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July 25, 2008


If council believes that a 500-spot lot at Wilson St will be sufficient for GO transit parking they are sorely mistaken. It can either provide *some* parking for GO transit, or parking for downtown business. It certainly can't provide parking for both, or adequate parking for GO.

Downtown parking should be for downtown business. If they want adequate commuter parking, they will need a separate lot outside of the downtown core, either at the ideal location of Lafarge or at a less useful location further away. GO stations network-wide are going vertical because their 2000+ spot lots are hopelessly inadequate and we're considering giving a portion of one lot in the downtown core over a block from the station?

It's time for Guelph to get serious about commuter issues.

Agreed, David. And it should be noted that underground parking is considerably more expensive in capital construction and in maintenance & security than above ground. Likely the wise move for Council right now is to to cancel the proposed Wilson Street structure, build a public library on that site and turn Carden Street from Wilson to Wyndham into a walkway, and toss up a multi-storey parkade on the existing parking lot on the empty space behind the Farmers' Market, across the police parking lot and concentrated on the existing parking lot on Fountain Street. This would also give an opportunity to clean up the contaminated soil beneath the Fountain Street parking lot.

David Graham, you are right on the mark.

The proposed Wilson St. parkade is intended to meet the City's obligations under the Places to Grow legislation. It is about economic development in the Downtown.
In a greenfields development, the developer is responsible for providing parking.
In the urban core, it's the City's responsibility to provide parking.
It is generally agreed that future growth should happen within the built boundry as opposed to a farmer's field. So in order to make all those vacant second floor's in the Downtown viable new residences, the City needs to provide parking.
In order to attract future business's to the Downtown in buildings such as 2 Wyndham St. and the Gummer Building, the City needs to provide parking.

The Wilson St. parkade is not about merchant parking, staff parking or for GO commuters. While there may be a GO station for Downtown residents and workers, the commuter station should be built in a location like the Lafarge lands where massive parking demands can be met more economically.

While building underground does cost more money than above ground, the attempt is to minimize the visual impact of the parking garage. Afterall, it will be constructed in the shadow of our beautiful new City Hall and the Church of our Lady.

The footprint available at the Wilson Street lot is miniscule and it is truly amazing that site is under consideration. The parking lot on Fountain Street is much more suitable.

Agreed Ed. The whole area south of the railway tracks and north of the river is significantly underutilized. This is where a substantial amount of redesign is in order. This area has the potential to meet many of our goals under Places to Grow with respect to additional residential units.

Parking structure on Fountain Street, improve the walkway under the Wyndham Street train bridge to give good access to the train station and Carden Street... close off the little curved street from Gordon to Wilson and convert it into a pleasant walk way to Wilson and Carden and Macdonell.... then take cars off Carden Street from Wilson to Wyndham. Make that area a civic hub including the farmer's market and city hall and Guelph's little castle and the train station....

Stop trying to create artificial new attractions and give us something to visit, shop at, commute to and from the big smoke....

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Joanne Shuttleworth is the newsroom lead in municipal affairs coverage for the Guelph Mercury. She is a former Guelph YWCA Woman of Distinction honouree and a past winner of an Ontario Newspapers Award for her work as an editor. You can reach her at jshuttleworth@guelphmercury.com

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