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Parking problems on the Orillia council committee agenda

PATRICK BALES/THE PACKET & TIMES
The view of the intersection of Bay Street and Fittons Road, looking north at Bay Street. The stop signs for Fittons Road approved by council in summer have yet to be installed.

PATRICK BALES/THE PACKET & TIMES The view of the intersection of Bay Street and Fittons Road, looking north at Bay Street. The stop signs for Fittons Road approved by council in summer have yet to be installed.

Orillia city councillors will meet Monday night for the first time this year, and the inaugural 2017 council committee meeting is light in the agenda.

Councillors will discuss three parking situations at the meeting. The first could see “no stopping” signs be placed in the area surrounding Notre Dame Catholic School. A letter to the city from Norma Martins of Parkview Transit outlines an issue school buses are having in the Atlantis Drive and Bass Lake Sideroad area.

“The vehicles are parked up to the stop sign at Atlantis and Bass Lake as well as on Bass Lake, which makes it very difficult to make a turn,” she wrote. “I don't think the public has any idea how much room is required to manoeuvre a bus around a corner, and how difficult is becomes with children moving around the bus.”

The letter asks for the area on Atlantis Drive to be a no-parking zone. But that wouldn't stop people from staying in their vehicles to wait for their children, with the cars running. The recommended motion calls for no stopping any time to be implemented on both sides of Atlantis Drive, 60 metres northerly from Bass Lake Sideroad. As well, the south side of Bass Lake Sideroad East is to have a no-stopping restriction between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., for 228 metres westerly from Atlantis Drive, from Monday to Friday.

“No stopping” signs could soon go up near Harriett Todd Public School as well. Staff is recommending no stopping between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday to Friday, on Lakeview Avenue between Barrie Road and Grenville Avenue, and on Grenville, between Lakeview and Marlisa Drive.

The recommendation doesn't come with a specific resident complaint. Rather, municipal law-enforcement officers routinely patrol streets in the areas that surround city schools to conduct parking enforcement. Recent patrols near Harriett Todd found Lakeview Avenue was “hazardous to traverse” because of the on-street parking of vehicles on both sides of the road.

Staff is also recommending removing some parking restrictions near Lions Oval Public School. Currently, there is a no-parking restriction on the east side of Patrick Street, between Coldwater Road and Brant Street, from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. There is no parking permitted on the west side of the street at any time. Staff wants to see the east-side restriction be limited to Monday to Friday.

A resident complaint appears to be at the base of this change, too. According to an email in the council committee agenda, the parking restriction on the east side wasn't enforced until recently. However, the resident learned the hard way no parking was allowed when two of his vehicles were ticketed while he was installing winter tires on a third vehicle.

Council committee will debate the issues Monday. Council ratification will need to occur before any changes become permanent.

Bay/Fittons intersection

Staff will update council committee on its work in making the intersection of Bay Street and Fittons Road safer.

Last summer, council approved a four-way stop at the intersection. Later, it reconsidered that motion and directed staff to prepare a report on improving sight-line issues in the area. A number of initiatives have taken place since then, with shrubbery on city-owned property being trimmed to make it easier to see oncoming traffic. A final improvement, which involves a bush partially on private property, should be finished by June.

The staff recommendation makes no mention of installing a four-way stop at the intersection.

Push for Change

The money raised from local Push for Change events will go to support youth homeless initiatives in Orillia.

That's the recommendation from the Orillia youth opportunities committee, which wants a new account set up for the funds so when it has a need for that money, it will be readily available, pending council approval. The committee also suggests the account could be used for future fundraising initiatives that may be undertaken to help with local youth homelessness solutions.

The final amount raised from the local Push for Change events is not yet known.



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