Update to SOEC parking study gets rolling
Complete a survey to share your ideas on how to make parking work
at the SOEC today and in the future
(Penticton BC – May 23, 2018) - The wheels are in motion on a new parking study for the South Okanagan Events Centre (SOEC) complex. The City has hired Urban Systems to update the study they conducted in 2015 to reflect actual activity levels and impacts now that the Cascades Casino has been operating for over a year. The parking study was included in this year’s budget as a result of feedback from the community as well as the need to update the information available about parking in support of the work on the business case for the vision for Penticton’s arenas.
“The main purpose of this study is to identify solutions to make the site operate more effectively and better utilize the parking we have available,” says Bregje Kozak, Recreation and Facilities Director. Work on the update is getting underway this week and is expected to take up to five months to complete. The study will update the inventory of on-site and off-site parking, collect data about parking use on a typical weekday as well as during busy weekends and events, identify the challenges and gaps for pedestrians and offer suggestions to improve wayfinding.
Residents can get involved
Recognizing that parking at the site has been an important topic of discussion for the community, the City is inviting residents to be part of the study. Two surveys on shapeyourcitypenticton.ca will run from May 23 to June 13 to gather feedback from customers or visitors of the SOEC as well as residents in the surrounding areas. Citizens who register and complete the survey will be entered into a draw for one of three prizes of $50 of free parking at any City meter or lot applied as a credit through the City’s Passport Parking app. Paper copies of the survey are available at City Hall and the library. The results of the surveys as well as preliminary findings of the study will be shared at an open house in the next few months.
“In some ways, it is a good problem to have. The combination of the facilities on the SOEC site has created a busy entertainment and recreation hub but it has also created more pressure on parking for customers as well as residents in the area,” says Mayor Andrew Jakubeit. “Council is looking forward to seeing the results of the study and hearing the ideas from residents on how we can make traffic and parking at the complex work better for everyone.”
The City has also prepared a document to answer questions about parking at the site including the expectations of the Cascades Casino. “We know that some residents have questions about what the requirements were for the Casino and having a common understanding of this information will be helpful as we start to look for solutions to improve parking on site,” says Mayor Jakubeit.
Considering future needs at SOEC
While the focus of the survey is on operational improvements to address current activity levels since the Cascades Casino opened, the study will also provide the data needed to plan for parking at the complex should the City move forward with the vision for the future of the SOEC developed by the Arena Task Force and endorsed by Council this past July. “This parking study will provide some of the data needed to plan for parking at the complex should the City move forward with the vision for the future of the arenas,” says Bregje Kozak.
Director of Facilities and Recreation