Whitehorse’s parking conundrum

Contrary to what angry downtown drivers may say, Whitehorse doesn't have a parking problem. What it has is a problem with how it manages its parking spaces. That's what the city's latest parking study has revealed.

Contrary to what angry downtown drivers may say, Whitehorse doesn’t have a parking problem.

What it has is a problem with how it manages its parking spaces.

That’s what the city’s latest parking study has revealed.

It’s the fifth parking study the city has done since 1997.

The most recent, $125,000 study points out that there are adequate parking spaces in the downtown area, just not in the right places.

Employees are clogging up spaces that should be reserved for short-term parking.

Victoria-based Boulevard Transportation, which did the study, recommends the city increase the amount of metered parking in the downtown area to limit employees who park their cars on the street all day.

But parking studies in 2002 and 2004 already urged the city to do just that.

Earlier studies, similar to the Boulevard Transportation study, also encouraged the city to improve its transit service and bike lanes so fewer people would be tempted to drive to work.

“It may seem like we’re re-iterating what we’ve done in the past,” said planner Ben Campbell.

“But this study is more comprehensive.”

The city is also responding to the increasing number of complaints it receives from frustrated drivers, he said.

Boulevard Transportation spent a day monitoring people’s parking habits in six different areas of the downtown core.

What it found is that at peak parking times – between 10 and 11 in the morning – only 64 per cent of all downtown parking spaces were filled.

Although 90 per cent of parking spaces on Main Street may have been taken, there were empty on-street spaces two blocks away.

New parking lots on the periphery of the downtown core would help alleviate the parking crunch, say Boulevard consultants.

So too would the introduction of daily parking lot prices, so people realize the actual cost of parking and are encouraged to bike or bus to work.

Earlier this week, planners announced that a plan to build a parkade at the corner of Steele Street and Third Avenue, which would have housed about 150 parking stalls, has now been postponed for about five years.

The city is banking that it’s soon-to-be revamped transit system will dampen some of the existing parking panic.

It will also try to negotiate parking incentive programs with some of the major downtown employers, said Campbell.

The city is accepting recommendations on its draft parking management plan until October 22. To check out the draft document go to www.whitehorse.ca

Contact Vivian Belik at


Just Posted

F.H. Collins Warriors basketball teams win Jamie Shaw Memorial Tournament

The first Jamie Shaw Memorial Tournament was at F.H. Collins Secondary School… Continue reading

Former KDFN lawyer becomes the second woman to be appointed resident Yukon Supreme Court judge

Longtime lawyer Suzanne Duncan said she felt “very privileged” to serve in her new role

City of Whitehorse capital budget passes

The capital budget got a second and third reading this week

Teslin Tlingit Council, Canada square off in court over federal funding

“Action matters,” TTC lawyer Gregory McDade said. “Words are nice but action matters.”

Whitehorse operating budget proposes a property tax hike of 2.3 per cent.

If approved, the property tax increase will cost the average homeowner another $69

Commentary: Know your rights: Changes to Canada’s criminal driving laws are coming

Bill C-46 is bringing with it some new laws starting Dec. 18

Santa makes an appearance on Main Street

This weekend was Whitehorse’s Santa Claus Parade

Toonie Tournament returns to help the Whitehorse Food Bank

“I’ve got kids running up to see which team is bringing in the most money.”

Yukonomist: Back to the future on Arctic oil and gas development in Alaska and Russia

Senator Ted Stevens wore Incredible Hulk ties when pushing ANWR to show everyone how serious he was

Editorial: It’s time for tempers to chill over the ‘cool bus’

It is reasonable to expect there to be some rules around this service

Canada Cup Series starts again at Mount Sima

More than 60 athletes from across the country took part in the slopestyle and big air competitions

Record turnout for the Arctic Sports Inter-school Competition

More than 350 athletes took part over the course of three days

Most Read