The Friends of Ryerson Park and the Chautauqua Residents Association have asked the Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake to make parking restrictions in the neighbourhood of Chautauqua permanent.
A pilot project to create traffic controls in the Chautauqua neighbourhood has been met with strong support by members of both groups nearly a year after it began, area resident John Scott said.
“There is little question that the suite of measures had the desired effect, as through the summer Chautauqua returned to a balanced park usage between visitors and residents,” Scott told council during a committee of the whole meeting on Monday.
The residents group also supports having the no-parking restrictions in effect only during the summer season, Scott said.
Early in 2021, the Friends of Ryerson Park approached council requesting strict parking measures in Chautauqua in order to rein in vehicle traffic and increase safety in the area.
Council approved several changes, including restricting parking on one side of many of the neighbourhood's narrow streets and increasing fines to $150.
Scott said the Friends of Ryerson Park represents 210 households primarily in Chautauqua, roughly 75 per cent of the neighbourhood.
“The residents of Chautauqua are pleased and most appreciative of the response of the town to alleviate the significant issues we experienced over the past few years,” he said.
Scott had three requests for council.
He asked council to set aside money to hire a seasonal bylaw officer to patrol Chautauqua during the busy months, for the parking restrictions to be permanent and that the speed limit in the area be cut to 30 or 35 km/h.
“Reducing speed limits to 30 or 35 km/h is not unprecedented, even in urban areas like Toronto,” Scott said.
Director of operations Sheldon Randall said a speed reduction in Chautauqua is being considered as a part of the town's transportation master plan and nothing will be done before the plan is finalized.
Scott acknowledged the restrictions will be constantly under review.
“One thing that we all have to realize when we’re doing remedial measures like this is that adjustments are going to be required over time,” he said.
Chief administrator Marnie Cluckie assured council that all of Scott’s requests are already on staff radar and said a report on the success and future of the measures will come before council in March.