SCUGOG: The Port Perry BIA’s parklette pilot project received tremendous support from councillors when the idea was presented on Monday, Oct. 19.
The proposal would see at least six parking spaces on Queen St., between Perry St. and Water St., temporarily replaced by wooden boardwalk style “bump outs” that would allow restaurants to expand their business onto the sidewalk. The project would run from the Victoria Day long weekend until Labour Day.
At a deputation to council at their regular meeting, Terri Venner of the BIA stressed that this project would not interfere with Durham Region Transit or with emergency vehicles. As well, disabled parking spots will not be used for the project. Ms. Venner also added that the project is meant to keep people in the town longer.
“This idea is all about engagement, about arranging and keeping an interest in our town,” she said.
Ms. Venner also said another one of the advantages of the parklettes will be that it will mean less road surface for the township to clean, and that will mean a drop in maintenance costs.
She later told council that the businesses that have expressed interest in the project include Captain George’s, Millar’s Market, the Piano Café, Marwan’s Global Bistro and Luke’s Country Store. She also stressed that this project is not meant to be an extension of retail space, but instead will offer more places for people to sit and relax in Port Perry’s historic downtown.
The BIA is hoping that council will waive the fees for the temporary use of the parking spaces.
Ward 1 councillor Betty Somerville questioned if there was enough parking spots in Port Perry for this project not to interfere with everyday parking needs, particularly for seniors.
“You are asking a lot of older people to walk quite a ways,” she said.
Ms. Venner responded by assuring council that there is an adequate amount of parking in the town.
“We have a lot of parking,” she said. “I know there is complaints, but it tends to be people that want to run into places like the bank, and on Saturdays there is not much we can do. There is enough parking in Port Perry.”
Ms. Venner also added that most of the parking on Queen St. is used by business owners, employees and tenants, and said that the township should do “a crackdown” on those prolonged occupiers.
Regional Councillor Bobbie Drew liked the parklette project, saying that it is a “fantastic idea.” Council later decided to also have township staff assist with the BIA’s parklette committee.
Parklettes are not a new idea, they have been featured before in places such as Oshawa and Barrie.