At the next Committee of the Whole (CoW) meeting on 21 February, Council will receive a staff report on the latest survey about waterfront parking. This issue goes back to 2021 when there was concern about managing crowds at the Beach. The Parks & Recreation Advisory Committee recommended a major increase in parking fees at the waterfront with passes available to residents. There were a number of meetings and surveys to get residents’ feedback before implementation for the 2022 season. Then in January this year, a follow up survey was done to review the changes. A total of 465 people responded to the online survey which mostly asked about how well the changes were understood and details about resident passes.
In presenting the results of the survey, Staff include some recommendations but no major changes are suggested. The full report is long (15 pages) but is available for download below.
Here are some highlights (image was used when survey was active):
Waterfront Parking Survey Highlights
Selected questions and staff comments
Q. Resident Waterfront Seasonal Passes purchased in 2022
Of the 465 in the survey – here’s the number of waterfront passes they purchased:
Resident Season Pass: 32.6% (152) purchased – 1081 issued
East Beach Season Pass: 4.9% (23) purchased – 104 issued
No pass at all: 62.5% (291)
Another 482 Waterfront Daily Passes were sold – presumably to non-residents.
- Numbers in brackets are calculated.
- This data is presented differently here to establish what percentage of relevant residents responded: 152/1081 = 14% This number is an estimate since the two time frames could be different.
- Staff commented that it was difficult to establish residency for people living in multi-unit buildings.
- A request for a discount for Northumberland residents is not recommended due to the difficulty in implementing.
- Based on the limited number of parking spots in the East Beach area, the high number of residential addresses in the East Beach area, the availability of parking on private property and the limited hours of enforcement between 9 am and 4 pm, it is not recommended that more than one pass be available for each residential property in Cobourg.
Q. Were you aware of the Charles St. Lot available for Resident Waterfront Season Pass holders only and did you use it? 32.5% were aware and 11.9% used it. Staff recommend that the usage of the Charles St lot be monitored in 2023 and considered to be converted back to regular waterfront parking use in 2024.
Q. Did you visit the Cobourg Waterfront Area this summer, go to the beach or attend an event this season? 90.7% Yes.
Of these what type of parking did you utilize?
- 9.8% Waterfront Parking Lot ($40 day pass)
- 12% Waterfront Parking Lot ($5/hour for time required)
- 4.7% Waterfront On Street parking ($40 day pass)
- 9.2% Waterfront On Street parking ($5/hour for time required)
- 2.3% East Beach Area Day Pass ($40/day – Henry/Perry/Bay/Green/Church St)
- 21.7% Resident Waterfront Parking pass ($40/season or $20/season for East Beach Area residents)
- 40.3% Other (please specify)
Q. Did the increase in parking rates deter you from visiting the Cobourg Waterfront in 2022?
Yes: 51.8% No: 48.2%
Q. Did the new signage allow you to easily understand how to pay for parking? No: 45.5%
Approximately 2,685 parking tickets were issued within the waterfront area by bylaw enforcement officers from May 20 to October 10 inclusive. See the full report available below for the status of these tickets – about half have been paid, many were disputed. Comments were received that fines were too much for parking tickets.
Town Staff identified the necessity to improve communications to residents and visitors alike well ahead of the 2023 waterfront season. The full report lists 10 actions.
Financial Impact – Waterfront Revenue 2022
- Revenue from Passes – $64,480
- Hourly parking – $514,275
- Revenue from tickets – $278,640
Total 2022 parking revenue $869,045 (Does not equal sum of above – perhaps because of difficulty separating waterfront parking from Downtown parking).
Of this, $219,300 will Transfer to Parks/Waterfront and $355,717 will transfer to Parking Reserve.
Staff comment: There were more savings transferred to the parking reserve in 2022 than from 2016 to 2021 combined and nearly the same for the contribution to parks/waterfront operations. Funds from the parking reserve will be utilized in 2023 to conduct a parking study (for $75k) that will consider future options for Cobourg when we can no longer rely on private lands for parking lots.
Again, see the full report available below for more detail.
- Waterfront Parking review/report – results of on-line survey January 18 until February 7, 2023
- Cobourg’s Parking explained – hopefully this page explains parking in Cobourg