This rendering of a parking garage proposed in Kelowna was used as an example of a possible parkade for Abbotsford’s Historic Downtown.

Does Abbotsford’s historic downtown need a parkade?

Survey asks public to weigh in on ideas for neighbourhood plan

A potential multi-level parkade is among the ideas suggested in an online survey for the development of a new plan for Abbotsford’s historic downtown.

The city is in the midst of developing a neighbourhood plan for the area, and has launched an online survey to solicit more feedback from the public. As part of the survey, respondents are asked to choose favourites from eight possible ideas under consideration.

A parkade that would include on-street retail is among those choices. The supply of parking is a frequently discussed issue in the downtown, with some areas seeing heavy demand, particularly on Saturday afternoons and other favoured shopping times. At the same time, previous public consultations have suggested that most visitors are willing to walk more than a couple blocks and that the area as a whole has enough parking.

The Official Community Plan the city adopted two years ago suggests that any parkades should be tucked behind buildings. If required to be on a public street, the OCP says they should be designed to match the surrounding area and should avoid some of the uglier aspects parkades are notorious for.

Other suggested ideas include:

  • A path through the area that would connect the historic downtown with Jubilee Park, Mill Lake and the Discovery Trail
  • Improved streetscape design
  • A redesigned Essendene with more space for sidewalks, patios, bikes and street trees
  • A “transit street” along the south end of Montrose near Abbotsford Community Services, with retail space, benches and trees
  • “Gateway plazas” that could include market space, patios and other spaces at the entrances to the area,
  • Designated parking streets with angled spaces similar to Gosling Way
  • A signature corridor connecting the neighbourhood with the city centre further west on South Fraser Way

The survey also asks respondents to weigh in on the need for family housing, the protection of history, more trees, and events and activities.

The survey is open until April 3. Visit https://historicdowntown.metroquest.ca/

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