Parking Study in Leader Post

It took a trained journalist to pry the City of Regina’s Parking Study from its shelf.

We’ve been waiting for this study since about 2012. It was to help answer if we needed snow routes, more or fewer parking lots, more or fewer on street parking spots, and other questions.

Onrait assured that, “There is work being done on the study. It’s not that the study has been sitting on the shelf, but a lot of the recommendations out of the study are dealing with internal administrative processes.”

To a citizen waiting for years, it looks as if it’s been sitting on an invisible shelf in a locked away room.

We’ve not had the information available from the study to argue against last year’s Transit fee hikes, further pricing Transit out of the realm of Regina downtown street parking prices.

“There needs to be a lot more investment in parking … with the revenues that the city realizes from the parking meters, a similar amount of investment needs to be made back into the system to make parking more attractive,” said Veresuk.

Onrait said he has not discussed changing the revenue approach with the city’s finance department.

“in February 2014 found the 9,356 ground parking spots (that’s metered, time restricted and lot stalls) were at capacity on weekdays, with pressure extending beyond the core’s boundaries.”

I went to Urbanity 101 at the Queen City Hub on Hamilton St. on Apr. 9. My bike chain broke before I left my block. I hopped into a car instead, and was almost late because I had to park 4 blocks away to find an open spot. On my bike, I park right outside the door.

Take issuing permits, which the report considers to be a major cause of downtown parking being over-capacity. Their sale is unrestricted and their use compliance often goes unchecked, the report says. The city sells some 8,000 daily or monthly permits per year. More than half of those are issued for free. Their largest beneficiary are city employees.

The report estimates the city loses an estimated $1.3 million annually by giving out these permits, and half of the complimentary permit users overstay their welcome in spots.

Taxable benefits being given to City employees to park, rather than make use of the City’s Transit system. This sort of thing is why Regina Transit is struggling, while too many of Regina’s downtown workers feel they should drive to work.

UPDATE: The world’s leading parking economist says, “Cities have built an elaborate structure of parking requirements with no foundation. It’s pseudoscience.”

I think Regina could easily fall into that category. For one thing, we don’t put parking meter revenue back into neighbourhoods where they are collected, nor do we eliminate our “parking minimums” when new construction takes place. The latter just heaps an additional expense onto property developers who end up paying for parking spots that should not be subsidizing car ownership.

RPIRG Funding Motion Failed

URSU AGM

I wasn’t the biggest fan of RPIRG 8 years ago, but their community building projects have made me a big fan of their work. It was good to see this motion by Conrad Hewitt fail so soundly.

How Much Do We Need New Transit Funding?

The FCM notes that average commute times in the Greater Toronto Area and Metro Montreal are more than 75 minutes, which is longer than commutes in London, New York and Los Angeles. Average daily commute times in Vancouver are 67 minutes and 66 minutes in Calgary.

Canadian cities are underfunded when it comes to their public transportation systems. Regina is no exception. Regina also gets $0 in provincial transit funding, although the provincial government tries to spin it as somewhat more than 0. In an increasingly urban province, that’s a recipe for economic slow-down and happiness disasters in our cities.

Mr. Louie said the FCM’s message is that transit funding has several benefits.

“Economically, transit pays dividends to our business community because the movement of goods and services is much more efficient and everyone’s quality of life goes up because they’re not stuck in their vehicles commuting,” he said.

How A City Makes You Sick #YQRcc

Not much need for community escalators in Regina (maybe parts of Moose Jaw), but there are other tips in this video for how Regina should think about its streets and community spaces.

If you ever drive through Broad St. N where the school zone is, and wonder why you feel like you should speed, it’s because there is no tree canopy and the street is much too wide at over 6 lanes across. Having a dedicated transit lane, and bike lanes on Broad St. would narrow it sufficiently to make it more appealing to walk or bike down, which improves safety too.

YQR 360- Turning Homelessness Around

Coinciding with the 5 Days for the Homeless charity fundraiser, was another event at the University of Regina Friday afternoon. I caught the last half of it for you, and there were some really interesting comments from the audience and panel members.

University of Regina

University of Regina

When they were mentioning food banks, I felt like pointing out how grocery stores in Regina compact their trash, which actually contains hundreds of pounds of unexpired and edible food. The Food Bank didn’t usually send volunteers to pick up surplus bread products from a local grocery store (before it closed permanently 2 years ago).

https://www.facebook.com/events/397742930397930/