Brent Toderian – Planning Conversation Thoughts and Insights
On June 23rd, Brent Toderian provided insights during a public meeting. Brent had spent some time prior working with City staff and council. If you missed the meeting the full recording is available here:
At the forefront; Guelph isn’t on track to meet our 63% per capita emissions reduction target by 2030. Though it’s good we have a target date, Brent stated that at the rate we are going, he’s not sure we’d even get there by 2050. This is a problem, from recent survey 90% of the residents of Guelph think that we are a green city.
To achieve our goal, our actions need to match our expectations. Brent highlighted a few methods and considerations that the city should leverage to help us meet our goals.
An important point made was the differentiation between smart urbanization, and vertical sprawl. He expressed that it’s okay for us to be concerned about the nature, characteristics, and quality of our towers and dense developments. However, we shouldn’t focus on simple numbers like amount of floors. Rather we must make considerations about how people travel to and from these developments, and to focus on ensuring that the ground level is human scale.
Ultimately, he emphasized something he’s said many times before: “The truth about a cities aspirations isn’t found in it’s vision, it’s found in it’s budget”.
My Thoughts: Downtown Parking
In his presentation, Brent underlined that Guelph doesn’t need more downtown parking.
Despite this, recently the city has been working to add more parking. Twenty-one additional spaces were added along Wyndham, and twenty more are to be added along Woolwich.
In late 2019 Guelph added 496 parking spaces downtown with the addition of the Market Parkade. This project cost residents of the city roughly $22-million.
Currently, the Market Parkade seems woefully underutilized as well. Averaging 6,704 visitors a month and an average daily stay in 2022 of 5 hours.
Usage data provided by the City Clerks Office.
This implies less than 20% utilization of the Parkade’s available parking hours. Though this is of course a rough estimate, it supports the argument we don’t need additional downtown parking.
This shouldn’t be considered as a detraction from the Market Parkade. As it is multi-level it is utilizing land much better than comparable surface lots. It simply shows more downtown parking is likely not necessary.