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Huntsville nixes parking on public boulevards
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Huntsville nixes parking on public boulevards

Posted: 2023-12-02 14:35:13 By: thebay

Huntsville General Committee agreed to maintain the vehicle parking By-law as is, in the November 29, 2023, meeting.

During the meeting, Huntsville resident, Mike Wilmon requested the Town change the By-law, allowing for residents to use the boulevards outside of their homes and throughout the Town as a means for more parking.

He suggested, “Most boulevards are sufficient for parking and have ample room,” and provided pictures of numerous vehicles using boulevards in residential areas, compared to some parked on the side of the road in compliance with Town By-law.

Councillor, Helena Renwick, concurred that there are parking challenges in the Town. She said, “Todays day and age a one vehicle family doesn’t exist.” She suggested it’s more like two to three vehicles per household.

Councillor, Dione Schumacher, asked Wilmon, “Is it the property in front of your home? Is it your property or is it Town owned property.”

Wilmon concurred that the boulevard in front of his home is Town property.

He added that the space in front of his house isn’t maintained or used during the winter, so his request isn’t applicable for that season.

Renwick suggested the possibility of a site-specific change for Council consideration due to the challenges with lack of parking and congestion in the Town.

Schumacher indicated that businesses need downtown parking for their employees during the day.

Although some Council members liked the idea of site-specific changes or seasonal changes, they remained concerned about the accessibility of fire services and first responders.

Councillor, Jason FitzGerald, suggested that allowing for boulevard parking overall wouldn’t be feasible. He said, “I think it’s a bit of a safety hazard,” but supported consideration to site specific or sticking with the current By-law.

Schumacher said, “The property in front of his house isn’t his property… If we pass this, does he claim the spot to others, saying, ‘It’s my spot’ and people in front of their house [say] is their property?”

She added, “This is our active transportation piece that we want to be able to do.”

Councillor, Scott Morrison, indicated, “When you buy a house you know what property you have.” He suggested it be referred to staff regarding access and safety concerns.

Councillor, Cory Clarke said, “It sounds like a can of worms here… I would prefer not to do anything there.”

Civil Engineering Technologist, Brandon Hall, advised, “On street parking is a dedicated parking area.” He emphasized that it is the standard for vehicle parking, with an allotted amount of space reserved for parking and road access, and otherwise is a safety concern.

Hall added that staff considers compliance regarding snow storage, emergency services, site lines, and the public when they rehabilitate the roads.

Changes have not been made to the By-law at this time.