At tonight’s Public meeting to hear about proposed major changes to parking in Cobourg – both downtown and waterfront – only one member of the public cared enough to make any comment. Mike Holden’s concern was about the logistics of payment by visitors for parking on Perry Street. He otherwise approved of the idea. The proposed changes are wide reaching and complicated but important for the Town – especially downtown and the waterfront. Two issues that are really separate are being addressed: 1) Managing parking for the waterfront during the summer and 2) Downtown parking fees. The elephant in the room is that Downtown parking currently depends on two lots that are not owned by the Town (they are leased) so at some point will not be available.
The presentation by Director Laurie Wills was clear and although the substance was not different to the information submitted to Council on January 24 (and reported on this web site see links below), her summary cleared up a few points. My previous article was long and probably left some questions unanswered. I have therefore summarized the main points of Laurie’s presentation below.
There are four separate projects:
- Increase parking fees Downtown
- Provide monthly passes for accessible parking downtown
- Expand the area designated for seasonal waterfront parking and increase rates
- Provide resident parking passes for the waterfront area
Down Town Parking
The long term plan to provide Downtown parking is to build a ~$9.25M multi-storey 370 space parking garage on the Covert Street lot but there is currently no reserve to pay for this. Proposed rates would generate ~$1M a year profit which would be added to reserves for this project. Laurie said that a 2014 study recommended increasing rates and that the rates have been unchanged for 20 years. Another incentive to increase rates is that if they are not changed, beach goers would park downtown to avoid the new high rates on the waterfront.
(Covert St. only)
|Street – meters
or pay & display
Note that currently there is 2 hours of free parking on Covert Street and other lots – this would continue. Details on this Cobourg Internet page. [Also covers other existing parking locations and fees]. Street time limit will be 3 hours.
The existing leased lot at 60 Albert Street is of particular concern; Laurie said that it’s slated for development in the near future – but it’s part of waterfront parking discussed below.
Although people needing accessible parking apparently want to be treated equally and therefore pay the same as anyone, pay and display and even meters present a problem – especially in winter with snow banks. Staff propose a monthly pass for those with accessibility permits. The cost would be equal to a monthly lot permit; that is $25/month in 2022.
Expansion of Waterfront Area
Some parking lots will be designated for the Waterfront:
- Third Street South of Albert
- Queen Street (Division to McGill)
- Albert Street
- Albert Street Lot
Rates for these locations will increase from $2.00/hour to $5.00/hour. Payment will be via pay & Display or credit card meters. Enforcement will by 9:00 am to 8:00 pm instead of the current 8:00 am to 6:00 pm. This also applies to the Marina Parking lot.
When visitors come to enjoy our beach, they park at more than just areas immediately adjacent to the beach (per above). Recognizing this, it’s proposed to expand the area designated for waterfront parking to include the residential area to the east per the map below/right.
Paying for all Waterfront parking – Victoria Day to Thanksgiving.
Passes will be available – All passes will be available online, by mail or in person
- Daily pass for Visitors – $40/day – not just expanded area – any waterfront parking spot (except special Charles St. lot available only to residents).
- Residential Seasonal Passes – all residents of Cobourg – $40 per season
- Waterfront neighbourhood Residential Seasonal Passes – $20 per season
Enforced 9:00 am to 8:00 pm except in Waterfront neighbourhood (expanded area) when it will be 9:00 am to 4:00 pm. The reduced enforcement hours accommodates residence owners, their visitors and users of a day-care in that area.
To incentivize people to pay for parking, fines need to be more than parking fees otherwise people might prefer to pay the fine.
Fines – exceeded time or not valid
|Accessible – more than 24 hours||–||$40|
Brent Larmer also wants to start making the AMPS (Administrative Monetary Penalty System) available. This streamlines appeals for tickets and avoids court hearings.
The cost to do all this is within the $150,000 amount in the approved 2022 budget. Assuming Council approval, the schedule is to be operational by May 20, 2022.
The next step is for Council to debate the changes at the February 14, 2022 Committee of the Whole Council Meeting. Given the amount of public consultation already done over the past year or so plus the limited interest shown by the public at the Public meeting, I’d guess that the package will be approved.
Previous Articles on Cobourg News Blog
- Parking Rate Increases Planned – 18 January 2022
- Beach Survey Results – 4 March 2021
- Managing Crowds at Cobourg Beaches – 11 July 2021 – report on Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee’s recommendations based on citizen survey
- Staff report on PRAC Review of Victoria Park Beach – (input to Council meeting re Managing Crowds at Cobourg Beaches)