Results for the City of Penticton’s latest study of parking needs around the South Okanagan Events Centre comes before city council on Dec. 18. File photo

Results for the City of Penticton’s latest study of parking needs around the South Okanagan Events Centre comes before city council on Dec. 18. File photo

Parking study coming back to Penticton city council

Parking study lays out options to solve parking problems around SOEC

  • Dec. 14, 2018 5:00 p.m.

Don’t expect any major changes to parking around the South Okanagan Events Centre like more parking spots or a parkade in the near future.

An update to the 2015 South Okanagan Event Centre parking study came before Penticton city council at their Dec. 18 meeting. The results of the study are broken

Started last spring, the study was conducted to provide current information about parking capacity and demand at the busy complex and address parking and traffic pressures on the site and in the surrounding area.

Related: SOEC a happening place this weekend

“I’m pleased that this work has been completed as I know that the parking and traffic issues at the site were a concern for many citizens earlier this year,” says Mayor John Vassilaki. “As a member of the original council that approved the event centre, I’m thrilled that this complex is achieving our goal of being an entertainment and recreation destination for the entire valley.”

The city admitted in June that the December 2015 study underestimated the need for parking at the SOEC.

“The site is busier than the original estimate of eight to 10 nights per year. Activity levels are closer to one busy weekend each month plus several nights with higher than normal activity,” reads the City of Penticton release accompanying the results of a survey that showed area residents were reporting problems finding parking.

Related: Survey says: parking problem at events centre

The actual estimate in the parking study dated Dec. 2015 was for even fewer problem nights.

“On average, six nights a year require event attendees to find parking off-site,” reads the 2015 report authored by James Donnelly of Urban Systems.

There were actually two parking studies delivered by Urban Systems in 2015, one in September and another in December replacing the September version, which contained factual errors, including overestimating the number of parking spots along Power Street and underestimating the number of fans attending Vees games.

The report’s conclusion remained the same though: with more than 1,000 parking spaces on site, there is sufficient parking at the SOEC for the majority of the year and on occasions where a major event is taking place, there are another 1,000 spaces in lots and on the streets within a five to 10-minute walk.

The new study proposes a series of options to consider in the short, medium and long terms. Some of the short-term options that could be considered in the next two years include installing signage, adding pedestrian crossings, and introducing time restrictions on parking at the community centre and on adjacent residential streets. These measures would direct traffic towards underutilized parking areas and away from the roundabout, increase pedestrian safety on site and encourage turnover in high demand lots.

Options to increase parking supply are proposed for the medium term or the next three to five years. These options include reconfiguring the curling club and community centre lots to add 32 spaces and developing new parking on the Eckhardt and Creston lots to add 72 spaces.

“The options proposed for the short term would make better use of the space we have today at a lower cost and impact to the community,” said Bregje Kozak, director of recreation and facilities. “With the high cost to develop new parking, these options would need to be considered in the next few years to allow for proper budgeting and prioritization against other city initiatives.”

A parkade has been included amongst the options for the long-term or beyond five years.

Related: City of Penticton begins parking study

“We received a lot of feedback that people would like to see a parkade at the site,” says Kozak. “This is something that could be considered in the long term but our hope is that some of the other options provide the relief people are hoping for before we make this investment.”

The study also recommends further work to develop transportation demand options such as improvements to transit and shuttle services, more accessibility options as well as infrastructure for cycling. The city is planning additional workshops to confirm plans for transportation demand management options.

The complete report and a copy of the study findings are now available at penticton.ca. Council is being asked to receive the report for information and will make a decision on the recommendations through the budget process.

Related: SOEC parking study will examine land use


Steve Kidd
Senior reporter, Penticton Western News
Email me or message me on Facebook
Follow us on Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Just Posted

Police are asking for public assistance in locating Anthony Graham who has been charged with the murders of Kamloops brothers Carlo and Erick Fryer. (RCMP photo)
2 Penticton-area men charged with Kamloops brothers’ double homicide

Brothers Erick and Carlo Fryer were found deceased in May in Naramata

(File photo)
Penticton not holding Canada Day activities out of respect for Indigenous people

Cities across B.C. are cancelling the holiday after an increased spotlight on Canada’s dark history

Fruit farmers in the Okanagan and Creston valleys are in desperate need of cherry harvesters amid COVID-19 work shortages. (Photo: Unsplash/Abigail Miller)
‘Desperate’ need for workers at Okanagan cherry farms

Fruit farmers are worried they’ll have to abandon crops due to COVID-19 work shortages

JAK's Liquor Store in Penticton will be donating 10 per cent of its sales on Saturday, June 19, to the Penticton Salvation Army Food Bank. (Photo from JAKS.com)
Stock up your liquor cabinet and support the Penticton food bank

Jak’s beer and wine store is donating a portion of sales to local food banks Saturday

The illegal open fire above Naramata continues to smoke on Friday, June 18. The fire was left to burn itself out by BC Wildfire. (Monique Tamminga - Western News)
Illegal open burn in Naramata will be left to smoke

BC Wildfire could not confirm whether the property owner had been fined

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

Earls On Top at 211 Bernard Avenue in Kelowna. (Google Maps photo)
Downtown Kelowna’s Earls ordered closed after COVID-19 transmission

Earls on Top on Bernard Avenue will be closed from June 18 to June 27

A motorycle crash has been reported on Westside Road. (Google Maps)
UPDATE: Westside Road reopened following motorcycle crash near Vernon

AIM Roads advises drivers to expect delays due to congestion

Dereck Donald Sears. (Contributed/Crimestoppers)
Murder charge laid in relation to suspicious Kelowna death

Dereck Donald Sears is charged with second-degree murder in the death of Darren Middleton

Albert Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney unveil an opening sign after speaking about the Open for Summer Plan and next steps in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta 1st province in Canada to lift all COVID-19 public health restrictions

70.2% of eligible citizens 12 and older in the province have received a dose of the vaccine

Fraser Health registered nurse Ramn Manan draws a dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine into a syringe at a walk-up vaccination clinic at Bear Creek Park, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, May 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Honour our fathers’ with COVID-19 vaccine protection, B.C. urges

109 new cases Friday, 75 per cent of 12 and up immunized

(Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Trutch Avenue in Chilliwack to be renamed to remove racist taint

New name to have Indigenous significance as Chilliwack takes new step toward reconciliation

Most Read