New Brunswick

Need parking? Moncton says 4,000 spots available near downtown centre

City of Moncton says there is adequate existing parking, and transportation to allow for 10,000 people to visit the downtown centre in an evening.

City says between lots and on-street there are 4,000 available parking spaces to people visiting the downtown

Moncton's Transportation Dispersal Plan says people visiting downtown will have enough parking when the centre opens in September of 2018. (City of Moncton)

After crunching the numbers, the City of Moncton says there is adequate existing parking and transportation to allow for 10,000 people, to visit the downtown centre in an evening.

The Transportation Dispersal Plan, developed by IBI Group Professional Services (Canada) Inc. and Crandall Engineering Ltd. was presented to council at Monday night's meeting.

Surveys were conducted of available parking at different times in the evening, and Peter Allaby, of Crandall Engineering Ltd. said 4,000 parking spots were found to be available within a 15 minute walk of the centre. He said with carpooling factored in, as well as other modes of transportation, these spots will be enough.

"Even for a small event, there's enough parking within a 10 minute walk and most of that is within a six minute walk to serve your routine Wildcats game," said Allaby.

There will be a total of 24 accessible parking spaces near the centre.

Public transit a priority

Andrea Lendak, of IBI  Group Professional Services Inc., said  the city asked that public transit be a priority.

"We want to make sure buses have the prime spot in the house."

"As spectators come out of the events centre they'll have bus options right there."

There will be space for five bus loading areas on each side of Main Street in between Highfield Street and Weldon Street. During events, accessible transit will have direct access to the building.

Experts said about 3,300 parking spots are available in the evening for the public, and 670 are available through on-street parking within a 15 minute walk of the downtown centre. (City of Moncton)

The plan also recommends that 50 spaces be made available for cyclists to lock up their bikes.

People will be able to be picked up and dropped off near the centre, but the plan recommends it happen at least a block away on Cameron Street, to cut down on congestion in front of the centre, on Main Street.

A new permanent taxi stand will be installed on Highfield Street, with space for at least 15 cars to line up.

This is a chart supplied by the City of Moncton based on a survey conducted in September of 2017, which shows available vacant parking and walking times. (City of Moncton)

Another option is walking, and to make that easier, the city is looking into making the dark CN underpass on Main street a more pleasant place to walk. The city is also looking at adding a sidewalk on the west side of Foundry Street, adding another crosswalk on Main Street, a new street between Downing and Foundry, and installing crossing at the CN tracks south of the centre.

To develop the plan, Allaby said three online surveys were taken, one with input from Codiac Transpo, hotels, restaurants, parking lot operators, developers, realtors, and the RCMP. Another survey was done by Moncton Wildcats fans and the third was done with members of La Bikery Co-operative, a community bicycle centre.

Costs kept quiet

An issue raised at council was costs associated with implementing the plan.

Coun. Paul Pellerin said that during a private presentation earlier in the day, a dollar figure was given out by city staff, but no one would say it publicly at the session.

"Why can't we tell the public now what the proposed costs are associated with all these modifications?" said Pellerin at the council meeting.
Coun. Bryan Butler asked city staff to tell the public estimated costs associated with implementing the plan, but staff declined. Specific costs are supposed to go before council in September. (Antoine Trepanier/ Radio Canada )

But Alcide Richard, director of Design and Construction with the City of Moncton said those costs are preliminary.

"They are very new to staff … so we have to delve into the details and bring that back to council in a proper venue."

Council passed a recommendation that city staff will continue developing the transportation plan, and will go before council with specific costs in September.