fall.

Coun. Michael Prowse said he raised the 1.5-m issue a few years ago and was told by staff it was needed to control parking, although bylaw enforcement employees were directed to enforce it only on a complaint basis.

“The specific issue I am trying to have addressed is residents' ability to park in front of their own house, specifically in areas that may not have 50 or 60 feet of frontage,” he said. “In those cases, no one can effectively park without violating the bylaw.

“This can lead to a lot of frustration from residents who are simply parked in front of their house in an area where no parking restrictions are posted, and they end up with a ticket because a neighbour complained to (the) bylaw (department).

“We need to be able to address real parking issues without ticketing the entire neighbourhood, and that is what I have asked staff to investigate and report back on.”

Parking regulations that would ban parking on one side of a Barrie street for the first half of a month, then switch the ban to the other side of the street, could be a little more confusing.

It would also require signs explaining the change.

Coun. Bonnie Ainsworth asked for the pilot project on College Crescent, which is in her Ward 1, because there has been no effective solution to parking problems there.

“(It) has been an ongoing conundrum since the no-parking signs were put up several years ago,” she said. “Some who have parking in front of their home protest annually, causing surveys and studies by the city.”

This spring, Ainsworth said city staff sent out notices to College Crescent residents that there would be no parking 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday to Friday, on the opposite side of the existing, no parking anytime regulations there.

“For me to be forbidden to park or have anywhere visitors, etc. can park on a street is very harsh and should only be enacted if absolutely necessary,” she said. “The notice caused considerable turmoil in the whole neighbourhood.

“Many people suggesting stopping parking on College Crescent would only push the transient parking situation - those making an effort to avoid paid parking at (Georgian) College - further into the neighbourhood. Petitions were drawn, many phone calls made. I started to investigate alternative options and came up with the even/odd plan.”

Ainsworth said the even/odd plan is used in other cities, and she thinks it will work just as well as having no parking anytime on one side of the street, and no parking sometimes on the other side.

“It also has the potential to quell the long-standing disgruntlement uprisings by those who feel their properties are under-serviced by the presence of a vehicle parked in front of their home for extended periods of time,” she said. “I hope it brings peace to the street and is seen as a reasonable and friendly resolution. Time will tell!”

The results of the College Crescent pilot project would be included in the report staff will write about the implications of changing these parking prohibitions.

The motion does not include a timeline.

Council will vote on final approval of this matter on Monday.

bob.bruton@sunmedia.ca