Waterfront District BIA to Address Parking Concerns at City Council Meeting

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No signs marking the changes to parking rules
All shops and businesses along Red River Road in the Waterfront District are open and working for your support.

Thunder Bay – NEWS – The Waterfront District Business Improvement Area (BIA) will present a deputation to the city council on Monday, June 17th, to address several pressing parking concerns raised by its members. Key issues include the impact of minimum charges, early morning ticketing, parkade improvements, construction challenges, and the need for equitable and safe parking options for residents and staff.

Business Owners in the Waterfront are concerned over the impact of new parking rules
Business Owners in the Waterfront are concerned over the impact of new parking rulesJune 2024

Minimum $2 Charge:
The BIA contends that the minimum $2 parking charge is unfair to small businesses that rely on quick customer visits for coffee, food, or retail pickups. They will request a 15 to 30-minute parking option to support these businesses, which are vital to the local economy, instead of pushing customers towards large corporate drive-throughs or malls.

7 am – 9 am Ticketing:
Current ticketing practices between 7 am and 9 am negatively affect those who leave their vehicles overnight after a night out and residents living in the area. The BIA will seek the removal of this ticketing or a solution that takes into account the needs of residents and those who may have overindulged the night before.

Parkade Improvements:
The BIA will address the parkade’s intimidating and non-functional state, which many expected to improve before parking changes took effect. They will seek an update on the promised improvements and the phasing out of outdated infrastructure.

Red River Road Construction at Cumberland and Red River Road on May 26 2024
Red River Road Construction at Cumberland and Red River Road on May 26 2024

Impact of Construction:
Ongoing construction has already made it challenging to attract people to the area. The BIA argues that additional parking changes that deter visitors only worsen the situation, making it harder for small local businesses to thrive.

Equitable and Safe Parking:
Residents and staff working within the BIA need equitable and safe parking options. Currently, residents living in the core, encouraged by zoning and supported by city council, face ticketing if their cars are on the street before 9 am and after 5 pm. The BIA will propose a solution to provide residents and staff with parking passes that indicate their residential or employment status, ensuring they have access to safe parking without the cost of hourly fees.

The Waterfront District BIA hopes that addressing these concerns will foster a more business-friendly environment and support the local economy.

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