The Brampton council has approved a new set of parking incentives to support businesses as the city readies for major construction and streetscaping projects expected to disrupt traffic and parking in the downtown core for years.
According to a staff report to council on June 20, the shut downs will eliminate a number of on-street parking spaces, as well as divert vehicle and some pedestrian traffic to other streets.
In an effort to help address lost-customer concerns from business owners affected by the closures, the city will expand free parking hours at all five of its municipally-owned downtown parking garages for the duration of the road closures.
Council started its “Downtown Reimagined” initiative earlier this year, which will include infrastructure and utility upgrades and a new downtown streetscape.
Downtown Reimagined is one of the first steps in delivering the Brampton 2040 Vision.
The website page says, “The new streetscape will bring together pedestrians, cyclists and motorists in a safe and sustainable manner. From the addition of cycle lanes to landscaping between street and sidewalk, the new design capitalizes on pedestrian walkability and enhanced amenities and street furniture.”
To accommodate the work, the city will shut down Main Street from Wellington Street to Nelson Street West, as well as Queen Street from George Street to Chapel Street for an estimated 2.5 to three years.
As such, the current “one hour free” parking incentive at the city hall, West Tower, Nelson Square and Market Square parking garages will increase to two hours. Free parking at the John Street parking garage will expand from one to three hours.
The city presently offers free parking at all of its garages on weekends and holidays, and between 7 p.m. and 9 a.m. Monday through Friday. That will be expanded to 6 p.m. to 9 a.m. while weekend and holiday parking will remain free.
The rules for on-street parking will remain as it is. Motorists can park free on designated downtown streets Monday through Saturday between 6 p.m. and 9 a.m., as well as Sundays, holidays and on weekends for a maximum of three hours.
In addition, new “way-finding” signage will be installed at all five garages to help people more easily navigate the structures. The city will also increase garage security in light of increased traffic.
A specific date is not yet provided for the new regulations to take effect, but construction is scheduled to begin in the fall.