Overflow from commuter parking lot causes frustration for west-end Kingston business owner

Overflow from commuter parking lot causes frustration for west-end Kingston business owner

A west-end Kingston business owner says she is frustrated by commuters parking near her business and not in designated lots, arguing the move affects her bottom line.

Drivers and business owners in the Reddendale Plaza say they have been struggling with the problem for years.

“There’s no parking. We hear it all the time,” says Cathy McCarthy, owner of Snip & Clip.

McCarthy says transit riders who commute from elsewhere are parking at the west-end plaza and catching the 502 express bus from there rather than parking in the Centre 70 Arena’s parking lot and crossing the street.

The Centre 70 lot is a designated park-and-ride lot and tends to fill up quickly as more and more commuters park their vehicles to take the express bus downtown. The city acknowledges that the Centre 70 lot faces overcrowding issues.

While the parking lot at Reddendale Plaza is not a designated park-and-ride lot, McCarthy says vehicle congestion and commuter parking in the plaza are affecting her business, leaving little room for customers to park.

“Unfortunately, when there’s nowhere to park then they drive away, and it does affect the business. We have rent to pay, too, and people just don’t understand that,” said McCarthy, adding that parking at the Reddendale Plaza is private.

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Kingston Coun. Wayne Hill, who represents Lakeside District, says the city is aware of this problem and has already offered solutions for drivers.

“We’ve made some arrangements for folks to park at Jim Beattie Park, which not too many people have taken advantage of. I drove by it this morning, and it’s only about a third full so we’d like to see more people use that,” said Hill.

Hill also suggested walking to the bus stop, if possible, to avoid the overcrowding problem at the Centre 70 lot.

The Jim Beattie parking lot has a stop along the same route and is only one bus stop before the Centre 70 lot, which gives commuters another convenient option to park and ride.

Sheila Kidd, director of transportation for the City of Kingston, says the city has made efforts to let drivers know about other parking options in that area. She went on to say the Jim Beattie parking lot has 40 spaces, giving drivers ample parking space.
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