Uptowne parking recommendations revealed

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The town has come up with nine recommendations it hopes will solve parking issues in Uptowne Olds.

Those recommendations arose from a public meeting on the issue held Nov. 4 last year and revealed during an Uptowne Olds committee meeting.

Following are those recommendations:

* Install signage for the two public parking lots in Uptowne Olds indicating that the parking lot is for public parking.

* Parking should be enforced along 50th Avenue and along 49th Street, 50th Street, 51st Street and 52nd Street from 50th Avenue to 51st Avenue. Also halfway along 48th Street and 53rd Street from 50th Avenue to 51st Avenue.

* Remove signs indicating “No Parking Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 12 a.m. to 7 a.m.” and replace them with signs indicating a two-hour parking limit.

* Install additional signs regarding a two-hour parking limit.

* Uptowne business owners are to “encourage/monitor” their staff to ensure they are parking in the two public parking lots in the area.

* Enforcement of parking limits will be complaint-driven.

* Create permit parking for the two public parking lots in Uptowne Olds. Parking passes will be distributed to people living in residential suites in the Uptowne area.

* The town should investigate the size of parking stalls, and whether it’s feasible to create smaller stalls for smaller vehicles, etc.

* The town should “evaluate” the bump-out in front of A Gallery Of Floors and Suzanne’s & Jenny’s on 50th Avenue.

During the Uptowne Olds meeting, town chief operating officer Doug Wagstaff said the town will now take those recommendations and create an action plan and report back to the public regarding that plan.

Committee members noted some discussion was held during the Nov. 4 meeting about possibly expanding the two-hour parking limit to three hours.

“From the notes that were taken it leaned towards two-hour parking but there was some consideration for three-hour parking,” Wagstaff said.

“I just remember that the discussion basically came down that, ‘excuse me, if a bunch of women – and I don’t mean this (in a derogatory manner) come shopping and they go to two ladies’ wear stores or whatever the case may be and go for lunch, trust me, two hours isn’t enough,” committee member Brian Thompson said to mild laughter.

“I would put it this way: how many people have ever gone to the mall with the wife and been out of there in two hours,” committee chair Leon Durand asked. “Anybody?”

Wagstaff said the parking limit will be enforced in general, but not necessarily strictly to the letter of that limit unless there’s a problem.

“The enforcement is, ‘Mike, you’ve got a car that’s been parked there yesterday; it’s still there,’ or you notice every day it gets parked there for five, six hours and you let municipal enforcement know, then they’ll go by and look at that area and have that enforced,” he said.

Durand said some enforcement has to be in place, including for those people who live in residences in the Uptowne area.

“It’s not necessarily people who work in the core, it’s people who live upstairs in the apartments who figure it’s their right to park on the street because they rent the spaces upstairs,” he said.

“The balance that we saw come out of that was the opportunity to do a permitting where they have somewhere to park but it’s not in the (main street),” Wagstaff said, noting there are a couple of public parking lots in the Uptowne area.

He said if people park overnight in a place other than those public lots, they’re not likely to get a ticket unless they don’t move their vehicle the next day.

“If it’s gone by 8 o’clock or 9 o’clock or 10 o’clock in the morning it’s not a big deal. The issue is, is it there in the morning when business starts up again,” Wagstaff asked.

He stressed that vehicles must be moved to enable snow clearing to be done.

“It’s a two-hour limit. If you park there overnight and it snowed and it’s not moved by the time the snow crews come around, that’s an offence,” Wagstaff said.

“If you leave it there overnight from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. and you’re gone by the time the snow crew gets there, no harm, no foul. That’s sort of how we would look at enforcing it.

“If it snows overnight it’s your responsibility to move it because we’ve provided some other parking solutions.”

dcollie@olds.greatwest.ca

“How many people have ever gone to the mall with the wife and been out of there in two hours?”LEON DURANDUPTOWNE OLDS COMMITTEE CHAIR

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Doug Collie

Doug Collie joined the Olds Albertan in 2014 as editor. He covers municipal politics, news, community events, arts and entertainment and sports happening in and around Bowden and Olds.