Stantec employees have been counting vehicles parked downtown as part of the City’s Downtown Parking Plan Update. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)

Whitehorse counting cars for downtown parking study

Ideas range from tweaking parking rules to building a parkade

There are roughly 4,400 parking spaces in downtown Whitehorse, but the city wants to know how many of those spaces are being used each day, and for how long.

According to Ben Campbell, planner with planning and sustainability services, it’s all part of the Downtown Parking Plan update.

The update has seen Stantec staff on foot in the core between Front Street and Sixth Avenue, and Ray Street and Hoge Street. They’re looking at on-street parking and lots, as well as metered and timezone parking stalls along the street.

A license plate recognition vehicle has assisted in the counts, which have been conducted on Wednesdays including Jan. 17, 24 and 31.

Each day focuses on a different area (north, south or commercial), and sees staff doing hourly rounds of parking spaces to determine which areas experience the most demand, and what times of day people are parking.

Campbell said the data gathered will help staff determine parking patterns in the core, and decide whether “to increase the amount (of parking), or use existing resources more efficiently, or pursue and promote sustainable transportation.”

“The overall idea is we can get sort of a new document that provides new direction for parking recommendations for the next 10 years,” said Campbell. “Likely the final product would be something that we would refer to rather than the 2011 plan.”

The 2011 downtown parking management plan found that while occupancy rates were as high as 90 per cent on Main Street between Front Street and Fourth Ave., there were underused spaces within two blocks.

The overall occupancy rate downtown was 64 per cent, suggesting, the plan found, that there were sufficient spaces to serve demand.

The plan made 26 recommendations. Of those, nine are underway. Four have seen no action. Thirteen have been completed, including defining class one and two bike parking in the zoning bylaw, developing a downtown parking map, and setting off-street parking rates at $160 per month.

Campbell said the update recommendations could range from simply focusing on better parking management (the cheapest and easiest option), to building a multilevel parkade (space at Steele and 2nd has been zoned to allow for a parking structure).

In addition to coming up with potential new strategies under the update, Campbell said the city hopes to get a better idea of the current number of parking spaces downtown.

There are three city-run lots near Main Street, but private lots are a grey area.

“There is a process of if you want to fully develop a parking lot for a pay parking,” he said. “We would do a development permit. Some lots have just sort of over historically continued on as informal parking areas.”

Once the on-the-ground work is finished, the public will be able to give feedback by way of an online survey.

Campbell said the goal is to complete the update by spring 2018.

Contact Amy Kenny at amy.kenny@yukon-news.com

parkingurban planningWhitehorse city council

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

What to expect: Yukon legislature resumes Oct. 1

In March the legislative assembly quickly passed the budget before ending early

WYATT’S WORLD

Wyatt’s World for Sept. 30, 2020

Yukon artist’s work featured in national exhibit

Nicole Favron named as Yukon winner for 2020 BMO Art! competition

Higher camping fees, new campground, reconciliation efforts feature in Yukon parks 10-year strategy

Creating a new campground within two hours of Whitehorse, introducing higher camping… Continue reading

UPDATED: Driver in alleged Whitehorse gun-pointing incident arrested

Christopher Dick, 24, charged with obstructing a peace officer, failing to comply with release order

School council elections taking place the first week of October

There are 30 contested spots on school councils in the territory

Hot Hounds bikejor race serves as lone summer competition

Held in Mount Lorne, the race was organized by the Dog Powered Sports Association of the Yukon

Whitehorse operations building officially open

Staff are taking phased approach to moving in

North of Ordinary Experience Centre shutting down

COVID-19 has caused bookings for the space to become almost non-existent, owner says

Canada Games Centre could get new playground

Council to vote on contract award

City hall, briefly

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse city council this week

Harescramble brings out motorcycle community

This year’s event included 67 riders

YG seeks members for youth climate change panel

“Yukon youth deserve to have their voices heard”

Most Read