On Monday, at the meeting of the Council Committee of the whole, it was recommended that the full parking study should be released.  The council passed a motion to be voted on at next week’s full council meeting.  Meanwhile the study was attached to the agenda so is now available (Agenda here).  The full study is quite large and not good quality but the Executive summary is big enough to convey the message. It has been extracted from the full report and cleaned up, and is available below at a more reasonable size for downloading (200kB).   This study is the full detailed version of the presentation made to council on September 17th and reported on Cobourg News here.  Attached to that article is the PowerPoint presentation made by the consultant to council.

Now, the intent is to make the full study available to the public for comment and then to have a public meeting to get input. The draft report will then be modified if required.

Download Executive Summary – 9 page pdf

But even that is a long document and I like to see the conclusions first then go back to see why they were reached.

So here are the (draft) recommendations.

Quick Win Parking Strategies (Immediate)

Strategy  Recommended Action Cost
Optimize Supply and Increase Efficiency Maximize capacity by Redesign 1. Identify opportunities to reduce any wasted space in existing parking lots and improve lot design [i.e. improved delineation, pave gravel lots, etc.] $35,000
Enforcement 2. Expand current enforcement efforts to include weekends and special events. Enforcing current parking regulations and pricing during weekend periods will result in additional revenues, optimized utilization and increased turnover . $20,000
Improved User Info and Wayfinding 3. In conjunction with the Downtown Vitalization study, develop and institute a comprehensive wayfinding signage system which is to be located in key corridors to assist in directing tourists to the municipal parking facilities . $20,000
4. As part of the Downtown Vitalization study, develop and institute new, comprehensive parking identification signage which clearly and consistently identifies municipal parking lots. Use of signage similar to the Heritage Harbour signs should be considered in conjunction with standardized Green “P" symbols and clearly identified maximum parking. limits. Municipal parking signage should include comprehensive maps which identify pedestrian linkages in attempts to encourage "park once" trips and promote walking . $20,000
5. Update the Parking Map, including the possible development of a free Cobourg tourism app  to accurately identify the location of municipal parking facilities, parking rates, time limits, location of barrier-free and bicycle parking, and identify key pedestrian linkages. Reference to parking lots should be consistent between the parking website and the parking map. $3000
Winter Maintenance 6 Improve winter maintenance snow  removal throughout the King Street corridor in order to maintain pedestrian access-parking supply.  Maintenance efforts should include snow plowing of sidewalks as well as ensuring snow is removed from on-street parking areas, and that curb drops are cleared and well maintained. $20,000
Reduce Parking Demand Permit Parking 7. Increase Cost of monthly, semi-annual and annual permits in order to reflect rates consistent with other municipalities. increase revenues, and encourage the use of alternate modes of transportation. In general, the monthly parking permit should cost as much, or more than a monthly transit pass. $5000
Bike Racks 8 Provide secure bicycle parking at the Covert Street parking lot, install additional bike racks along King Street at key locations i.e. at store and bank entrances. $5000

Medium Term Parking Strategies (2013 – 2018)

Strategy  Recommended Action Cost
Expand parking Supply Public Private partnerships 9. As development throughout the downtown continues. identify public private partnership opportunities to expand municipal parking supply or dedicate portion of private supply to public use. N/A
10. Work with private land owners to identify available parking supply that could be utilized during peak periods or during special events to increase available supply. N/A
Optimize Supply and Increase Efficiency Improve Aesthetics and Pedestrian Linkages 11. Continued on-going improvement to the overall aesthetics of parking areas by providing landscaping / use of decorative fencing. etc. Priority lots include Covert Street and Third Street parking lots. $10,000
12. Strengthen pedestrian connections through continued provision of sidewalks adjacent to parking areas. Sidewalks are recommended within the Covert Street parking lot to facilitate pedestrian movement and improve safety. $60,000
13. On-going maintenance should include upgrading parking facilities (both on-street and off-street) to include drop curbs and accessible ramps in order to ensure barrier-  free access from parking areas to the adjacent sidewalk network. $25,000
Stall Allocation 14 Allocate employee parking to dedicated areas within the peripheral parking lots (i.e. Trinity Lot. McGill Street Lot and Hibernia Street lots) through the dedication of employee parking stalls (signage and/or pavement markings). Consider prohibiting employee parking from occurring within the "prime" parking lots through the use of time-limited restrictions and instituting paid parking. $40,000
Reduce Parking Demand Parking Pricing 15. Institute pay for use parking ,throughout the King Street corridor to reflect the convenience and limitation of on-street parking supply. Suggested parking rate of $2.00 per hour for maximum 2 hour duration. Use of pay and display machines is recommended over meters due to enhanced user convenience. $150,000
16 Institute pay for use parking amongst the prime off-street public parking lots (Covert Street and Victoria Hall lots) in attempts to better accommodate short duration stays arid distribute overall parking demand. First half-hour free of charge with a suggested subsequent rate of $1.50 per hour for maximum 4-hour duration. Implementation of pay and display technology is recommended as it offers the flexibility to implement variable pricing. $45,000
17 Revise parking rates within the periphery public parking lots in order to encourage longer duration stays. First two hours free of charge with a suggested subsequent rate of $1.00 per hour to a maximum of 8-hour (weekday). Permit parking to be accommodated in periphery lots as a means to allocate employee parking. Use of variable pricing to increase weekend parking rates within the periphery lots located near the waterfront (i.e. Esplanade lots. McGill Street lots. etc.) to the current rate of $2.00 per hour. $5,000

Long Term Parking Strategies (2018 - 2023)

Strategy Recommended Action Cost
Expand Parking Supply New Parking Facilities 18. Initiate planning for expanded Marina parking lot to provide 40 additional stalls with opportunity for further expansion through private/public partnerships. N/A
19. If required, consider planning for construction of angled on-street parking along Third Street (at Hibernia Street] in order to provide additional parking supply. N/A
20. If additional supply is required, consider initiating planning for expanded parking facility at the Esplanade (40 - 80 stall capacity). N/A
Reduce Parking Demand Active Transportation and Transit 21. Promote the use of active transportation through the implementation of the recommendations made as part of the Transportation Master Plan regarding walking and cycling enhancements and use of TDM initiatives. N/A
22. Continued implementation of transit supportive measures as per the Transportation Master Plan. Consider charging a higher rate for monthly parking in municipal lots compared to the cost of a monthly adult transit pass as an incentive to use transit. N/A

There are some obvious improvements but they involve compromises. It will be interesting to see what the public thinks of it.

Update Dec 26, 2013

The last date for public input on the draft Parking Study is Friday, January 3, 2014.  Download the 95 page report from the town's web site here: Cobourg Downtown Parking Study  Hardcopies are available upon request at the Engineering Department at Victoria Hall. Comments can be submitted to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Or simply refer to the summary above instead of wading through the 95 pages.

Update Jan 17, 2014

The full study is now being released via a presentation to Council at the meeting of the Committee as a Whole on January 20, 2014.  A full copy is available as a download from Cobourg News here. (Full Parking Study - 132 pages 19MB).  It is the same as above except that comments from citizens have been added at the end.

However an accompanying memo says:

At a Special Meeting held by the Parking Advisory Committee on Tuesday, January 7th, 2014, the following Recommendation was made:

Moved by Ken Jansen, "The Town of Cobourg Parking Advisory Committee endorses the Downtown Parking Study completed by Paradigm Transportation Solutions;

The Town of Cobourg Parking Advisory Committee would like to further highlight the recommendation within the Downtown Parking Study that Cobourg should continue to endeavor to maintain the parking equilibrium by planning for the replacement of any large scale loss of public off-street parking, especially the 175 parking spaces in the Second Street Lot, [my emphasis] through the acquisition of property for future facilities."