Experience
Port Colborne
Tuesday, September 30, 2014
 
 

Free parking not just for Monopoly

Posted by Jamie Lee on Thursday, July 26th, 2012

Maryanne Firth / The Tribune

It looks like the end of the road for paid parking in downtown Port Colborne — for now, anyway.

On Monday night, city council approved, after much debate, moving forward with a one-year trial period for two-hour free parking in the downtown core.

Armed with a petition signed by more than 50 business representatives, the downtown business improvement area board brought the issue forward in hopes of saying goodbye to the lakeside city’s parking meters. Several BIA members made presentations Monday in support of free parking and one in opposition.

Funds collected from parking meters and parking fines pay for enforcement throughout the city.

In 2011, Port Colborne received $21,430 in meter revenue and $8,750 in parking fines.

Enforcement costs the city $21,840 annually.

To help cover the cost of lost revenue during the trial, it was suggested retailers could advertise on bags covering the meter heads. It was also suggested the city raise its fines for parking infractions. If council chooses to increase fines, an application must be submitted to the chief justice of the Ontario Court of Justice. There’s no guarantee it will be approved.

It is yet to be determined whether it will be more cost-effective to bag meters or remove the heads and place them in storage. Concerns were raised over vandalism and deterioration of the meters should they be left in place.

Enforcement of the two-hour limit will be done on a complaint-only basis.

The business community is aware it will have to “self-police” the issue, said BIA board member Gary Talosi.

Signage will also be created to assist with enforcement.

Having the two-hour parking policed by downtown merchants “could be confrontational” and, in turn, “create ill will,” said Ward 2 Coun. Angie Desmarais, who was opposed to the idea.

After taking her own survey of downtown shoppers and speaking to about 60 people, Desmarais said it seemed no one felt deterred by the cost of parking.

Her Ward 2 counterpart Yvon Doucet felt strongly that councillors should act in support of what the BIA community has clearly said it wants — free parking downtown.

“We can’t ignore 50 businesses,” he said.

Ward 1 Coun. Bill Steele believes the BIA wants to see free parking downtown permanently, not on a trial basis. With several trials having been conducted in the city over the past 10 years, he put forward a motion to see free parking implemented permanently. It was defeated.

A report containing details on cost, the BIA’s involvement and best practice for implementation is expected to come before council in late September.

•••••

The motion: That Port Colborne move forward with two-hour free parking on a one-year trial basis and that city staff meet with the downtown business improvement area board to discuss and report back to council cost and implementation methods.

In favour: Ward 3 Coun. Bea Kenny, Ward 4 Couns. Ron Bodner and Barbara Butters, and Mayor Vance Badawey.

Opposed: Ward 1 Coun. Bill Steele, Ward 2 Couns. Angie Desmarais and Yvon Doucet.

Absent: Ward 1 Coun. Dave Elliott and Ward 3 Coun. Frank Danch.

 

 
 
 
 

News Archive

 
North-south passenger rail service proposed
Paul Forsyth / Port Colborne Leader
Jamie LeeThu Sep 25th, 2014
Door to Door Water Filtration Sales
Darlene Suddard / Environmental Compliance Supervisor
Jamie LeeMon Sep 22nd, 2014
Bridge 21 Closure - September 24-25, 2014
The St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation
Jamie LeeThu Sep 18th, 2014
Port Colborne's Teeder Kennedy Immortalized …
Heidi Grzesina / News in Port Colborne
Jamie LeeFri Sep 12th, 2014
Bridge 21 Closure - September 18, 2014
The St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation
Jamie LeeFri Sep 12th, 2014
Bridge 21 Closure - September 11, 2014
The St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation
Jamie LeeTue Sep 9th, 2014
Energy Park Project - Open House and Special …
Monday, September 15, 2014
Carrie McIntoshTue Sep 9th, 2014
Port Colborne Homeowners - HGTV Wants to fix …
Have your DIY projects been a flop? Let HGTV fix them.
Nancy GilesTue Sep 9th, 2014
Port Colborne agrees to buy new $300,000 fire…
Dan Dakin / Welland Tribune
Jamie LeeTue Sep 9th, 2014
Excessive Heat Alert issued for Niagara
Niagara Region Public Health has issued an excessive heat alert
Nancy GilesFri Sep 5th, 2014
1 2 3 4 5 6 Next »