Finding downtown parking spots can be tough; finding places to put downtown parking lots can be even tougher.
The city is eyeing guidelines for the construction of parking structures under public open spaces at today’s Community and Protective Services meeting.
With an estimated 120,000 people in the downtown core and only 47,000 parking spots to go around, the city is looking at innovative ways to ease the parking crunch downtown and using open spaces is one way to do it.
Concern has been expressed that there will be an environmental impact on the open spaces by putting a structure beneath them; trees and other vegetation may not have adequate room to grow, according to an administration report.
Ald. Druh Farrell doesn’t want to see downtown ‘green sanctuaries’ upended by the construction of parking projects.
She’s concerned the development stunts the enormous potential of green spaces that add quality of life and vibrancy to the downtown core.
"If we’re talking about taking some of our existing parks and allowing parkades under them, then you are doing damage to that park — no matter how sensitively your are doing it," Farrell said.
The alderman said she would support the construction of parkades in the core if it meant an opportunity to create a new park over top of it.
"Great cities are often defined by their parks and their public spaces," said Farrell.