Last night about 40 Fairwinds residents attended a meeting to give feedback about the proposed winter parking pilot for about 20 streets in Fairwinds. Councillor Shad Qadri was there along with three of his colleagues from the City of Ottawa: Phil Landry (Traffic Services) Kerry-Lynn Mohr (Traffic Operations) and Chad Findlay (Road Operations / winter plows).
Staff clarified that this is a pilot project, and that they’ll evaluate the results throughout the winter and afterwards to determine if it continues for next year, or if any changes are required. The pilot would run from Decmeber 1-March 16.
The City did a similar pilot project last year on five streets in Half Moon Bay in Barrhaven (also built by Mattamy, with a similar road design). The City received very good feedback from residents. The surface operations department (snowplows) believes they achieved a more consistent level of service with parking restricted to one side.
There were many people in the audience who were supportive of the pilot, along with several who had specific conerns on their particular streets.
Q: When will this be implemented?
A: The City would like to have it implemented for this winter season. It will be a pilot so after this season it will be reviewed and changes could be made. If once the signs are installed this Fall there is an issue, please report it and it can be reviewed and can be changed if necessary this year.
Q: Why is it proposed to not restrict parking on the side of the street with the sidewalk?
A: Staff are recommending to keep parking on the sidewalk side of the street so there is a safe place to get out of the car which is not blocked by snowbanks.
Q: Where and when will signs be placed?
A: Signs will be installed a maximum of 50 meters apart. An effort will be made to use existing sign posts and streetlights for the no parking signs. Where a new sign will be required they will try to have them installed on property line between houses. Signs will remain in place at all times and will note the seasonal restrictions. It is anticipated that signs would be installed by December 1, 2017.
Q: Why are not all streets in Fairwinds included to have no parking on one side of the street?
A: This is already an aggressive plan, with the number of streets proposed there will be a need for approximately 95 signs. This will be the largest pilot of this type that the City has undertaken, there was as similar successful pilot in Barrhaven with only five streets. There was an interest to concentrate the pilot in the areas north and south of Maple Grove. In future more streets could be reviewed to be included for the pilot.
Q: Could parking be restricted at all times on one side of the street?
A: Yes, but this would require residents to follow the formal petition process. Residents can request a petition form from the City and must receive signatures from 2/3 of the street in support of no parking. For more information contact Councillor Qadri at Shad.Qadri@ottawa.ca . On streets with no houses fronting, such as Leveche, the petition would require signatures from the residents that abut the street.
Q: Does the City require this to be done?
A: No. The City’s traffic department does not have safety concerns with the current street parking.
The surface operations staff have noted that this would assist with their snow removal and allow them to provide a better clearing of the street. However, if the community does not want to proceed then staff can still manage to remove the snow with street parking on both sides of the streets.
Emergency Services have not identified the street parking as a concern and Fire Department has confirmed they can still access the streets with street parking.
The Ottawa Student Transportation Authority has not identified this as a major concern for the school buses, however we are aware that residents have reported busses having issues.
Q: Would it be more cost efficient to instead provide more funding for snow removal improvements?
A: No. Operations staff noted it would be considerably more expensive to provide increased snow clearing service. By eliminating the parking on one side it will improve operations as it will prevent the ploughs from weaving between the cars parked on the side of the streets.
Q: Is the City considering these parking issues in future planned developments?
A: Yes. Through the City’s Building Better Smarter Suburbs initiative and the Infrastructure Standards Review, the City has worked with developers and the utilities to implement changes and identify opportunities to ease the pressure within the right of way. This has included identifying a mix of housing types that would reduce parking pressure, pairing driveways to increase the availability of on-street parking and other initiatives.
The City has standard road cross sections, that help drive the design of the subdivisions. These cross sections take into account the width of the actual road, but also a number of other factors, such as underground services, utilities, trees, and the required setbacks for each of these. In the Fairwinds development the parking requirements for the area are met, accounting for parking within the garage and the driveways. Often, residents re-purpose their garage for storage etc, which contributes to the desire for on-street parking.
While there have been some issues with respect to the way the area was planned, it is also very important to note that residents should be aware that their units only provide a certain amount of parking. Fairwinds was one of the first areas of Stittsville to be a denser development which provided affordable units in our community. With these affordable units, this does result in smaller units, units closer together, less outdoor space and also less parking being provided compared other areas of Stittsville.
Residents do need to have some responsibility in ensuring they understand the parking provided and use their provided space provided, and allow space on the street for visitors to park. Residents may think there is no harm to always park on the street but this can create frustrated neighbours as it can make it difficult for other neighbours to back out of their laneways and also for their snow removal.
Q: How will the City measure the success of the program?
A: Primarily the program will be assessed through feedback from the residents sent to the Councillor’s office and 311. Will also see feedback from Surface Operations staff. There are no set measures for determining the success of the pilot program.
Q: How do you provide feedback?
A: We would like to hear from as many residents as possible. If you support the plan let us know and if you have concerns, please bring them to our attention.
If we only receive negative comments from a street, then we will NOT proceed with implementing the winter no parking on that street. If there is a mix of comments on a street, then staff will review it on a case by case basis.
Future updates on the project will be provided through Councillor Qadri’s eNewsletter, sign up to receive this newsletter please visit https://shadqadri.com/contact/ .