With Lansdowne looming, area needs more spaces, councillor says
By Michelle Nash, Metroland
Plans for a new public parking garage are aiming to provide some relief for the parking-strapped Glebe, particularly with the redevelopment of Lansdowne Park underway.
Capital Coun. David Chernushenko addressed the plans for a parking garage behind the McKeen Metro at the Glebe Community Association meeting on Nov. 27.
"It only makes sense to add parking to the area," he said.
A municipal parking garage for the neighbourhood was initially approved when the last city council looked at redeveloping Lansdowne Park, the councillor said. the three-storey facility will increase available parking for Bank Street shoppers.
The funding for the garage, Chernushenko added, has already been allocated and he feels timing is of the essence.
"I have the opportunity to do it now, there is money in the budget now," he said.
"The worst thing we could have happen is Lansdowne is complete and we are just starting to build this."
In an effort to help mitigate the impact of traffic and parking in the community in light of the Lansdowne redevelopment, the councillor created the Lansdowne transportation advisory committee.
It will address on-street parking zones reserved for permit-holding residents, creating time limits on parking in certain areas and the potential to create more municipal parking in the Glebe.
"The number one worry I have heard when it comes to Lansdowne is parking," Chernushenko said.
The avid cyclist admitted he does find it funny he is advocating for the car.
"It is strange coming from me, but we have a reality and we can't just cut off the parking supply," he said.
"There are times you need a car."
Bank Street shoppers currently have 75 municipal spaces in which to park, with the overflow currently ending up on residential streets.
The garage could add up to 200 parking spaces, which Chernushenko said should help alleviate the pressure from the side streets.
Limiting parking time would make it difficult for anyone attending a sporting event at Lansdowne Park to use the garage as a parking option.
When it comes to design, the councillor said that just because the building will be a parking garage, it doesn't need to be ugly.
He said the community has the opportunity to ensure it would be a nice building, with the potential to become a transportation hub.
"There could be solar panels on the roof, Virtu Car rental spots and an electrical vehicle charging spots," Chernushenko said.
In addition to making the inside of the parking garage useful, Chernushenko said it may be possible to make parking passes available for residents, or make spaces available when the city limits street parking, such as when snow is being cleared from the streets.
"Let's make full use of it," he said.
The important thing is to ensure the building is developed with proper consultation as well as build to the current existing height restriction, three-storeys.
Most residents at the meeting agreed with the councillor.
The municipal parking garage would need to be approved at city council before construction can begin. Chernushenko would like the garage to be open before the completion of the Lansdowne redevelopment, which is anticipated in 2014.