Could Mississauga One Day Charge for Parking?

Although Mississauga has tackled growth-related challenges admirably (especially over the past few years), there's no arguing that the city's seemingly sudden status as a "big city" presents some hurdles—especially when it comes to parking.

As of now, the city is working on what it calls a Parking Master Plan and Implementation Strategy called Parking Matters. Ideally, the master plan will provide guidance on how to better manage parking (off-street, on-street and in both private and public lots) in the city going forward.

Although it's normal to bristle at the thought of change, Mississauga does have to adapt to changing infrastructure realities. While the city has been the sixth largest in Canada for some time now, it's finally embracing the fact that it must grow "up" rather than out.

According to the city, Mississauga is home to over 700,000 people and close to half a million jobs. At this point, nearly 15 per cent of land in the city is currently covered in surface parking (and that doesn't include asphalt for roads and driveways).

In a growing city with more residents requesting more modes of transportation (better transit and more walking and cycling-friendly areas, chiefly).

Although it's impossible to know if more paid parking will be introduced in the future, the city does mention that its current free parking model is costly.

"Building and maintaining parking is also expensive, yet nearly all parking in Mississauga is still free," the website reads. "Did you know that building one space can cost as much as a car? Public and private spaces in an above-ground parkade cost $35,000 each. Put that space underground, and it can double to $70,000. These figures don't include annual maintenance costs, or land."

Although it's still free to park most places in the city, paid parking is in effect in more walkable areas. Last September, metered parking was expanded in Port Credit. Residents who were visiting Port Credit must also pay for parking for longer (10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. rather than 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.). Also, street parking in the area is no longer free on Sundays.

Interestingly enough, the city points out that the city won't necessarily benefit from a "one-size-fits-all" parking approach. That's absolutely true, as parking needs are much different in, say, Erin Mills than they are in Streetsville. While some neighbourhoods (Clarkson, Streetsville, Port Credit) benefit from on-street parking, areas like Malton and Meadowvale probably don't need meters on major streets.

"All of this means we will have to provide and manage parking differently in future," the city says. "We need to consider how much parking is required when new development occurs, be flexible where and when parking is allowed, and use technology to boost convenience."

As far as the project goes, Mississauga is leading the development of Parking Matters and has retained the services of consulting firm WSP | MMM Group to support the plan's development.

Also, Parking Matters will be informed by a "comprehensive consultation process which will integrate the interest, opinions and ideas of residents, stakeholders, interest groups and decision makers into the recommendations of the Study."

Now, the city is asking residents to come forward and share their opinions on the developing master plan.

Some parking events worth checking out include:

Workshop for Parking Providers

Date: Tuesday, March 21, 2017
Time: 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Location: BMO Room at the Living Arts Centre, 4141 Living Arts Dr.
Who: Anyone who provides or manages parking in Mississauga
Register here

Parking Matters Public Open House #1

Date: Tuesday, March 21, 2017
Time: 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Location: Atrium at the Central Library, 301 Burnhamthorpe Rd. W.
Who: Residents, business owners and anyone interested in the future of parking in Mississauga

Parking Matters Open House #2

Date: Thursday, March 23, 2017
Time: 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Location: Credit Room at the Port Credit Arena, 40 Stavebank Rd N.
Who: Residents, business-owners and anyone interested in the future of parking in Mississauga

Residents who are unable to attend a public meeting can share their thoughts by taking an online survey by May 1.

Ideally, the city will use resident input to formulate a parking strategy that works for everyone.

How would you like to see parking managed in Mississauga?

Your Comments