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Free P! continues this December: Resident and business poll shows overwhelming support

Residents and businesses have spoken, and they overwhelming want the Free P! program for the month of December to continue; they also want steps taken to curb abuses of the program and ensure it is available for visitors to the downtown.

I conducted a recent resident survey that showed overwhelming support to keep Free P!, and that it significantly influenced decisions to come downtown – which was the primary goal of the program. Highlights:

  • 601 respondents, 52% of whom live or work outside the downtown
  • 88% supporting keeping the program, and making changes to curb abuses by permit holders
  • 88% said Free P! strongly or somewhat influenced their decision to visit downtown.

The Burlington Downtown Business Association also surveyed their members and found majority support to keep Free P!:

  • 154 businesses responded (35% of the membership)
  • 58% have their own on-site parking for employees, staff and/or customers
  • 67% support maintaining Free P!

The city will employ several strategies to curb parking abuses (eg. Permit holders parking in lots they are not assigned to, closer to their destination):

  • Delayed opening of the Brant St and Elizabeth Street lots; the lots will be barricaded and closed from 7-9 am to encourage downtown workers to park in their regular spots
  • License plate scan to determine if a registered permit holder is parking outside their assigned lot; sanctions for repeated infractions will be imposed (eg. Denial of permit for 2018)

Public survey summary: FREE P parking engagement Oct 5 2017

Business survey results: FREE-P-2017-results-and-next-steps

Written by Marianne Meed Ward

A Better Burlington began in 2006 after my neighbours said they felt left out of city decisions, learning about them only after they’d been made.

As journalist for 22 years, I thought “I can do something about that” and a website and newsletter were born. They’ve taken various forms and names over the years, but the intent remains: To let you know what’s happening at City Hall before decisions are made, so you can influence outcomes for A Better Burlington.

The best decisions are made when elected representatives tap the wisdom of our community members, and welcome many different perspectives.This site allows residents to comment and debate with each other; our Commenting Guidelines established in 2016 aim to keep debate respectful.

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