SOEC Parking Study

Consultation has concluded

The wheels are in motion on a new parking study for the South Okanagan Events Centre (SOEC) complex. The City has hired Urban Systems to update the study they conducted in 2015 to reflect actual activity levels and impacts now that the Cascades Casino has been operating for over a year. The parking study was included in this year’s budget as a result of feedback from the community as well as the need to update the information available about parking in support of the work on the business case for the vision for Penticton’s arenas. The main purpose of this study is to identify solutions to make the site operate more effectively and better utilize the parking that is available. Recognizing that parking at the complex has been an important topic of discussion for the community, the City is inviting residents to be part of the study. Watch this site for more information on how you can get involved in the study.

The wheels are in motion on a new parking study for the South Okanagan Events Centre (SOEC) complex. The City has hired Urban Systems to update the study they conducted in 2015 to reflect actual activity levels and impacts now that the Cascades Casino has been operating for over a year. The parking study was included in this year’s budget as a result of feedback from the community as well as the need to update the information available about parking in support of the work on the business case for the vision for Penticton’s arenas. The main purpose of this study is to identify solutions to make the site operate more effectively and better utilize the parking that is available. Recognizing that parking at the complex has been an important topic of discussion for the community, the City is inviting residents to be part of the study. Watch this site for more information on how you can get involved in the study.

Consultation has concluded
  • Study lays out options for SOEC parking

    11 months ago

    Council will hear the findings of the update to the 2015 South Okanagan Event Centre Parking Study at their meeting on December 18. Started last spring, the study was conducted to provide current information about parking capacity and demand at the busy complex and address parking and traffic pressures on the site and in the surrounding area.

    The study proposes a series of options to consider in the short, medium and long terms. Some of the short-term options that could be considered in the next two years include installing signage, adding pedestrian crossings, and introducing time restrictions on parking at...

    Council will hear the findings of the update to the 2015 South Okanagan Event Centre Parking Study at their meeting on December 18. Started last spring, the study was conducted to provide current information about parking capacity and demand at the busy complex and address parking and traffic pressures on the site and in the surrounding area.

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

    Options to increase parking supply are proposed for the medium term or the next three to five years. These options include reconfiguring the Curling Club and Community Centre lots to add 32 spaces and developing new parking on the Eckhardt and Creston lots to add 72 spaces. A parkade has been included amongst the options for the long term or beyond five years. The study also recommends further work to develop Transportation Demand Options such as improvements to transit and shuttle services, more accessibility options as well as infrastructure for cycling. The City is planning additional workshops to confirm plans for Transportation Demand Management options.

    The complete report is available at www.penticton.ca and in the Document Library at shapeyourcitypenticton.ca. Council is being asked to receive the report for information and will make a decision on the recommendations through the budget process.


  • Preliminary findings of update to SOEC Parking Study now available

    over 1 year ago

    The preliminary findings of an update to the SOEC Parking Study shared at the City’s open house on June 25 are now available at shapeyourcitypenticton.ca. The update is being conducted to identify opportunities to better manage parking at the complex and gather data as part of a business case to determine the feasibility of a proposal to add a twin-surface arena on the northwest side of the site.

    As part of this phase of the update, the City conducted a survey between May 23 and June 13 to gather feedback from the community. Over 800 responses were received from...

    The preliminary findings of an update to the SOEC Parking Study shared at the City’s open house on June 25 are now available at shapeyourcitypenticton.ca. The update is being conducted to identify opportunities to better manage parking at the complex and gather data as part of a business case to determine the feasibility of a proposal to add a twin-surface arena on the northwest side of the site.

    As part of this phase of the update, the City conducted a survey between May 23 and June 13 to gather feedback from the community. Over 800 responses were received from visitors and 54 from neighbouring residents. Parking demand counts were performed in June – one on a typical weekday (June 5) and the second on a Saturday of a busy weekend (June 9). Staff also met with representatives from the stakeholders of the site including the Penticton Curling Club, Spectra, the Penticton Trade & Convention Centre, the Community Centre, Dale Charles Physiotherapy, Travel Penticton, Wine Info Centre, the Okanagan Hockey Group, and Interior Health.

    The preliminary results from the parking demand counts, from the community survey and workshops with tenants on the site not only confirmed the City's understanding of what the concerns are but they also offered new insights that will help identify solutions and alleviate the pressures. Some of the findings from the study include:

    · The site is busier than the original estimate of 8 to 10 nights per year. Activity levels are closer to one busy weekend each month plus several nights with higher than normal activity.

    · Special event weekends are the most challenging for parking for both visitors and residents. Event weekends are especially difficult for visitors who require accessible parking as well as for users of the community facilities. A lack of options for accessible transportation are increasing the demand for accessible parking.

    · The first lots to fill are the Community Centre / Convention Centre and the Memorial Arena / Cascades Casino lots. Most of the parking lots on the south and west sides of the SOEC are largely empty on a typical weekday and tend to only fill during special events.

    · All surface parking lots are at or near full capacity during busy weekends. Parking tends to overflow into residential areas on the east side of the complex more so than the west. Neighborhood residents also report inappropriate behaviour by event attendees in during some events.

    · The primary access to the complex is on the east side along Hwy 97 which increases congestion in the roundabout and the neighbouring areas during special events in particular.

    · Most of the survey participants are frequent visitors to the site taking advantage of the amenities a minimum of two to four times a week and for two to four hours each visit. Many participants can find parking on most days either a short walk (less than 5 minutes) or a medium walk (between 5 to 10 minutes) to their destination.

    · Participants support many of the suggestions to better manage parking that are currently being explored such as improving signage and directions to drivers, removing the Visitor Centre trailers and developing the newly purchased lots into parking.

    · Visitors to the site are willing to pay for parking during special events but not for regular use of amenities. There is support for a parkade but willingness to pay to use the parkade is limited.

    · There is some willingness to use a shuttle service depending on the design of the service. The shuttle service provided for the Jehovah Witness convention, for example, was well received.

    · There is reluctance to park on the west side especially during the evening due to the lack of pedestrian walkways and sufficient lighting.

    · Some of the comments received in the survey expressed frustration with the decision to place the casino on the SOEC site and offered that the pressures could have been anticipated and prevented.

    The City will be analyzing the feedback from the surveys and completing remaining counts over the next few weeks with the goal of sharing the plan to better manage the available parking this fall.

    Winners of the draw for three prizes of $50 free parking at any City meter or lot have been randomly selected from the completed surveys and notified. Congratulations!