Queen's University
Parking Strategy Study

February, 2000

Prepared by:
Marshall Macklin Monaghan Limited
In association with:  Du Toit Allsopp Hillier


Table of Contents:
1. Introduction and Context
2. Approach
3. Existing Parking Demand and Supply
4. Future Parking Demand
5. Range of Options
6. Assessment of Options
7. Response to Open House
8. Summary and Recommended Parking Strategy

1. Introduction and Context

Queen's University has had various parking studies undertaken over the last decade. These included the Circulation and Parking Study - Preliminary Overview Report prepared by BA Consulting Group Ltd. in 1992. That report presented some initial impressions and some preliminary ideas related to potential modifications on the Main Campus.

Although parking was only one element, mention needs to be made of the 1994 Campus Plan. This was a collaborative effort involving the Campus Planning and Development Office, the Campus Development Advisory Committee and Du Toit Allsopp Hillier as the consultants. The Campus Plan is a comprehensive document which was approved by the Board of Trustees in October, 1994. It provides the planning framework for the Campus. The document details the planning foundations, principles and strategies, a mid-range demonstration plan and longer range possibilities. Strategy 22 in Section 4 (Movement and Systems Strategies) deals with parking. "The University will adopt strategies aimed at meeting demand in ways which limit "overflow" parking on neighbouring streets while reducing reliance upon private vehicles for commuting. Most surface lots will eventually be replaced by underground facilities located at the campus periphery. Provision will be made for limited special purpose surface parking and remote commuter parking". Reference is made in the Campus Plan to the fact that resolution of the parking supply and demand issue will require continued study and review in collaboration with both the City and the Hospital. Two general approaches are presented including reducing the demand for parking and providing a diverse parking inventory with most commuter parking accommodated in underground garages. However special purpose surface parking lots and remote parking such as use of West Campus are also considered as components of a broader-based parking supply strategy.

In 1995 Marshall Macklin Monaghan Limited completed the Kingston General Hospital/Queen's University Parking Study. This was a comprehensive study which included attitudinal surveys, parking surveys and observations, examination of future plans of the three institutional uses in the area and assessment of these implications on parking needs. The experiences of other institutions, particularly other universities, were examined and various options identified and assessed. The recommended strategy included the following elements:

  • Co-ordination along with the Hospital, City and Cancer Clinic and the monitoring of demand and supply as new facilities are built, uses change and surface lots are replaced by buildings.
  • Management of demand particularly through the introduction of a carpool program.
  • Minimizing short-term major parking infrastructure investments until various unknowns are better defined.
  • Maintaining a variety of parking options including surface lots where appropriate and required to meet specific needs.

The study included a specific implementation strategy for the immediate term, short term (1 to 2 years) and mid-term (3 to 5 years), as well as ongoing requirements.

In 1997 the Surface Infrastructure Study - Parking and Open Space, was completed by du Toit Allsopp Hillier, in association with Marshall Macklin Monaghan Limited. The study developed a strategy for upgrading the campus landscape in the short-term and providing building sites in the mid and long term. The report notes that if and when new buildings are needed, "the University will have to implement an orchestrated parking accommodation program consisting of further demand management, remote parking initiatives and underground parking". (P.1 - Executive Summary) A requirement for up to 2,200 parking spaces or about 800 in excess of those in existence at that time, was estimated as being required to address the campus development capacity estimated in the 1994 Campus Plan.

The study included ten recommendations:

"1. Reduce existing surface parking in the core of the campus and rehabilitate the lots as useful and attractive landscapes.

2. Implement comprehensive demand management programs including improved public transit, car- and van-pooling, as well as an equitable rate structure geared to location and service.

3. Encourage use of the West Campus parking capacity by means of an attractive rate structure and a convenient shuttlebus service.

4. Recognize future structured parking as an integral component of further campus development.

5. Protect opportunities for future academic development and parking structures.

6. Maintain open lines of communication with Kingston General Hospital and the City of Kingston.

7. Develop a long term financial plan that anticipates a further building cycle and accounts for all of the costs of providing and operating parking, including land value.

8. Begin the physical and financial planning necessary for the construction of a Tindall Field underground parkade.

9. Explore the feasibility and acceptability of a Barrie/Bagot underground parkade."

At that time the expectation was the decisions could be staged over a period of time. However reality has not borne this out. Queen's University, similar to other institutions of higher learning in the province, is now faced with the challenge of dealing with the double cohort resulting from the elimination of grade 13. Students who are currently in grade 9 will be graduating from high school in the spring of 2003, along with those currently in grade 10. This will place substantial pressures on the resources of the University for the 2003-2004 academic year.

Secondly, the University's current capital program has advanced the construction of several new buildings, in part in response to the above noted needs. Not all of the projects were previously identified in the Master Plan. Not only will there be a resulting increase in parking demand related to the increased enrolment and staffing levels, but existing surface parking will be displaced by some of these new buildings.

This acceleration in the need to address the demand for parking precipitated the University to initiate the subject Strategic Parking Study. Marshall Macklin Monaghan Limited, in association with Du Toit Allsopp Hillier, was selected to undertake the study.

As noted, this is a strategic exercise, intended to revisit the direction which the University should be undertaking with respect to parking in the short term, related to the double cohort requirements (2003-2004). The University felt it important to revisit all potential options on a strategic level. This assessment is presented herein.



2. Approach

Being a strategic parking study, the approach taken herein was to use the previously noted studies as the basis of the study, without updated parking utilization and other similar type of detailed information. However, enrolment and employment data and forecasts were examined so as to understand the magnitude of the potential increases in demands, as compared to the existing. Also, parking inventory was updated, as required. Home postal code information for existing parkers was examined in order to provide a basis for assessing the potential effectiveness of various initiatives.

Being a strategic study it was important to ensure that no potential option was overlooked. Accordingly, a full range of options was identified for consideration herein.

Another important component of the study was the involvement of the university community. A Public Open House which was broadly advertised to the university community, was held from noon to 7:00 p.m. on Thursday December 16th. This provided an opportunity for parkers and others to view the options, ask questions and provide comments. The input reviewed was considered in the development of the recommended strategy.



3. Existing Parking Demand and Supply

3.1 SUPPLY

The existing parking supply in or around the University, exclusive of surface lots owned and operated solely by Kingston General Hospital, are outlined in Table 1 below:
TABLE 1
CURRENT UNIVERSITY OWNED PARKING SUPPLY
Identification/
Location
No. of Spaces
Comments/Changes
Total
Permits
Short-term Parkers
On Main Campus for Exclusive Use by the University
Victoria School150 150- Most, if not all, spaces will be displaced by the new School of Business
PEC60 60-
Dupuis Hall210 210- Will lose at least half related to the new Integrated Learning Centre and about 12 due to relocation of an historical house
Miller99 99-
Victoria Hall76 76-
Watson Hall16 16-
Grant Hall15 15-
Stirling Hall55 55-
McNeil House35 35-
Lower Albert30 30-
Faculty Club105 105-
LDA60 60-
Waldron10 10-
Arch Street30 228
(metered)
Dean Property16 16-
Clergy NE8 8-
Division Street10 10-
Sub-total985 9778
On Main Campus - Shared with Kingston General Hospital
Underground Garage 570246324 Owned jointly with the Hospital. Of the approximate 246 monthly permits, 106 are for the Hospital.

Most of the short-term parkers are Hospital/Cancer Centre related.

Mac Corry404 38816
(metered)
About 200 of the permit parkers are from the Hospital.
Heating Plant Lot145 145- Leased entirely to the Hospital.
Sub-Total1,119 758361
On West Campus
West Campus Lots500 500*-*Combination of monthly permit parkers, free parkers and some limited short-term parkers.
Total2,604 2,256348

In addition to the University owned and operated parking facilities, other municipal or Hospital related parking, is also available in the area. This is outlined in Table 2.
TABLE 2

OTHER PARKING IN THE AREA
Type
No. of Spaces
Comments
On-street metered spaces 253Intended primarily for short-term parkers. It is also being used by all day parkers who are "feeding the meter"
Not possible to distinguish between University and Hospital related parkers
Other on-street spaces within walking distance of campus 409Not possible to distinguish between University and Hospital related parkers
Municipally operated parking lots south of King Street 75Intended for park users, but largely used by Hospital related parkers
Parking owned and operated by the Hospital/Cancer Clinic. 213Only addresses a small component of the Hospital's parking demand
Total950

Thus in total, in the order of 3,050 parking spaces are available, on-site and in the vicinity of Queen's University and Kingston General Hospital, for use by both institutions. A further 500 spaces are available on West Campus.

3.2 DEMAND

Being a strategic study, parking utilization counts were not undertaken to update those outlined in the 1994 report. However, experience indicates that all available parking on and in proximity to the Campus is fully occupied throughout the majority of the day, on weekdays. In fact, a waiting list of approximately 150 exists for those awaiting a parking permit on the Main Campus.

The only location where parking is still available is on West Campus. Approximately 500 parking spaces are provided. On a typical day there are about 350 permit parkers who make use of those spaces.



4. Future Parking Demand

4.1 Related to Increased Enrolment

Although enrolment targets in response to the double cohort have not been finalized as yet, the expectation is that Queen's University will need to accommodate in the order of 1,400 to 1,600 additional students for the 2003/2004 academic year.

Currently a large proportion of students (72.5 percent) are accommodated either on-campus, or in close proximity to the University. Accordingly, they are able to walk, cycle, rollerblade, or use public transit.

Discussions have centered on the construction of another residence on campus accommodating "350 students in total. A survey undertaken a year ago indicated that based on the vacancy rate at that time, approximately 300 additional Queen's students could be accommodated off-campus.

If it is assumed that 350 additional students are accommodated in a new residence on campus, and a further 350 are accommodated off campus but within walking/cycling distance, this still leaves up to 900 who will need to find accommodation elsewhere. Some will likely be accommodated in the suburban areas such as the former Townships. Others may commute from outlying communities. If it is assumed that half of the remaining 900 are able to use public transit, or are able to get a ride with someone else, this still leaves 450 who would drive and therefore require parking.

An alternative approach was to examine the proportion of existing students who drive to/from campus. Based on a limited sampling of students as part of the 1994 survey, 19 percent of students were found to own a vehicle. Presumably as students must look further afield for accommodation, those who own a vehicle are more likely to use it for travel to and from campus. Applying 19 percent to 1,600 students would result in 304 requiring parking. Another survey undertaken in the spring of 1999 of students at various universities, found that at Queen's 28.9 percent park on campus. Applying this percentage to 1600 students results in 462 parkers.

Using the differing approaches and parameters results in a potential increase in parking demand related to students of 305 to 460 spaces.

4.2 Related to Increased Faculty and Staffing Llevels

Increases in enrolment will require corresponding increases in the number of faculty and support staff, including those who may not necessarily be employed directly by the University (e.g. related to food services).

A ratio of faculty/staff to students for 1998/99 was found to be 23.6 percent. Applying this ratio to a 1,600 increase in enrolment equates to 378 additional faculty/staff.

In addition, significant numbers of existing faculty members are expected to retire over the next few years. The argument has been made that perhaps new faculty and staff can be encouraged to seek alternative means of transportation rather than driving. However, recent experience has not borne this out, with Parking Services receiving increasing requests for parking permits for new faculty/staff.

As noted, in the order of 378 new faculty/staff can be expected, related to an increase in enrolment by 1,600 students. If it is assumed that some of these (10 percent) can be absorbed by the available housing stock within walking distance of the Main Campus (i.e. an additional 38 homes in the immediate area which are currently occupied by others become available for rent or ownership by University faculty or staff) then 340 need to be accommodated elsewhere. In all likelihood these would either drive or be passengers with someone else who is driving, given the very low transit usage by faculty and staff (2 to 4 percent only). This equates to an increase in parking demand of 283 spaces by faculty/staff.

Another approach would be to examine the survey findings from the 1994 Parking Study. That survey identified that 67 percent of faculty/staff drive to/from work in summer, with 69 percent doing so in winter. Thus assuming the same characteristics related to the 378 additional faculty/staff results in the need for 261 parking spaces.

Thus in the order of 261 to 283 additional parking spaces are required for faculty and staff.

4.3 DISPLACED PARKING

Some of the existing surface parking spaces will be displaced by the new building construction, or for other reasons. These include:

  • "75 to 150 spaces on the Victoria School site related to the new School of Business building.
  • "125 spaces on the Dupuis lot for the Integrated Learning Centre
  • "12 spaces on the Dupuis lot for a relocated heritage building.

Together this equates to 212 to 287 spaces. Although the Chemistry Building will not directly displace any parking, indirectly it will, in that it will displace a service yard that in all likelihood would be relocated to parking lot. However, the numbers identified above, particularly related to the School of Business, provide sufficient latitude to account for this. In addition to the above noted totals, in the order of 10 on-street spaces will likely be lost due to the Student Life Facilities Building.

4.4 WAITING LIST

In the order of 190 persons are currently on a waiting list for parking.

4.5 TOTAL

The additive parking requirements resulting from each of the components described above are as follows:
TABLE 3
ADDITIONAL PARKING DEMAND (2003/2004)
Component
No. of Spaces
Students 305 ® 460
Faculty/Staff 261 ® 283
Displaced Spaces 212 ® 287
Waiting List 190
Total 968 ® 1,220

Although a small component of this increased demand may be accommodated through private arrangements (i.e., parking in private driveways in the vicinity of the Campus through arrangements with the homeowners), likely only a small number of additional parkers can be accommodated in this manner. Accordingly, the demand numbers outlined in Table 3 would not be altered significantly by this factor.



5. Range of Options

A wide range of options was identified to address the increased demand for parking which had been identified. The options are listed below, with further details including the assessment of options described in Chapter 6.
TABLE 4
RANGE OF OPTIONS CONSIDERED
Category
Options
A.Managing Demand A(1)Revised Parking Policy
A(2) Parking Rate Increases
A(3) Differential Parking Rate Structure
A(4) Daily/Shared Permits
B.More Effective Use of Existing Parking Supply/Pavement B(1)Additional On-street Parking
B(2) Greater Use of West Campus for Parking, Combined With Better Shuttle Bus Service
B(3) Alternative Arrangements with Kingston General Hospital
B(4) Valet/Tandem Parking
B(5) Small Car Parking
C.New and/or Expanded Parking Facilities C(1)Underground Parking Below New Buildings
C(2) New Surface Lots on Periphery of Campus
C(3) New Underground Parking Below Playing Fields/Open Space
C(4) New Above Ground Parking Structures on an Infill Basis
D.Other D(1)Improvements to Public Transit Services
D(2) University Operated Transit Service
D(3) Remote Lots Near the Highway 401 and/or the Highway 2 Corridor to the East/West, Connected by Shuttle Bus
D(4) Car Pool Initiatives
D(5) Selling the Parking Garage to the Hospital
D(6) Facilitate Walking


6. Assessment of Options
Brief descriptions of the options, as well as the potential trade-offs related to each option, were presented at the Queen's Community Open House held on December 16th. More detailed descriptions related to each are provided below.

6.1 A - MANAGING DEMAND

By managing demand, the total number of additional spaces which may be required, can be reduced.

6.1.1 A(1) Revised Parking Policy

Currently those living in the Core Zone, which is generally bounded by Princess Street to the north (to the east of Victoria Street) and Yonge Street to the west, have the lowest eligibility for parking permits. At the moment, only 39 permits are issued to those in the Core Zone, for medical or unusual circumstances. The shape and configuration of the Core Zone was determined a number of years ago by examining walking distance and transit routings.

The options exists to enlarge the Core Zone so as to place a greater proportion of the parkers in the lowest eligibility class. For example, one option would be to extend the boundary of the Core Zone to Concession Street/Stephen Street/Bath Road to the north and through to Little Cataraqui Creek to the west.

The area covered by the Core Zone extension currently houses in the order of 140 permit parkers. Some exceptions typically occur such that the parking demand would not be reduced by the entire number (i.e. 140 parkers).

It is recognized that the existing parkers in this extended zone would be "grandfathered", therefore would be phased out over a period of time (e.g. as faculty and staff retire, or relocate). Accordingly the extension of the Core Zone would be of limited value over the shorter term, in helping to reduce the demand for parking.

Secondly, since the extended area is substantially beyond the typical walking distance of the Main Campus, reasonable alternatives would need to be made available. One of the alternatives would be an upgraded transit service both in terms of routings and frequency. This is discussed in further detail in Section 6.4.1. Other options include cycling and carpooling.

6.1.2 A(2) Parking Rate Increases

Currently those parking on the Main Campus pay $36.23 monthly, with the exception of those parking in the underground garage, who pay $103.50 per month for their permit. Those parking under the Physical Educational Centre pay the surface lot price of $36.23 monthly. Parking is also available on West Campus at a cost of $24.73 per month. Parking free of charge is also available at the north end of West Campus.

These rates are generally lower that the downtown rates for parking lots, but higher than the downtown rates for garages. Examples of parking rates in the downtown area are provided in Appendix C.

The 1994 survey of university faculty and staff indicated that a 25 percent increase in parking fees would result in a 15 percent reduction in the number who would continue to drive to and from work. Thus an increase in parking fees would likely encourage more drivers to consider carpooling and would likely precipitate other travel behavioural changes.

An increase in fees will likely be required to construct any new parking including any new surface parking lots, as detailed in Section 6.3.

A legitimate concern exists that any increase in parking fees would in some cases impact those who can least afford a rate increase and who for various other reasons, have no other option but to drive.

A low cost parking option must be retained to accommodate such needs.

6.1.3 A(3) Differential Parking Rate Structure

As indicated in Section 6.1.2, all those who park in surface lots, or below the Physical Educational Centre, are charged the same rate. Desirably, different rates should be charged for different lots, based on the attractiveness of specific lots (i.e. market driven allocation).

At some university campuses this can be readily achieved, where lots closer to the buildings are charged higher rates than those which are further away.

In the case of Queen's University, where parking lots are integrated amongst the buildings, desirability is largely determined by proximity to a particular building, or grouping of buildings. For example, the north end of the Mac Corry lot would be desirable for someone based in the Policy Studies Building, but would not be for someone based at Earl Hall. Similarly, the lot adjacent to the Faculty Club would be attractive for anyone working at, or visiting the Faculty Club on a regular basis. However, this lot would not be as attractive for someone based at, or making regular use of the Physical Education Centre. As such, it is somewhat more difficult to differentiate the parking rates between various surface parking lots. Also a complex system of differentiation becomes more difficult to administer and can reduce the effectiveness of the parking lot usage, unless the number of permits issued (including overselling) is closely matched to the number of spaces available in that lot, or category of lots.

However, similar to the current situation, there is some basis for differentiating between parking in a structure, and parking on a surface lot. Parking in structure can provide various advantages including climate control in inclement weather, lack of snow clearance required in winter, and increased security where surveillance cameras are employed.

Any further differentiation in rates would not necessarily reduce the demand for parking, but may help to relocate spaces in accordance with market principles. For example, a new parking garage may be found to warrant a higher monthly rate than the existing parking garage, if it perceived to be more desirable.

The one area where increased differentiation in the rates is essential, is with respect to the West Campus lots. As noted, parking on surface lots on the Main Campus currently costs $36.23 per month, whereas on West Campus the rate is $24.73 per month. This rate differential is not sufficient to make parking on West Campus an attractive option, particularly when faculty and staff would also need to pay for the public transit service in addition to this, unless they choose to walk instead.

The argument can be made that those who park on West Campus and also work on West Campus have an unfair advantage in that the parking rates on West Campus are lower. This is a valid statement. However, the counter argument can be made that market conditions (demand versus supply) and a cost differential of providing parking on the Main Campus versus on West Campus, dictate the differences between the two.

6.1.4 A(4) Daily/Shared Permits

Currently permits are only available on a monthly basis. For the occasional parker the existing options include finding a metered space on the street, or a metered space in one of the lots where such spaces are available (i.e. Mac Corry), or purchasing hourly or daily parking in the underground garage.

The suggestion has been put forward that some form of daily or shared permits be available for those who may need to park only a few days per month.

Daily or shared permits may marginally reduce the demand for parking if those who are currently purchasing a monthly pass opt for this arrangement instead, and do not park on campus on a daily basis.

However, there are some potential serious implications associated with daily or shared permits. The inclination would be to make the greatest use of those permits on peak days (i.e. in inclement weather). On these peak days daily parkers could then potentially displace the monthly parkers, resulting in significant parking shortages. There would also be additional costs associated with administering a daily or a shared permit program.

6.2 B - MORE EFFECTIVE USE OF EXISTING PARKING SUPPLY/ PAVEMENT

The existing pavement in and around the University could perhaps be put to better use so as to accommodate a greater number of parked vehicles. Several options are described below.

6.2.1 B(1) Additional On-Street Parking

For the most part all available on-street parking spaces in the vicinity of Queen's University are being used by either the University or the Hospital. Those in areas of highest demand are metered. The balance are not.

Converting from non-metered to metered spaces may help to reallocate some spaces from all day to hourly parkers and result in increased revenue for the City, but would not result in any additional parking spaces being created.

Substantially more on-street parking cannot be achieved without widening the road pavement at the expense of landscaped boulevards or medians such as those along University Avenue.

On-street parking adds an element of traffic calming whereby drivers are inclined to slow down their speeds when confronted with slow moving drivers looking for a parking space, or drivers of parked vehicles opening their doors.

However, care must be taken in introducing any new on-street parking. As noted, road widenings are not desirable since they tend to occur at the expense of landscaping and sidewalks.

Some on-street parking spaces can be added without widening the pavement. Typically 2.5 metres of pavement width is required to accommodate on-street parking. The remaining available pavement width must adequately accommodate traffic flows, without jeopardising safety or capacity. From a safety perspective, emergency vehicles such as fire trucks must be able to readily access all of the buildings. Similarly, in view of the proximity of Kingston General Hospital, ambulances must be able to readily access the hospital.

Some concerns have been expressed that on-street parking obscures pedestrians who may be crossing mid-block, between parked vehicles. It is recognized that additional care must be taken by pedestrians who choose to run across the street between parked vehicles and that crosswalk areas must be kept clear of parked vehicles. However, parked vehicles can also contribute positively to the pedestrian environment by slowing traffic down.

Two streets have been identified where on-street parking could potentially be added. No parking is currently permitted along Queen's Crescent. The existing pavement width is in the order of 9.45 to 9.76 metres (31 to 32 feet). Approximately 22 parallel parking spaces can be added along the southerly side of Queen's Crescent between Albert Street and University Avenue, while maintaining two-way flows along Queen's Crescent. Consideration can perhaps be given to converting Queen's Crescent to a one-way street in order to allow for parking along both sides of the streets. However a detailed traffic study would need to be undertaken to ensure that the traffic flows in the area are not detrimentally impacted.

Queen's Crescent is under the jurisdiction of the University such that the parking could be readily implemented.

The second location is Arch Street between Union Street and Stuart Street. The pavement width is in the order of 7.62 metres (25 feet). In order to introduce on-street parking, Arch Street would need to be converted to a one-way operation. Since this is a short piece of roadway and George Street to the south already operates one-way southbound, the conversion of Arch Street to a one-way southbound operation would likely not have a significant impact on the traffic flows in the area. Either parallel or angled parking could be considered along the west side of the street. Up to 40 spaces can be achieved with parallel parking, and up to 70 spaces with angled parking. Since Arch Street is under the jurisdiction of the City, the changes would need to be implemented by the City of Kingston. Similar to all of the other existing on-street parking in the area, the new spaces would also be under the jurisdiction of the City.

It is recognized that combined, these new spaces would only address a small component of the additional parking requirements which have been identified.

6.2.2 B(2) Greater Use of West Campus for Parking, Combined with Better Shuttle Bus Service

Currently not all of the available parking spaces on West Campus are being used; in the order of 150 parking spaces are still vacant on a typical day. Also, additional lands are available on West Campus to allow the construction of more surface parking, should the demand warrant it. Up to 600 additional spaces can be added.

Most existing parkers on West Campus tend to be students, or faculty/staff who are based on West Campus.

Kingston Transit operates Route 17 which links West Campus with the Main Campus. A 20 minute headway necessitates a fairly lengthy wait for an employee who may have missed a bus. Also, employees would need to purchase a transit pass at a monthly cost of $60, in addition to the $24.73 monthly charge for parking on West Campus. Combined, a monthly fee of $84.73 and the additional travel time involved, particularly if someone has just missed a bus, are strong deterrents for faculty and staff to park on West Campus.

Having additional faculty and staff park on West Campus is appealing for a number of reasons including the fact that it makes good use of existing surplus parking and it keeps any traffic increases away from the Main Campus.

However, to be a viable option, the frequency of service between West Campus and the Main Campus would need to be increased. Also, the rate structure needs to be adjusted to make parking on West Campus more financially attractive.

6.2.3 B(3) Alternative Arrangements with Kingston General Hospital

Currently Kingston General Hospital is dependent upon Queen's University for much of its parking. This includes in the order of 145 spaces in the Heating Plant lot, the 570 spaces operated jointly with the University in the underground garage, and 200 surface lot permits provided by the University to the Hospital as part of an agreement. Only 140 of the 570 spaces in the underground garage are occupied by University related parkers.

The option exists to renegotiate the agreements with the Hospital to take back some, or all, of this parking. In the case of the parking garage this would mean purchasing the Hospital's portion of the garage.

Taking back in the order of 775 spaces currently being used by Kingston General Hospital (i.e. 430 in the garage, plus 200 surface lot permits, plus 145 spaces in the Heating Plant Lot) would go a substantial way to addressing the needs which have been identified. The option also exists to renegotiate a portion of spaces, leaving the balance for continued use by the Hospital.

However, not all potential benefits may be realized in that some existing Hospital related parkers may also have an association with the University and therefore seek parking from the University, if they are no longer able to get parking through the Hospital.

Any decision to take back some, or all, of the spaces currently being used by the Hospital cannot be taken lightly, in that it will have major implications on the operations of the Hospital. Various options are currently being contemplated by the Hospital including potential expansion on the existing site, which would only exacerbate the Hospital's parking shortages. This would be compounded by any move by the University to have some of the parking spaces revert once again to usage solely by the University. Legal agreements, for instance related to the ownership and operation of the parking garage, would need to be renegotiated, along with the purchase price. Accordingly, any decision needs to be made in cooperation with the Hospital.

Taking back the parking garage to accommodate predominantly monthly parkers would also have a substantial impact on the revenue stream from short-term (hourly/daily) parkers related to Hospital visitors and outpatients. The annual loss of revenue to the University would be in the order of $200,000. (Further details are provided in Appendix A).

6.2.4 B(4) Valet/Tandem Parking

All parkers currently self park in a parking space accessed by means of a driving aisle. Driving aisles take up space that could otherwise be used to park vehicles.

One option would be to have parking attendants stationed at the Mac Corry lot to park vehicles in tandem and in aisles, so as to maximize the number of vehicles that can be parked in that lot. In the order of 175 additional vehicles could be accommodated.

Parkers would need to leave their keys with the attendant when arriving. When leaving, they would need to wait for the attendant to retrieve the vehicle. In order to reduce the delay, likely two attendants would be required during peak periods.

Additional revenues given the current parking rate structure are estimated to be $76,000 annually, if it is assumed that the parking space turns over only once, or $80,000 if overselling is taken into consideration. However, these would be offset by the costs of staffing the lots which would exceed the potential additional revenues as outlined in Appendix A. Also there likely will be other costs associated with liability/insurance in the event that a vehicle gets damaged while being driven by the attendant.

6.2.5 B(5) Small Car Parking

The City's Zoning By-law requires parking spaces to be 2.7 metres wide by 6.0 metres in length. (Not all existing parking spaces necessarily conform to this module size).

It may be possible to gain some additional spaces one of two ways, both of which would require minor variances to the Zoning By-law obtained through the Committee of Adjustment at the City.

The first would be to restripe to a slightly smaller module such as 2.6 metres in width instead of 2.7 metres. Also, a portion of a larger parking lot such as Mac Corry could be striped and redesignated for small cars such as subcompacts and compacts. In this case the parking stall dimension would be in the order of 2.3 metres in width by 4.6 metres in length.

During the 1970's there was a tremendous surge in the production and ownership of smaller sizes automobiles. This surge resulted for a variety of reasons including the energy crisis and more stringent emission control standards. Over the next decade most municipalities reduced their parking design standards from 3.05 metres (10 feet) in width and 6.10 metres (20 feet) in length to typically 2.7 or 2.75 metres (8.86 or 9.02 feet) in width and 5.8 metres (19 feet) in length. Although in some cases aisle widths have decreased very marginally, generally the norm has been to maintain 17.68 metres (58 feet) for the entire module (i.e. two parking spaces with an aisle in-between). This equates to two spaces having a length of 5.8 metres (19 feet) each and a 6.0 metre (19.7 foot) wide aisle serving the two.

Over the last decade the trend to small cars has been reversed, with sport utility types of vehicles comprising an increasingly larger proportion of the market. This has been at the expense of small cars. A recent article in Shopping Center Business, stated that "at the turn of the millennium, the small-car-only stall is dying, if not dead. The problem with all those SUVS, pick up trucks and SUWS is that they are at least 3 inches wider than cars, applying pressure to increase stall widths from the typical 8-foot, 6-inch stall used in the mid-1970's to 8 feet by 9 inches or more. ………Cities are removing the provision for small car only stalls (SCOS) in their ordinances. Parking facility owner/operators are beginning to restripe to eliminate small car only stalls and/or increase standard stall widths".

There is no reason to believe that Kingston is different from other cities in Canada or the United States in the popularity of sport utility types of vehicles.

A slight reduction in module width from 2.7 to 2.6 metres (8.86 to 8.53 feet) would potentially gain one parking space for every 26 spaces in the row, assuming that the existing spaces do indeed meet the by-law dimensions. For a large lot such as Mac Corry, potentially up to 20 parking spaces could be gained through restriping. However, the potential downside is that larger vehicles, such as sport utility vehicles, would likely extend over the line, rendering the adjacent space not usable.

Restriping part of a lot for small cars has now virtually disappeared, with reversal of the trend to smaller vehicles, as indicated in the article which was quoted. There is nothing to preclude a driver of a larger vehicle from attempting to park in a small car parking area if it is closer to his/her destination. The vehicle simply extends into the aisle and the adjacent parking spaces. Similarly, there is nothing to force the driver of a small car to park in a small car parking area, if a regular sized space is closer to that person's destination.

6.3 C - NEW AND/OR EXPANDED PARKING FACILITIES

Options for expanding the parking supply are discussed in this section.

6.3.1 C(1) Underground Parking Below New Buildings

One option would be to construct one or two levels of parking below some or all new buildings which are being proposed.

The 1994 Campus Plan calls for most surface parking lots to be replaced by underground parking facilities located at the Campus periphery. Construction of parking below new buildings would be in accordance with the intent of the Campus Plan.

Underground garages provide convenient, climate controlled parking for those based in the building. Both vehicles and parkers are protected from the elements.

By constructing some parking under a number of buildings rather than constructing it at one location (i.e. under a playing field), the potential traffic impacts are also spread out. As noted, it is also more convenient for the users.

However, it is recognized that parking under buildings is usually the most expensive form of parking, costing in the order of $30,000 per parking space. In addition, maintenance costs are higher at $726.83 per space annually if an accrual of one percent of the capital costs is included to reflect major capital maintenance costs in the future. In order to recoup the costs of constructing and maintaining an underground parking garage, revenues in the order of $241.67 per month per space, would be required. Further details are provided in Appendix A.

It may no longer be feasible to construct parking under all of the buildings which are being considered in the University's capital program. For example, the design of the new Chemistry Building has proceeded to a stage whereby the introduction of underground parking would require a major redesign.

6.3.2 C(2) New Surface Lots on the Periphery of Campus

One option for the University would be to purchase additional properties near the periphery of Campus, demolish the houses on those properties, and create new surface lots.

Although the construction of a surface parking lot is relatively inexpensive (i.e. in the order of $1,500 to $2,000 per space), land in the vicinity of the University is not. In order to allow for a reasonably sized and efficient parking lot, at minimum three or four contiguous lots, would be required. For example, the purchase of three lots with dimensions of 15 metres (50 feet) by 23 metres (75 feet) each could yield in the order of 32 parking spaces. Four properties could yield in the order of 43 parking spaces. Land costs would be in the order of $15,000 to $17,000 per space. In order to recoup the capital and operating costs related to these new spaces, the monthly charge per space would need to be $87.67, based on the principle of user pay and assuming 25 percent overselling. Without overselling $116.93 per space would need to be charged. (It is recognised that parkers making use of those spaces would likely not be charged a higher rate than those parking in existing surface parking lots, with the costs averaged out. However, for purposes of illustrating the cost implications, the assumption has been made that the users of the new lot, would bear the entire cost.) Further details are provided in Appendix A.

There are also other issues related to the construction of new surface parking lots. Construction of new surface lots goes against the principles outlined in the 1994 Campus Plan whereby the intent is to eliminate most surface lots over time. There undoubtedly would also be issues related to the City's Official Plan. Construction of such lots would also require the demolition of existing housing which is currently being used primarily by students. Housing is at a premium today and will become more so in the future, as enrolment increases. Elimination of housing close to Campus would increase parking demand as students are forced to move further away.

6.3.3 C(3) New Underground Parking Below Playing Fields/Open Space

Parking can also be constructed under one or more playing fields, for example, under a relocated Tindall Field, as detailed in the 1997 Surface Infrastructure Study. That report identified opportunities to create a development site where Tindall Field currently exists, and to relocate Tindall Field to the site of the Mac Corry parking lot, displacing the existing surface parking with an underground garage.

Parking under playing fields still maintains the open space and recreational use, while accommodating the required parking.

Larger parking garages are typically more efficient than smaller garages. However, they tend to concentrate both the parking supply and traffic impacts in a localized area.

The previous study had identified that in the order of 600 parking spaces could be constructed below a relocated Tindall Field, while displacing the existing 404 space Mac Corry Lot, for a net increase of about 200 spaces.

The decision to proceed with a major expenditure such as this to create a net increase of 200 parking spaces, should be deferred, until such time as the Tindall Field site is required for development purposes.

Similar to constructing a parking garage below a new building, constructing parking below a field is nearly as expensive. Construction costs are in the order of $25,000 per space, with annual operating costs in the order of $676.83 assuming accrual for large capital maintenance expenditures. To recoup these costs, parkers would need to be charged in the order of $207.42 monthly, assuming the users of the new garage bear the entire cost. Further details related to the financial analysis are provided in Appendix A.

6.3.4 C(4) New Above Ground Parking Structures on an Infill Basis

With the construction of new buildings as outlined in the Capital Program, the number of locations where above ground parking structures could be constructed, is decreasing. Potential options which remain include an above ground structure combined with the Integrated Learning Centre. In this case in the order of 200 spaces can likely be achieved.

Above ground parking structures would contravene the urban design and land use principles outlined in the Campus Plan. Parking structures can be made relatively attractive by using materials and architectural features which are sympathetic to the surrounding buildings and through use of landscaping and other elements. However, this takes up extra space and still does not get around the more fundamental questions of whether this is the most effective use of the land, and issues related to the potential impacts (e.g. shadowing, etc.).

Small parking structures constructed on an infill basis can also tend to be inefficient since they are often shoe-horned into awkward sites, between other buildings.

From a cost perspective, above grade structures cost in the order of $16,000 per space to construct where a premium is spent to ensure that the structure is attractive and compatible with the surroundings.

Operating costs are somewhat lower than those associated with underground garages since, for example, ventilation is not an issue, as it is in a below grade facility. In order to recoup the costs of constructing and operating an above ground garage, the parkers would need to be charged $135.00 monthly each, assuming the users of the facility are alone responsible for the costs (i.e. costs are not spread out across the user group). Further details are provided in Appendix A.

6.4 D - OTHER

Various other options which do not readily fall into one of the categories already noted, are discussed in this section.

6.4.1 D(1) Improvements to Public Transit Services

With the exception of the Queen's Residence Shuttle Route (#17), which links the Main Campus with the West Campus area, the University is generally not well served by public transit. The 1994 survey of faculty and staff found that only between 2 and 4 percent of the University faculty and staff use public transit.

The reasons for not doing so likely include:

  • The perceived out-of-pocket costs of riding public transit versus driving. Currently a monthly adult transit pass costs $60.00, compared to $36.23 to park on the Main Campus.
  • The limited transit routings, focusing on east-west routes, with no north-south connections in the vicinity of the University.
  • The limited frequency of service on the routes.

Improvements in transit can be included as one element of an overall strategy which reduces the demand for parking.

However, there are a number of factors which potentially could jeopardise such an initiative:

  • Financial limitations by the City to improve transit service since the Provincial transit subsidies have been eliminated; therefore increased dependence on the fare box to recover the costs of operating the service.
  • Difficulties in fostering public transit usage once people have become accustomed to driving (The retirement of some existing faculty/staff and replacement of those by others presents an opportunity to start anew.)
  • Achievability of the route restructuring and service improvements to the degree required to result in noticeable shifts in transit usage.

6.4.2 D(2) University Operated Transit Service

Currently the University forwards a sizeable amount of money to Kingston Transit each year in order to provide transit passes to the students. These allow students to travel "free of charge" on Kingston Transit. In the order of $550,000 is provided to the City annually, largely comprised of a special fee charged to the students at the outset of the school year, along with a lump sum contribution by the University.

Students make limited use of the available transit services. For example, even on the Queen's Residence Shuttle Route, presumably the most heavily used route by Queen's University students, typical monthly student ridership is only in the order of 2,000 to 3,000 trips. Assuming 22 school days in a typical month, this equates to only 90 to 135 passenger trips per day, Monday to Friday, or 45 to 68 two-way trips daily. The survey of students as part of the 1994 Parking Study found that over 86 percent of students never or rarely use their student transit pass.

If, in the next referendum, it is found that students no longer wish to pay for a transit pass, it would likely be difficult for Kingston Transit to continue providing even the current service to the University, let alone improving the service.

One option would be to initiate a University operated transit service which would be contracted out to a private firm. Various operating strategies would be possible including using the majority of funds which are currently forwarded to Kingston Transit, along with additional funding from parking revenues, to initiate a University operated transit service either on a fixed route, or on a demand basis (i.e. dial-a-bus). In addition to one route connecting West Campus with the Main Campus, two or three other routes could also be introduced, for example a north-south route along University Avenue from King Street through to Princess Street. The University could continue to cooperate with the City in providing Kinston Transit passes for those living beyond the area served by the University operated transit service.

In all likelihood a noticeable improvement in transit service could be achieved for those living in the Core Zone, as well as somewhat beyond the Core Zone. It would also make it substantially more convenient for those parking and/or living on West Campus to travel to and from the Main Campus.

However, a very good service may detract from those who currently walk, cycle or rollerblade within the Core Zone.

The three hospitals in the area and Providence Manor currently provide a shuttle bus service between the four facilities. Two buses are operated on two fixed routes, at an annual cost of $165,000. The service which is contracted out to a private operator, is provided free of cost to the users.

McMaster University also operates (contracts out) a shuttle bus service between the campus and the remote parking lots. Four buses operate on three-minute headways, five days per week, at an annual cost of $240,000 for the academic year.

McCoy Transportation and Tours in Kingston who operates the service on behalf of the three hospitals and Providence Manor was contacted in order to obtain some insights as to the potential costs to operate a service for the University. The quote given was for a 24 passenger mini-coach with cloth bucket seats and air conditioning. The rate to operate one bus Monday to Friday from 6:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. would be in the order of $1,900 weekly, or about $25 per hour.

The $550,000 provided currently to Kingston Transit for the student transit passes would equate to 22,000 hours of privately operated transit service for students. Those parking on West Campus would also benefit. Various options would be available to allocate the hours of service.

The table below outlines some options for operating a service based on 22,000 hours annually.

TABLE 5

SAMPLE OF ALTERNATIVE SHUTTLE BUS SERVICE SCENARIOS
Option
Operations
# of Buses
Balance not Attributed
Weeks per Year
Days per Week
Hours Per day
1Weekday Service
Year Round
52
(All Year)
5
15
(6:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.)
5
2500 bus hours
($62,500)
2Weekly Service
Year Round
52
(All Year)
7
15
(6:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.)
4
160 bus hours
($4000)
3Weekday Service School Year Only
39
(School Year Only)
5
15
(6:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.)
7
1525 bus hours
($38,125)
4Weekly Service
School Year Only
39
(School Year Only)
7
15
(6:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.)
5
1525 bus hours
($38,125)
5Weekday Service
School Service & Weekday -
Summer Service (Peak Hours Only)
39
(School Year Only)
5
18
(6:30 to 12:30 a.m.)
6
160 bus hours
($4,000)
13
(Summer Only)
5
6
(6:30-9:30 a.m. and 4:30 7:30 p.m.)
2
6Weekly Service -Year Round (Reduced Service In Summer
39
(School Year Only)
7
15
(6:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.)
5
160 bus hours
($4,000)
13
(Summer Only)
7
15
(6:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.)
1
7Weekly Service
School Season Only
Weekly Summer Season Peak Hours Only
39
(School Year Only)
7
15
(6:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.)
5
433 bus hours
($10,825)
13
(Summer Only)
7
6
(6:30-9:30 a.m. and 4:30 to 7:30 p.m.)
2
Assumptions:

- Based on an annual budget of $550,000 or 22,000 bus hours.

- Bus service costs $25/hour exclusive of GST

This is not to say that the University should spend the equivalent ($550,000) on a privately operated transit service. However, it does indicate the kind of service which could be provided using equivalent funding levels. Students could be offered an option in the referendum to support a privately operated transit service involving 3 to 5 different routes, including one to link the West Campus with the Main Campus.

Alternatively, a more basic service between West Campus and the Main Campus on a 15 minute headway (15 hours per day, 5 days per week, 52 weeks a year), would cost in the order of $195,000.

6.4.3 D(3) Remote Lots Near the Highway 401 and/or the Highway 2 Corridor to the East/West, Connected by Shuttle Bus

Currently in the order of 320 parkers on the Main Campus live along the Highway 401 corridor outside of the City. Similarly, about 65 parkers live along the Highway corridor to the east or west of the City.

One option would be to purchase or to lease land for parking at the periphery of the City adjacent to Highway 401 and/or Highway 2. Since the purchase of land for parking can be costly, particularly adjacent to a major road corridor, the preferred approach would be to lease the parking. For example, there may be uses such as shopping centres with parking lots which are not fully utilized during the day, Monday to Friday. A shuttle bus service would then need to be provided during peak periods, which would connect these lots to the University.

A substantial number of parkers could be accommodated (up to 385) if suitable lots can be located, and if these parkers can be convinced to make the change. This would also minimise traffic increases on the Main Campus.

The potential disbenefits include the increase in travel time for these parkers. There also will be costs associated with purchasing land/constructing parking lots, or leasing parking lots, as well as operating the shuttle bus service to these lots. During non-peak hours a means of getting back to the remote parking lot(s) will be required for someone who may need to do so when the shuttle bus is not in service.

6.4.4 D(4) Car Pool Initiatives

In 1994, 37 percent of University faculty and staff indicated that they could potentially be interested in participating in a carpool program, if suitable incentives were to be provided. Suitable incentives included convenience reserved parking, provision of a carpool program, and free parking. Also as part of that survey it was found that only 6.5 percent of the faculty and staff surveyed, were passengers with another Queen's employee or someone else, or sharing driving with someone else.

The Kingston General Hospital/Queen's University Parking Study recommended that a joint carpool program involving the University, Hospital and Cancer Centre, be initiated. To date, this has not occurred.

Once again the option exists to initiate a formalized carpool program including a matching service. This can be undertaken either solely by the University, or as a joint initiative, as previously recommended. Appropriate incentives would also need to be provided.

Such a program can result in a noticeable reduction in the parking demand. It can also help to reduce traffic congestion and any traffic increases related to the construction of new parking facilities.

In terms of disbenefits, there are costs associated with organizing and managing a carpool matching program. If an incentive includes providing parking to carpoolers at a reduced cost, this could potentially result in reduced revenues for the University.

One issue which has been identified as a potential deterrent to carpooling, is that related to problems of getting home or elsewhere, in an event of an emergency. Similarly, carpoolers may require a vehicle on a particular day, therefore also needing parking that day, in addition to the primary carpool vehicle. Appropriate solutions would need to be provided to these issues.

6.4.5 D(5) Selling the Parking Garage to the Hospital

Currently the University owns and operates the parking garage jointly on behalf of the University and Hospital on lands owned by the University. However, most of the usage of the garage is related to the Hospital.

One option would be to sell the parking garage to the Hospital and to use the revenue from this sale to finance the construction of a parking garage elsewhere on Campus.

If the Hospital proceeds with the expansion which is being contemplated, the garage may be of some benefit to the Hospital. However, since the majority of the usage of the garage is Hospital related already today, this would result in only a very modest increase in the parking supply for the Hospital.

The sale of the garage would reduce the University's parking supply in an area of campus which currently has limited parking. It would also reduce the University's revenue associated with the predominantly daily and hourly parkers making use of the garage. University related visitor parking would also need to be accommodated elsewhere on Campus if the Hospital disallowed University related visitors from parking in the garage.

There would also be legal and other issues to resolve related to the sale, such as the question of property ownership and usage above the underground parking garage.

6.4.6 D(6) Facilitate Walking

The 1994 survey conducted as part of the parking study found that 13 percent of faculty and staff walk to work in the summer, with a further 10.9 percent cycling. In winter, 17.8 percent were found to walk, with 0.9 percent cycling.

The suggestion has been made that a larger proportion of faculty and staff may walk to and from the Campus if it is made more comfortable/safer to do so, for example, through improvements to the street lighting.

With the exception of Queen's Crescent, all other streets are under the jurisdiction of the City of Kingston. Any improvements would therefore need to be undertaken by the City. The University would need to work closely with the City in attempting to improve the pedestrian environment.

If the University was successful in this endeavour, this would improve the pedestrian environment for all pedestrians, including those who currently walk. In view of the already high pedestrian traffic in and around the University, improvements may be warranted, irrespective of the Parking Strategy Study. Elements in addition to lighting could include enhanced level of snow clearance, protection from the elements through landscaping, canopying and other screening, widening of sidewalks to allow groups of pedestrians to pass each other with ease, and other considerations.

However, despite the extent of pedestrian related improvements, it is unlikely that this would result in any noticeable difference in the parking demand in that Queen's University already has a very high proportion of pedestrians and cyclists. Walking distance would still remain an issue, even if the pedestrian environment was to be improved.

As noted, co-operation and funding would be required on the part of the City since virtually all of the streets are owned and maintained by the City.



7. Response to Open House

As noted, an Open House with an invitation extended to anyone with an interest in the matter, was held from noon through to 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, December 16th. Despite the fact that this coincided with the exam period and pre-Christmas festivities, it was relatively well attended. Those in attendance were generally passionate about the topic.

In total 89 persons signed the sheet at the entrance. There may have also been a few others who attended, but did not sign in.

A questionnaire, as indicated in Appendix B, was also provided at the end of the display material. A total of 58 completed questionnaires, were returned. Comments were also provided to those manning the displays and responding to questions.

Two general verbal comments were reported by a number of those in attendance:

  • Gratitude for the opportunity to offer their opinions on parking matters since they had not been asked to do so since the 1994 survey was undertaken.
  • A belief that the University had a sizeable reserve attributed to parking revenues over the years (and that this reserve should be applied toward the construction of a new parking garage).

It is clear from those comments that more regular communication is required with parkers and others who may have an interest in the matter, inviting their input and providing some insights. For example, consideration should be given to an annual condensed financial summary which is distributed to all parkers, so that the revenue stream, cost of providing parking and status of any parking surpluses, are understood. Had this been in place, parkers would have been informed that a sizeable amount of the parking surplus has already used to help purchase the Victoria School site.

Three questions were asked on the comment sheet. The first asked the respondents to note their preferences related to each of the options presented. Five categories of response were offered:

  • strongly prefer
  • prefer
  • neutral
  • disagree
  • strongly disagree

In some cases there were no responses to some of the options. Table 6 below summarises the responses to this question, including a weighted average whereby the response "strongly prefer" is given a weight of "1" and the response "strongly disagree" is given a weight of "5". "No response" is not included the weightings (i.e. a weighting of "0").
TABLE 6
RESPONSES TO QUESTION 1 - EVALUATION OF INDIVIDUAL OPTIONS
Option
Strongly Prefer (1)
Prefer (2)
Neutral (3)
Disagree (4)
Strongly Disagree (5)
Weighted Average
A(1) Revised Parking Policy 17%17% 19%7% 14%2
A(2) Parking Rate Increases 2%22% 21%16% 26%3
A(3) Differential Parking Rate Structure 3%24% 22%16% 9%2
A(4) Daily/Shared Permits 12%16% 34%17% 9%3
B(1) Additional On-Street Parking 14%31% 17%21% 7%2
B(2) Greater Use of West Campus for Parking Combined with Better Shuttle Bus Service 14%22% 19%14% 19%3
B(3) Alternative Arrangements with Kingston General Hospital 17%26% 28%10% 5%2
B(4) Valet/Tandem Parking 0%3% 17%21% 47%4
B(5) Small Car Parking 9%19% 26%21% 12%3
C(1) Underground Parking Below New Buildings 33%41% 5%5% 3%2
C(2) New Surface Lots on Periphery of Campus 16%38% 12%17% 7%2
C(3) New Underground Parking Below Playing Fields/Open Space 31%36% 7%5% 2%2
C(4) New Above Ground Parking Structures on an Infill Basis 21%28% 17%5% 7%2
D(1) Improvements to Public Transit Services 28%24% 17%7% 10%2
D(2) University Operated Transit Services 7%17% 22%28% 9%3
D(3) Remote Lots near the Highway 401 and/or the Highway 2 Corridor to the East/West, connected by Shuttle Bus 5%10% 22%14% 21%3
D(4) Car Pool Initiatives 19%19% 24%10% 10%2
D(5) Selling the Parking Garage to the Hospital 14%12% 21%19% 17%3
D(6) Facilitate Walking 26%14% 22%5% 12%2

Two options, C(1) and C(3), stand out. In total eleven of the nineteen options presented are "preferred". The respondents were generally neutral on most of the remaining options, with the exception of the valet/tandem parking, to which they "disagree".

The second question asked of the respondents was to detail their grouping of preferred alternatives. Thirty-two of the 58 respondents completed this question. Table 7 below details the responses:
Combination of Preferred Options Table Under Construction

In this case, the most frequently cited option were found to be C(3) New Underground Parking Below Playing Fields/Open Space, followed by C(1) Underground Parking Below New Buildings, C(4) New Above Ground Parking Structures on an Infill Basis, D(1) Improvement to Public Transit Services and D(2) University Operated Transit Services.

The third question allowed the respondents to provide any other comments or suggestions. The primary comments and the frequencies recorded are summarised below:

  • Suggested Changes to Queen's Transportation /Parking Policy - 9
    • Examine Queen's transportation/parking policy with a view to bringing it in line with sustainable practices.
    • The University should stop issuing free parking permits.
    • University should not park/store University vehicles in prime parking lots.
    • Campus parking seems unfair in some respects; ensure that the option implemented is fair and equitable.
    • Develop an efficient system of obtaining a parking permit.
    • Students should be encouraged to use subsidized transit system.
    • Remove/limit department vehicles from parking lots.
    • Develop Faculty designated spots.
    • Establish a "Meeting Only" parking pass or spaces.
  • Parking Agreement with KGH - 7
    • Concern with parking spaces provided to KGH. Was this an overestimate?
    • Remove parking agreement with KGH.
    • KGH should provide its own parking.
    • KGH should provide its own parking.
    • Current parking arrangement with KGH is unfair for Queen's users.
    • Complaint about KGH parking on Queen's lots.
    • KGH expansion should not be Queen's concern; acquire KGH property if hospital relocates.
  • Parking Rate Changes - 7
    • Differential parking rates might decrease access for those who need it most - low income employees.
    • Reduce parking rates for students.
    • Make parking rate proportional to income; low income employees should not bear the brunt of rate increases.
    • Develop a pay as you go rate, based on annual rate, in combination with special "pay as you go" lots.
    • Increase parking rate.
    • Do not extend Core Zone, increase fee for those already in the Core Zone.
    • Parking at Queen's is heavily subsidized; parking is provided well below cost.
  • New Parking Structures/Lots - 6
    • What about multilevel above ground parking?
    • Build new parking structures above and below ground.
    • Build a parking garage and provide parking at a reasonable rate.
    • Build multi-level parking garage.
    • Build a parking garage on the Louise D. Acton Lot.
    • Pave Tindell Field.
  • Encourage Alternative Modes - 3
    • Encourage alternative modes - walking, cycling, public transit.
    • Facilitate alternatives such as walking and cycling.
    • Encourage cycling with secure facilities for bicycles.
  • Poor Transit Services - 3
    • Need for transit improvements.
    • Poor transit services.
    • Poor transit eliminates any transit alternatives.
  • Previous Parking Rate Increase - 2
    • If rates are to increase, this generated revenue should be directed to new parking structures, unlike previous rate increases.
    • Previous promises related to parking rate increase have not been seen.
  • Preservation of Queen's Environment - 2
    • Pedestrian environment, open space, and historic nature of Queen's must be preserved.
    • Reducing green space or student housing is an irresponsible option; efforts should be made to reduce the number of parkers.
  • Need for Short-Term Parking - 2
    • Short term parking for University visitors is not addressed.
    • Provide more short term parking for staff and students.
  • Complaints about Current Parking Conditions - 2
    • Study does not address visitor parking which is inadequate and costly.
    • Lack of parking behind Botterell Hall.
  • Safety - 2
    • Safety and security concerns in terms of underground parking and lighting at night.
    • Underground garages should have security or be monitored for safety.
  • Comments Re: Double Cohort - 2
    • Need to determine if long term or short term solution is needed for double cohort.
    • Don't let student population grow.
  • Other Comments - 17
    • Encourage car pooling.
    • Encourage parking at the stadium at a cheaper rate, with a shuttle service.
    • Lot at Stuart and Lower Albert not at capacity; post sign to inform of all campus parking lots.
    • The Steam Museum lot and the lot behind the Court House are minimally used. Are these city owned lots? If so, are city parking passes available?
    • Parking spaces in new lots are too small for a full sized vehicle.
    • Reduce need for parking, and apply revenue to subsidising transit passes.
    • No parking meters on Queen's lots.
    • Provide reliable shuttle bus for staff from West Campus.
    • Expand the Core Zone.
    • Conduct another survey.
    • Concerns with regards to valet parking, issue of access to vehicle, convenience and security.
    • Queen's should work with City in terms of ensuring snow removal.
    • No options are good.
    • Shuttle buses are inconvenient for staff with frequent meetings.
    • Heavy pedestrian traffic on Queen's Crescent in conflict with additional on-street parking.
    • Remove old parking signs and no parking between 2 and 3, 10 and 4.
    • Poor enforcement of those vehicles parked without a permit.



8. Summary and Recommended Parking Strategy

Queen's University has been generally quite successful in managing parking demand and in accommodating that component of the demand for which there are no other options. This has been possible for several reasons:

  • One of the more restrictive parking policies among universities in this province.
  • Ability to accommodate a large proportion of the students on Campus, or within walking distance of Campus.
  • Availability of relatively inexpensive surface parking to accommodate this demand.
  • Availability of on-street parking on and in proximity to the Campus.

However, with the forecast increases in enrolment (1,400 to 1,600 additional students over the next four years) and the associated increases in faculty and staffing levels, all that is about to change:

  • New buildings identified in the short term Capital Program will displace in the order of 215 to 290 of the existing surface spaces.
  • Even with the construction of some new residences on Campus, a significant proportion of the new students will need to find accommodation elsewhere.
  • Limitations exist as to how many more students, faculty and staff can be absorbed into the community located within walking distance of the Campus.
  • Limitations exist as to how many additional on-street parking spaces can be created.

It was clear from the comments received at the public open house held just prior to Christmas that parking is a concern to many of those in attendance, for a variety of reasons.

Perhaps one of the most surprising insights gained from the Open House and associated comments, was the perception by a number of those in attendance, that the University has a substantial reserve of funds accumulated from surplus parking revenues. The realities need to be better communicated to the parkers, for example through an annual newsletter which provides some of the details of the financial statement and that parking charges simply recoup the costs of providing the parking.

The wide range of strategic options presented at the Open House were discussed as discrete alternatives, for ease of simplicity in conveying the trade-offs. However, the comment was made at the end of the material being presented, that the alternatives are not mutually exclusive and that a combination of various options would likely be required.

Indeed, the recommended parking strategy reflects a number of elements, as detailed below:

  • Reacquire Parking Spaces Currently Being Used by Kingston General Hospital

Currently the parking garage which is owned and operated jointly with the Hospital, is being used primarily by the Hospital. The University also leases out the surface lot adjacent to the Heating Plant to the Hospital for employee parking. A further 200 spaces are provided to Hospital staff in other surface lots owned and operated by the University.

If the University was to take back all of this parking (in the order of 775 parking spaces in total), it would go a long way to addressing the forecast parking shortfall (968 to 1,220 spaces). It would also help to address the parking needs of those located in the southerly part of the Campus where limited parking is currently available to accommodate the needs of the University.

It is recognized that this action would have a severe impact on the Hospital and cannot be taken lightly. It will require dialogue at a very senior level between the University and the Hospital. In the case of the garage, the Hospital's ownership would need to be purchased.

Secondly, the University derives substantial revenues from the short term parkers in the garage (e.g. out-patients, visitors). These revenues would be lost to the University.

In order not to impact those in greatest need (i.e. patients, visitors) and to maintain the short term parker revenue, it is recommended that the University only take back those spaces which are currently being used by Hospital staff. These include the Heating Plant Lot (145 spaces), the 200 spaces occupied by Hospital staff who are parking elsewhere on Campus in surface lots, and the 106 permit parkers in the garage. Together this would provide in the order of 451 spaces, or 37 to 47 percent of the total number of spaces required. It is recognized that the Heating Plant lot was always intended to be a short-term solution which would eventually be phased out in order to allow the site to revert to open space usage.

Again as noted, this recommendation will require negotiation at a very senior level between the University and the Hospital, with the Hospital needing to accommodate this staff parking elsewhere.

  • Construct Parking Below New Buildings

Constructing one or two levels of below-grade parking in conjunction with new buildings although very costly, merits consideration for various reasons:

  • It helps to achieve the longer term objectives of the University's Campus Plan with respect to the elimination of surface parking. Once a new building is put into place, the opportunity to construct underground parking is precluded until such time as the building may be torn down over the very long term.
  • It helps to distribute parking across the campus thus minimizing the traffic impact on any particular street.
  • It provides very convenient climate controlled parking for those situated in that building.

In the case of the new School of Business building, a substantial contribution was made from the parking reserve fund toward the purchase of the site originally. Currently 150 parking spaces are available on this site. The new building will displace some of this parking. At minimum, the displaced spaces should be replaced with underground spaces.

Although desirably underground parking should also be constructed below the new Chemistry Building, this option is now precluded in that the majority of the design of this building has been completed. Consideration should also be given to constructing underground parking in conjunction with the Integrated Learning Centre and Student Life Facilities Building.

Together in the order of 320 to 370 spaces can be provided below-grade in conjunction with the construction of these new buildings.

Parking below the proposed new residence building can also be considered, provided that the parking is not used by those in residence because it would contravene the parking permit policy (i.e. no parking for those living in the Core Zone).

It is recognized that there will be a lag period between the time that construction begins and existing surface spaces are displaced, and when the new underground spaces become available upon the completion of construction. Displaced parkers will need to be accommodated through one of the other measures detailed herein.

  • In Co-operation with the City, Construct Additional On-Street Parking Spaces

In the order of 40 to 70 spaces can be achieved along the west side of Arch Street between Union Street and Stuart Street (40 spaces in the case of parallel parking and up to 70 spaces in the case of angled parking). However, since the pavement width on Arch Street is limited (7.62 metres or 25 feet), Arch Street would need to be converted to a one-way (southbound) operation, similar to George Street. Queen's Crescent is under the jurisdiction of the University. Sufficient pavement width (9.45 to 9.76  metres or 31 to 32 feet) is available to allow parallel parking to be introduced along one side (south side). Up to 22 spaces can be added. (Parking along both sides would necessitate undertaking a detailed traffic study to assess the implications of a conversion to a one-way system).

Since these are new spaces, various options are available as to their use. One option would be to install parking meters. Currently the City operates and collects the revenues from parking meters on various streets serving the University and Hospital. The intent is to have these spaces available primarily for short term parkers. However, based on the on-street parking turnover survey and employee response as part of the 1995 Kingston General Hospital/Queen's University Parking Study, it was found that a substantial number of employees are using these spaces. This is likely still the case. Installing meters along Arch Street would likely result in a combination of University and KGH employees "feeding the meters", with perhaps some Hospital outpatients and visitors making use of these spaces also. Since Queen's University owns Queen's Crescent, the University, not the City, would be responsible for installing and maintaining any meters on Queen's Crescent. However, since so few meters would be involved, it would be more efficient to have the City install and operate the meters on behalf of the University, with some form of revenue sharing between the two.

However, the preferred option would be to designate these spaces for carpoolers. As noted, since these parking spaces do not currently exist, they would not be taken away from any current users. Secondly, these are desirable spaces, situated in proximity to buildings with limited or no parking available. Further details are provided below.

  • Initiate a Carpool Matching Program, with Incentives Provided for Carpoolers (2+ persons per vehicle)

An effective means of reducing the demand for parking is through a carpool program. Initiation of a joint carpool program involving the University, Hospital and Cancer Center was recommended in the 1995 Kingston General Hospital/Queen's University Parking Study. Depending on the outcome of the relocation plans for the Hospital, the initial trial program can be undertaken either exclusively by the University, or jointly with one or both of these other institutions. The City would also need to be involved if, as recommended, some of the on-street parking spaces are designated for carpoolers.

The survey of University faculty and staff in the fall of 1994 indicated that just over 13 percent of the parkers would consider car pooling if convenient reserved parking was to be provided. Fourteen percent responded favorably to the provision of a carpool matching program, and 18.7 percent to free parking.

Both a carpool matching program and convenient reserved parking via the new on-street spaces, can be provided. Subsequent to that survey being undertaken, additional comments have been provided related to carpooling, specifically that lack of an alternative means of transportation in the event of an emergency (e.g. having to pick up a sick child at school), may be deterrent to participating in a carpool program. Consideration should be given to guaranteeing an alternative means of getting a carpooler home in the event of an emergency such as becoming ill at work or needing to get home because a child is ill. Options include an arrangement with a taxi company whereby a ride home is provided at a reduced cost, or is paid for through the carpool program. Care would need to be taken to ensure that this service is not abused.

Although free parking is difficult to justify, consideration can perhaps be given to some minor fee reduction. Even if a fee reduction is not provided, the financial incentives should be evident in terms of two or three people sharing in the cost of operating and parking one vehicle, instead of two or three vehicles.

As noted, it is recommended that the newly created on-street parking spaces be designated for carpoolers. Carpool spaces can also be designated in one or more existing lots on an as-needed basis (e.g. part of Dupuis lot, Mac Corry lot). However, the more locations which are provided for carpoolers, the more effort is required in monitoring these spaces. The suggestion has also been made that the spaces be allocated on the basis of the size of the carpool (i.e. prime spaces to those with 3+ per vehicle). This is an option. As the program becomes more popular, it may be necessary to designate more spaces for carpoolers.

Since the program would involve on-street spaces on municipal roads, the City of Kingston would need to pass a special by-law which would allow any illegally parked vehicles to be tagged and/or towed. There would also need to be some form of revenue sharing with the city to recover the costs of creating and policing the proposed carpool spaces on Arch Street and any other municipal on-street spaces that may be added to a carpool program in the future. This pilot program if successful, can also be implemented elsewhere in Kingston.

Examination of postal code data for existing parkers at the University indicates that there are 'clusters' of parkers. From these clusters, the next step would be to determine who might be interested in participating in a carpool program if appropriate matches can be made (e.g. similar work hours, compatibility re: smoking, etc.).

Criteria for eligibility/operations would be as follows:

  • Minimum of two and desirably three persons per carpool.
  • At least two are currently parkers on the main campus, or are on the waiting list for parking (i.e. are eligible for parking).
  • Are designated a specific parking space either on Queen's Crescent, Arch Street or an area of an existing parking lot which is set aside for carpoolers.
  • Must affix a sticker to their vehicles (one sticker per carpooler).
  • Are ineligible for any other monthly parking on the Main Campus.
  • In the event of an emergency, guaranteed transportation home will be made available either for the driver or passenger(s). (e.g. A taxi voucher with a limit, similar to those offered to library staff who are working after hours.)
  • In the event that more than one member of the carpool must have a car at work on a particular day, daily parking will need to be purchased at the going rate in the garage, or at on or off-street meters, for the second vehicle.
  • In the event that the carpool disbands, ability to get back a parking permit without being required to be put on a waiting list.

Assuming on average 2.5 persons per vehicle, in the order of 100 to 175 persons could be accommodated in total using the proposed new Arch Street and Queen's Crescent on-street parking spaces.

  • Greater Differentiation in Parking Rates

Currently there are only three monthly parking rates:

  • $36.23/month for the Main Campus surface lots.
  • $24.73/month for the West Campus surface lots.
  • $103.50/month for the Main Campus garage.

The parking rate differential for surface lots on the West Campus versus those on the Main Campus is not significant enough to make parking on the West Campus an attractive alternative. (There are also other issues, as described in the next section).

Also, construction of parking below the new buildings being proposed, will necessitate substantial rate increases to cover the costs of constructing and maintaining this new parking.

It is recommended that the rate increases only apply to the Main Campus, not the West Campus for two reasons:

  • So as to increase the differential in the parking rates between the two.
  • So as to provide a reasonable lower cost option to those of limited financial means who have no other option but to drive.

It is also recommended that free parking be continued to be provided at the north end of West Campus.

Although it would also be desirable to further differentiate the parking rate structure on the Main Campus, this likely will be difficult to achieve since different spaces are desirable for different parkers, depending on which building they are based.

Those parkers on West Campus who are not students should also be provided with 'free' transit on the shuttle route only. Students already pay an annual fee as part of their other student fees which provides them with unlimited usage of the bus routes operated by Kingston Transit. A similar arrangement should be negotiated between the University and Kingston Transit for Route 17 to allow faculty or staff parking on West Campus to readily go between the two. The frequency of service would also need to be increased during peak periods in order to make this an attractive option. Alternatively, a University operated transit service can be initiated, as discussed in the next section. The cost of providing a shuttle for new parkers on West Campus should be absorbed through the parking revenues.

The suggestion had also been made that a reduced daily or shared permits be available for occasional parkers (e.g. a few days per month). This option is not recommended for two reasons:

  • Occasional parkers are most likely to make use of their occasional permit on peak days (e.g. in inclement weather) resulting in parking space shortfalls for regular parkers.
  • Occasional parkers will have the option of participating in a carpool program which is not available to them currently.
  • Improved Transit Connections Between West Campus and Main Campus and Other Transit Improvements (if feasible).

The second aspect of making West Campus an attractive parking option is to make available a convenient means of travelling between the two campuses.

Currently the Queen's Residence Shuttle (Route 17) is operated on a 20 minute headway. The service is provided by Kingston Transit. Twenty minutes is a long time to wait if someone has just missed a bus. This can add substantially to the commute time of a faculty or staff member. Desirably during peak periods (e.g. 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. and 3:30 to 5:30 p.m.) this should be no more than every 10 to 15 minutes. This kind of service is difficult for a public transit authority to provide due to split shifts, inequalities related to other routes and other issues.

A question has been raised as to whether students will continue to support the idea of a transit pass when the next referendum on this matter is held. If this student funded component is withdrawn, the loss of revenue for Kingston Transit will make it difficult to maintain the existing service, let alone enhance the service provided.

If this was to occur, it may be necessary for the University to consider initiating a University operated shuttle bus service between West Campus and the Main Campus, to accommodate not only West Campus parkers, but also others who may need to travel between the two (e.g. those in residence on West Campus).

Based on the 1994 survey, only between two and four percent of the Queen's faculty and staff use public transit for travel to and from work. The current route structure necessitating at least one transfer in each case and circuitous routing, are undoubtedly contributing factors to the low transit usage. Also, as long as the cost of a monthly transit pass is higher than the cost of surface parking on the Main Campus, there is no incentive to switch to public transit. If parking rate increases outpace transit pass increases so as to make transit financially a more attractive alternative, this can be rectified. Secondly, it is recommended that discussions be held with Kingston Transit regarding the potential to restructure and enhance routes to as to better meet the needs of faculty and staff at the University. The home address information of parkers is useful in this regard. For example, large groupings of parkers reside in the former Township of Kingston. Most of the routes serving the former Township of Kinston area focus on the Kingston Centre Shopping Center as the transfer point. From there, Routes 2 (Division/Calvin Park) and 3 (Polson Park) are circuitous. North-south routes to link into the University are lacking.

In the 1995 Kingston General Hospital/Queen's University Parking Study the recommendation was made that the Public Utilities Commission be requested to give strategic consideration in the comprehensive Transportation Study to providing service improvements to the University/Hospital. The recommendation went on to state that the potential for introducing a partial grid of "trunk" bus routes should be examined in this concept. This recommendation is still valid today in that the comprehensive Transportation Study has not yet been undertake as yet.

It is recognised however that with the withdrawal of provincial subsidies for public transit and with increasing dependence on the fare box, it is becoming exceedingly difficult for municipalities, including Kingston, to maintain their existing transit services, let along expand them.

If discussions with Kingston Transit are not found to be fruitful, it is recommended that consideration be given to initiating a university operated transit service, similar to that currently being operated by the three Hospitals and Providence Manor. Based on a cost of $25 per hour, per bus, a substantially enhanced service can be provided not only for parkers on West Campus, but for all other students, faculty and staff on and in the vicinity of campus, for the equivalent funds currently being forwarded to Kingston Transit. A basic service involving 15 minute headways would require two vehicles. Assuming 15 hours of operation, 5 days per week, 52 weeks of the year would cost in the order of $195,000. For $550,000 three or more alternative transit routes can be operated to serve the needs of the students.

The recommended parking strategy detailed above includes a mix of elements reflecting the following:

  • Travel demand management (e.g. initiation of a car pool program, discussions with the City to improve transit services to attract more University faculty/staff, requiring all new students to park on West Campus).
  • More effective use of existing facilities (e.g. reacquiring parking spaces back from Kingston General Hospital, increased usage of available parking on West Campus, new on-street spaces).
  • Construction of below-grade parking below new non-residence buildings (in accordance with the University's Campus Plan intent to gradually phase out most surface parking lots).
  • Greater differentiation in the parking rate structure including substantial parking rate increases related to new underground parking and no rate increases on West Campus, as well as subsidized transit connections between West Campus and the Main Campus for parkers.

Together these strategies provide for a balance between accommodating and managing demand. The recommendation also attempts to more clearly reflect market conditions by providing the most desirable spaces at the highest cost to the user, less desirable spaces at a lower cost and by continuing to offer free parking at the north end of West Campus for those who cannot or do not wish to pay for parking.

Thus as indicated in Table 3, in the order of 968 to 1,220 additional spaces would be required. Table 8 below indicates the manner in which they can be achieved.
TABLE 8

PROPOSED ACCOMMODATION OF INCREASED PARKING DEMAND
Component
Number of Spaces
Details
Taken Back From Kingston General Hospital
451
Spaces currently occupied by Kingston General Hospital parkers.
Spaces Under New Buildings
320-370
Total related to New School of Business, Integrated Learning Centre and Student Life Facilities Building.
New On-Street Spaces
62-92
Allocated for carpoolers.
Increased Usage of West Campus
150+
Existing spaces which are not being used on West Campus. Additional surface spaces can be added if demand warrants them.
Total
983-1,063

Costs related to implementing the above noted improvements including operating a shuttle bus service between Main Campus and West Campus, with the costs borne entirely through parking revenues have been calculated, as detailed in Appendix A. Translating these to cost per space for the users would equate to:

  • $29.19 per surface space including carpoolers on the Main Campus
  • $9.73 per surface space on West Campus
  • $227.85 per surface space in a parking structure

In addition, the University asked that financial analysis be undertaken with respect to some other combinations of demand, supply and revenue options. These are also detailed in Appendix A.

As noted, the projected additional parking demand is 968 to 1220 spaces. The option identified in Table 8 can accommodate 983 to 1063 spaces. If it is assumed that the new on-street spaces accommodate car poolers at 2.5 persons per vehicle on average, 155 to 230 parkers in total, or 93 to 138 more than would otherwise be the case, would be accommodated, thus making up the shortfall.

If the University is not successful in obtaining the spaces back from Kingston General Hospital, then far greater dependence will need to be placed on parking on West Campus and on car pooling and any other measures which can reduce the demand for parking. Also, existing surplus spaces on West Campus along with the new on-street carpool spaces, can help to address parking shortfalls during the new building construction. During this period surface spaces will be displaced by new buildings, however, new underground spaces will not be available until the construction is complete.