Overnight Winter Parking
The city currently allows exceptions outside of downtown and deputy CAO said that they could make a list for people with exceptions and give them notice on days when it snowed that they can't park there for that evening. So you wouldn't move every night, which isn't perfect, but it's a start. I mentioned how the plows don't usually get out there at that time and she said it's typically the safest time for them to do so. When I mentioned how it might be more realistic to have them go out in the morning when most people are at work she said that's possible with a bylaw change but there are a number of studies that would need to be done first. So I can't promise anything will be passed, but that's what I would propose to council when I'm elected.
It would start with the study to see what services would be impacted, and go from there. I would also be pushing for public transit so less people overall would need extra cars and hopefully that would help too.
School Drop Off/Pick Up Parking
This is an issue that the school board and the city must solve together. All schools have closed off their parking lots for drop off in part because buses stop near the entrance and also because parents use the teachers' spots to do the drop off. City planning hasn't helped the situation. While it's bad at schools all over the city, it's especially bad at Ken Danby and Holy Trinity because they are close together and there aren't enough crosswalks and traffic lights to manage flow. This causes dangerous driving, parents blocking driveway entrances, and many parking infractions.
We need a dedicated 'pick up and 'drop off' zone for schools for parents who have kids old enough to hop out of the car and walk. This would allow those with younger kids to park on available street parking without blocking driveways. I also talked to school union leads and members at the Labour Day picnic when I was endorsed by the Guelph and District Labour Council about the feasibility of making a plan with the province to move older kids to using public transportation, which would help fund a more robust grid based bus system, increase the number of city drivers for route coverage, and ensure if your child misses the bus, there will be another along soon so you aren't forced to be late to work when dropping them off. Our school board partners need to retire late penalties and remove attendance awards to help.
We also need an easy online path to take photos of cars parking across driveways, or other dangerous areas and have these bylaw infractions fined. We shouldn't wait for an accident to make a change.
With more families living together longer due to economics, and with a lack of transit system coverage, we need to make sure people can get around. While ultimately, creating a robust transit system that everyone can use is the best solution, until that happens we need options. We can work towards allowing people with restrictive on street parking to be able to have wider driveways and encourage them to do so with soft surfaces that would allow for rain water drainage, which is better for the environment and our water supply.
Not everyone can use transit and many people need spaces for accessible parking. We need to ensure all new developments have ample parking for people with mobility issues and their families. The minimums set out by the province are not adequate and Guelph can do better than that.