From its historical heart at the intersection of Queen and Main Streets, later known as the "four corners", Brampton has grown to be the ninth largest City in Canada. This urban focal point has existed since the 1820s. Only a handful of people lived in the community at this time.
The City slowly transformed after the Second World War. In the late 1940s and 1950s, the automobile began to change the landscape, as did rapid urban growth. New subdivisions began to develop. Bramalea was a planned community built to accommodate 50,000 people by integrating houses, shopping centres, parks, commercial business and industry.
The City of Brampton’s existing suburban land use pattern is now based on the automobile as the dominant mode of travel and the municipal parking requirements established several decades ago address this pattern. In recent years, Brampton has shifted towards greater intensification along transportation corridors that have experienced significant increase in transit ridership. These corridors are also planned for major rapid transit investment.
Vehicle ownership and truck movement have grown significantly in Brampton. Between 2006 and 2011, the rate of growth of vehicle ownership in Brampton was 24%. Between 2011 and 2016, the rate of growth was 13%, indicating that vehicle ownership is increasing, but at a decreasing rate.
There are more than 10,000 trucking companies registered with the City of Brampton. Many of them have less than 10 employees each. The City is also home to the Canadian National Railway’s largest Intermodal Terminal, servicing over 2,000 trucks daily.
Why Are We Doing a Parking Plan?
Provincial policies require municipalities to develop complete, healthy, walkable communities that are less auto-dependant. In the design, refurbishment, or reconstruction of the existing and planned street network, the Provincial Growth Plan requires a “complete streets” approach. This approach ensures that the needs and safety of all road users are considered and appropriately accommodated.
As well, technological innovation is expected to influence travel behaviour through work from home, vehicle-sharing, the use of fleet-owned autonomous vehicles, which could reduce private auto ownership. The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in greater telework (work-from-home) that could impact commuting patterns.
What Will the Plan Cover?
The first phase will develop a parking policy framework tailored to specific areas of the City that are identified in terms of land use context, multi-modal transportation investments, prioritizing active transportation and non-auto modes, as well as address minimum maintenance standards. Based on best practices in other municipalities, a forward-thinking policy framework could include recommendations such as reduction or elimination of municipal minimum parking requirements, establishment of maximum parking requirements and efficient management of parking resources.
The second phase will address efficient management of parking resources, finances and operations.