Worlds collide on Dundas Place over short-term parking in future street design
LONDON, ONT. -- The pandemic has shed new light on an age-old problem in downtown London - parking.
While the city is considering new designs for Dundas Place, businesses are relying more heavily on short term parking for delivery drivers and curbside pickups.
The problem may be most evident at mid-day, when vehicles on delivery or other work duties take up space on sidewalks, in no-parking zones, and partially blocking street traffic.
Restaurant equipment technicians Justin Gorka and Sasa Danilovic could be found making a downtown delivery on Tuesday with a full-sized pickup truck and a trailer. They say luckily they’ve avoided getting a parking ticket so far, by trying to be as accommodating to other users of the road.
“We try to be as friendly as possible on where we’re parking and how we’re parking, so we’re not disrupting anybody else, but it’s going to be a lot harder because no space to do that,” says Danilovic.
“Sometimes there isn’t any access to go into the back, or go into these alleyways, you have to go right onto the main road,” added Gorka.
The issue of short-term parking on Dundas Place may be about to get even more complicated. Plans are in the works for a redesign of this street with a future that might be less car-friendly.
“It has happened to fall at the same time as pandemic recovery when we’re hearing a lot of requests from businesses looking for short term pick up and delivery because they’re trying to keep their businesses alive,” says Downtown Projects Manager Jim Yanchula. He tells CTV News that businesses are being consulted on a proposed pilot that would include two designated bike lanes on Dundas while King Street is under construction.
“So when you have to factor in more places currently on Dundas than there are to do that, we have to be careful about where we try to put a few of those spots but also try to accommodate designated bike lanes.”
Shane Kenneth, who owns Coffee Culture on Dundas Place, said he hopes temporary parking doesn’t get overlooked in the new design.
“We have like an 18-wheeler refrigerated truck, and it’s not just us. You know you’ve got Tim’s, Mr. Sub, you’ve got a whole bunch of places down here that need big deliveries. And that doesn’t even include Skip and Uber drivers. That doesn’t include taxi drivers, you know, emergency vehicles. If it’s a one-way, everything’s going to be gridlocked.”
City council will consider an updated design proposal for Dundas Place later this month.