Uptown Waterloo North needs parking structure, BIA says

Uptown Waterloo Business Improvement Area says city's plans for additional surface parking in Uptown Waterloo North of Erb Street isn't enough and that they would support developing a parking structure for business employees and patrons.

The organization representing Uptown Waterloo's businesses says it welcomes council's recent approval of additional parking planned north of Erb Street, but maintains more is required. 

We're very supportive of the ION [LRT] project but the reality is the car is not going to go away.- Patti Brooks, executive director, Uptown Waterloo BIA

Council voted on Jan. 20 to acquire land north of Erb Street to build 50 surface parking spots. The Uptown Waterloo business improvement area supports the development, but says the area would be better served by a parking structure with 200 spots. 

"We have more parking in Uptown Waterloo per capita then we even need to. So we have lots of it, it's the imbalance north of Erb that we need to deal with," said Patti Brooks, executive director of the Uptown Waterloo Business Improvement Area. 

Ideally businesses would like to see a parkade similar to the existing structure on Willis Way at King Street in Uptown Waterloo, Brooks said.  

But she acknowledged that acquisition of the land for such a structure would be challenging in uptown given the scarcity of available land.

And despite the ongoing push for more alternative transportation, including the LRT development, proposed streetscape changes in Uptown North and addition of bike lanes on King Street north of Erb Street, the need for parking isn't going to wane. 

"We're very supportive of the ION [LRT] project but the reality is the car is not going to go away," Brooks said. 

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION FOR DESKTOP USERS:  Shown below is a memo from IBI group, which was commissioned by the city to examine the impact of changes in streetscape to businesses on King Street between the Laurier Trail and Central Street.


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