Skip to main content

Parking Probe

A very useful resource to get an understanding of what is going on with McMaster Parking, and as it relates to the goal of creating a naturalized buffer between McMaster parking and Ancaster Creek, is found an MA Thesis by Jessica S. Becker: Understanding Commuting Decisions: A Case Study of Students and Staff at McMaster University, from 2007.

Tidbits like the fact the "outermost lots are rarely full, even during the fall and winter when the [University] policy is to oversell the permits of all lots by 10%" (Becker, 2) are helpful,  and are supported by the experience with the temporary closure of a section of what is now known as Zone M: i.e. the closure did not result in problems for parking elsewhere on campus since it was shut down for construction of a Combined Sewer Overflow tank in 2009.

This finding supports Restore Cootes' concern that the University will needlessly repave this area for parking, thereby creating extra parking demand. As research shows
"providing more parking will make it easier for those already driving regularly to campus to park, and also risks the strong possibility that those who do not drive already will begin doing so since there will be that increased space"(Becker, 92)
In 2007 there were 4,714 parking spaces on the main campus, with the largest parking zones located west of the main campus in what were formerly Zones 6 and 7, now lots "M" and "N".(Becker, 9).

2010-2011 Parking rates for these lots are $180 per term, or monthly $45 and only $5.00 per day during peak hours, and $2.50 for evening (after 4:00pm) and weekend parking. (http://parking.mcmaster.ca/)

The research also records that the university hired an external consulting firm who "strongly suggested the development of a...TDM [Transportation Demand Management] scheme" to reduce car use, while the researcher comments "It is unclear whether or not such a scheme was ever created."(Becker, 2)

Becker cautions planners at McMaster to "avoid focusing only on the needs of those that drive" in order to move people from single-occupancy car use to other modes. She notes that
"Improvements in access to alternative transit and facilities have not been met with the anticipated participation increase due to lack of management policy that discourages driving and rewards modal changes." (Becker, 12)
Becker's research attempts to "focus on the behaviour leading to parking demand" (11) and she makes several recommendations on how to reduce travel to campus by car. We will take a look at her recommendations in a future post.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Urquhart Butterfly Garden speaker series

A lovely butterfly garden is the perfect setting for this annual speaker series. August 4, 2018, Guest speaker: Doreen Nicoll You cannot have Monarch Butterflies without milkweed.  Doreen Nicoll has recently become a heroine for monarch butterflies, by insisting on her rights to grow milkweed in her naturalized garden in Burlington. Doreen  Nicoll has long understood that garden with nature and not against her is the best thing for our planet. She also knows that native plants are great at attracting butterflies and bees of all species. Doreen will be the first presenter in the Summer Series at the Urquhart Butterfly Garden and her topic will be Monarchs and Their Milkweed and naturalized gardening. She has wealth of information and is fun as well! The session will begin at 11 am Saturday on August 4 and last approximately one hour.  Please bring a chair. If it rains the session will be cancelled. For more information about the Urquhart Butterfly Garden please visit ur

stepping up the battle for trails

I share the columnist's (see below) angst about some of the trail closures in Cootes Paradise and the observation that the impacts of walking on habitat are less damaging than driving. Nevertheless, I can appreciate that some of the trails can and should be closed to preserve sensitive habitat. It is because Cootes is surrounded by a city that the impacts of both cars and yes, even feet, can cumulatively degrade the integrity of this nature sanctuary. Blocking trails with bushes generally seems to occur on "unofficial" trails, though I have   previously expressed my concern with closing trails that once provided access through Cootes to hook up with the Spencer Creek Trail in Dundas. The utility of a trail as a path to someplace, rather than just a recreational loop, means a lot to me , and I have hoped the RBG would reconsider the trails layout with this in mind. Again, with so many people accessing Cootes, on foot and on mountain-bikes, the threat

Turtle Watching: Volunteers Needed

By fragmenting the western end of Cootes Paradise with a four lane highway (Cootes Drive 1936) and McMaster parking (1969), car drivers gain at the expense of intact habitat for a multitude of species. Road kill on Cootes accounts for a severe threat to the survival of at risk species, and perhaps none so glaringly as the slow moving turtles who inhabit the remnant marsh. Turtle, south of Cootes Drive near Spencer Creek. Photo r.k . A local volunteer group has, for the last few years, formed to assist the turtles and increase awareness, and (hopefully) survival rates.  Please consider giving some of your time to the turtles of Cootes Paradise. April 2012 Turtles will begin to move from their wintering sites in late May and their peak nesting period is mid-June. Dundas Turtle Watch identifies, monitors and rescues turtles at risk from traffic, and protects nests from predation wherever possible.  The group  is  looking for people with a digital camera  who are  prepa