- CBC Metro Morning Interview
- Markham Parking interview
- OGRA Milestones interview
- National Post interview
- OpenFile Vancouver interview
- York Region News Interview
- Letter to Globe & Mail
- CBC St. John's Radio Interview
Martin Collier was interviewed for this article on the proposed GTA Centre (arena), to be located in the Toronto suburb of Markham. When talking about parking structures, Martin mentioned that the Town of Markham should not subsidize these spaces -- indeed, they should not build them in the first place. This would give transit a leg up and save millions in construction costs -- a fact that was not added to the final article. Given that this option will probably not be chosen, Martin told (and wrote) the journalist that "the key to meeting the 56-44 modal split will be the price of parking at the venue (and nearby), whether transit fare is built into the cost of the event ticket and whether a large percentage of folks live close enough to walk/bike to the event (1-5 km distance). I hope that the GTA Centre does not become another ScotiaBank Place -- where transportation is concerned!"
By AMANDA PERSICO
If you plan to catch an event at Markham’s new arena, get ready to drop the gloves over a parking space.
Earlier this week, members of the Markham sports, entertainment and cultural centre sub-committee met with consultants and developers to discuss the proposed site plan for the NHL-size arena off Enterprise Boulevard.
The discussion soon turned to transit and a proposed parking plan that assumes 56 per cent of trips to the arena will come from public transit and just 43 per cent will drive — a ratio seized on by critics, calling the plan over ambitious.
The plan calls for about 4,400 surface parking spots, allocated between 10 parking bays, which also includes shared parking spaces at existing GO Transit parking lots. Those 4,400 spaces assume each vehicle will carry two people per vehicle to an event.
Traffic management specialist, Sharon Sterling of Genivar – a consultant hired by the city – arrived at that ratio by studying the
most convenient ways to get to the centre within about a 60-minute time frame.
Most visitors to the yet-to-be-built arena are expected to come from Toronto, Ms Sterling said.
“We look at what a person has to do to get here,” she said. “We look at what is a more convenient and faster route. Forty-three per cent is proportionate to that equation.”...
“We’re talking Copenhagen type of numbers,” said Martin Collier, traffic consultant and founder of Healthy Transport Consulting and Transport Futures.
A 56:43 driving to transit ratio already exists in several European centres, where transit and cycling are the favoured modes to
“Those numbers are unheard of in Canada or the United States. But Markham’s idea is do-able,” he added.
There are certain practices that need to be in place to ensure wider transit use to Markham’s new arena, including parking premiums Mr. Collier said.
Sticking drivers with high parking premiums could make transit the more affordable option and could also be a revenue source for the city, or at least cover the cost of the parking facility, he added.
“There needs to be the expectation that going by car is ridiculous,” he said. “This plans needs a good sales job, to sell people economically and through education.”
If parking is cheap and there isn’t enough, there will be spill over.
The city would be at a disadvantage if it offered cheaper rates for parking, which could lead to increased demand for parking and the need to build parking structures, which begs the question, who will pay for additional parking, Mr. Collier said.
But the plan would not work without dedicated transit.
Without proper plans for transit, the GTA Centre could see the same problems as Ottawa.
“You hear stories about people going to (an Ottawa Senator’s) game three hours in advance just to get a spot,” Mr. Collier said. “And then it takes about four hours to get out. It is a horror story to get a parking space, but it is even worse getting out.”
Another public meeting is scheduled for mid-September to discuss site plan and community access to the arena.