Transportation Advisory Group to consider and refine findings as part of short-term action plan
Results from the Transportation Advisory Group’s (TAG) parking study were presented at the public Committee of the Whole meeting and the Regular Council Meeting on Tuesday, December 20, 2016.
The study examined parking in Whistler in winter and summer 2016, as part of TAG’s thorough work over the past year to put together recommendations to address transportation and parking congestion. One of the purposes of the study was to gather data so that decisions about parking can be made based on facts and objective measurements, rather than perceptions and anecdotes.
Compiled by Richard Drdul, Community Transportation Planner, the study reviewed publically-accessible parking in lots and on the street in Whistler Village, as well as the Day Lots at Base 2 and Whistler Creekside in the winter and summer. The report also put forward several recommendations to help alleviate parking pressure.
“What is very clear after reviewing the results is that we don’t need to build more parking. There is enough parking in total, we are just not making the best use of it,” said Whistler Mayor Nancy Wilhelm-Morden. “In particular there is availability in lots outside Whistler Village, especially Creekside, as well as private lots in Whistler Village. The focus needs to be around shifting behaviour.”
The mayor added: “I encourage everyone to watch the archived Council meeting online, and attend the Transportation Community Forum in January to learn more. TAG will consider and refine these findings based on a variety of factors including public input before finalizing the action plan for 2017.”
Parking study findings
To ensure a more positive customer experience, the parking study advised that parking in Whistler should be managed consistently by the different owners of parking areas.
The general goal of parking management should be to have 10 to 15 per cent availability during a regular busy day. This balances the need to maximize use of parking with the need for customers to find spaces when they want to park, avoiding congestion and frustration.
Even though there are over 6,000 parking spaces available to the public in Whistler Village and Creekside, some of those spaces are under-utilized, resulting in congestion in Day Lots 1 through 5 and in municipal parking lots and street parking in Whistler Village.
To help encourage the public to better use existing parking, the study identified a range of initiatives, including:
- Time limits: Reduce maximum time limits in Whistler Village, such as decreasing Main Street and Conference Centre maximum limits from four hours to two hours and Gateway Loop from two hours to one hour or less, and make it clear that street parking in Whistler Village can be purchased in intervals of less than an hour.
- Pricing Day Lots: Explore linkages between free transit and managing parking demand in Day Lots 4 and 5.
- Pricing distribution: Ensure that parking prices in the Village are higher than the Day Lots.
- Parking passes: Consider increasing monthly parking pass prices to the same or more than monthly transit passes.
- Policies: Restrict or prohibit overnight parking in the Day Lots to ensure that all parking stalls are available for day parking. Currently on peak days in the summer up to 10 per cent of parking stalls in the Day Lots in the Village are occupied by vehicles parked overnight.
- Private lots: Make better use of private lots by directing people through signage, maps and a smartphone parking app.
- Other modes of transportation: Encourage the public to take other modes of transportation by providing more free transit options, developing queue jumper lanes for buses on Highway 99, increasing secure bicycle parking and completing gaps in the Valley Trail network.
These actions would be supported by a phased approach and robust communication of changes to parking resources in Whistler to ensure the goals of any finalized actions come to fruition.
Over the coming month, the parking study findings will be reviewed and refined by TAG and presented for public input at the Transportation Community Forum being planned for Tuesday, January 17, 2017. Feedback from the public will be sought at that time. (The time and location of the community forum will be confirmed soon.)
TAG will then report on its findings in early 2017, including identifying potential short-term initiatives for both transportation and parking to be implemented moving forward.
To learn more about TAG’s short-term actions proposed to address transportation, read the December 6 update to Council.
Details on TAG’s work, as well as the work by the RMOW and other partners to enhance transportation in Whistler, are also available at whistler.ca/enhancingtransportation.
- Enhancing Transportation web section
- Transportation Advisory Group webpage
- December 6, 2016 TAG Council update release
- Watch council meetings webpage
- Council meeting agendas, packages and minutes webpage
About the Transportation Advisory Group
The Transportation Advisory Group (TAG) is a Committee of Council that was re-activated in 2015 in response to transportation and parking pressure in and around Whistler. The group was originally formed in 1996 and active until 2012. TAG is composed of a group of diverse stakeholders representing the Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW), Whistler Blackcomb, Tourism Whistler, the Whistler Chamber of Commerce, BC Transit, the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure and four citizens-at-large. View TAG’s Committee of Council webpage.