Street parking prohibition during Western Fair to continue
London Community News
By Sean Meyer/London Community News/Twitter: Newswriter22
The Western Fair District will be offering 2,500 free parking spots during this year’s fair, but that won’t stop the city from prohibiting parking on five nearby streets during the festivities.
During the Civic Works Committee meeting on Tuesday (Aug. 21), councillors accepted the request of the London Police Service to close streets on the west side of Woodman Avenue, west side of Charlotte Street, south side of York Street, south side of King Street and south side of Frances Street. City staff said the prohibition is necessary because these streets are narrow and people parking along them during the fair becomes something of a safety risk.
Committee chair and Ward 12 Councillor Harold Usher asked staff if there remains a need to prohibit parking on those streets — which has taken place for years — in light of the inclusion of the free parking spaces this year.
“My concern with this particular item is Western Fair is having free parking this year . . . they may have a few extra parking spots. Is this requirement still a necessity?”
John Braam, managing director environmental and engineering services, said staff is not sure what the impact of the free parking might be, although they are expecting a very positive result. However, Braam added staff still suggests the parking prohibition — which has been done for the past three years — is needed as a “precursor to where we may be next year.”
The committee agreed to support the prohibition again, for one more year, while studying the impact free parking has on the situation.
Ward 4 Councillor Stephen Orser asked staff how the prohibition would impact individuals who are parking in front of their own homes during the period of the fair.
Braam said this parking prohibition issue isn’t a new one and nobody should be surprised by the situation.
“In terms of the issues related to parking within the vicinity and area where previously you have been able to park, this is a situation that is not new,” Braam said. “We have been undertaking this process of installing the no parking elements for many years. It shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone.”
Orser also attempted to expand the discussion to include parking issues in Old East through the year. Usher, however, shut down that discussion, asking Orser to bring the topic forward at an appropriate time.
Staff did also point out enforcement of the parking prohibition will take place during the fair and that will include ticketing individuals who pay to park on neighbourhood lawns — a practice Orser pointed out has gone on for years.
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