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Thursday, September 13, 2018

No Decision on Downtown Owen Sound Parking

Owen Sound | by Matt Hermiz  

Plan to remove meters, offer complimentary parking on streets and in lots receives most support in survey

The plan to offer complimentary parking in downtown Owen Sound is not moving ahead, yet.

The Downtown Improvement Area board decided to hold off making a decision on parking at its meeting Wednesday night, despite survey results which showed the most support for the plan to have business-sponsored parking downtown.

DIA co-ordinator Deb Blackshaw says 119 people responded to the survey on downtown parking, with 39.5% preferring the option of offering complimentary parking for up to two hours on downtown streets and nine hours in lots.

Blackshaw says 18.5% of those polled want to keep the status quo, while 10% are in favour of a prime-parking plan which would keep metered parking on main streets and offer up to five-hours complimentary in lots.

Nearly 32% want another option entirely, but Blackshaw says most of those responses were variances on how complimentary parking should be offered.

Blackshaw adds 46 of the 119 who were polled were DIA-related responses -- residents, businesses or building owners.

The results were largely consistent with the overall poll, with 39% in favour of the complimentary parking plan.

DIA chair Dave Parsons says the board plans to do additional research before making a decision, but insists the business-sponsored parking plan remains an option.

"As of yet the complimentary parking plan is not going ahead, but it is also not dead in the water," Parsons says. "We'll give it a month to see where things go."

Parsons says the DIA is also consulting with the city for clarity on who will be eligible to vote once the parking proposal is put up for a decision.

Results of the downtown parking survey on parking will be published on the DIA website later this week.

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