dunemarkingsBased on this week’s debacle at Sauble Beach regarding the safety of parking, it is obviously time for a huge paradigm shift regarding daily parking at Sauble. Parking within feet of the beach seems to be an entitlement, but perhaps it is time for that thinking to change. A comprehensive parking/traffic strategy needs to be written before moving forward with any changes that potentially damage the dune and beach ecosystem at Sauble.

There are a multitude of topics that need to be addressed via a parking/traffic study:
- paramount is environmental protection, based on consultation with and recommendations from experts
- conflicts need to be minimized
- must meet sustainability objectives, which need to be identified immediately. (Sauble Beach is far beyond its comfortable carrying capacity for 2 summer months each year and over-crowding degrading the very resource that draws residents and tourists alike.)
- determine current and future supply and demand, including occupancy ratios in various locations
- study traffic circulation and efficiency and recommendations for possible changes
- identify current and potential parking sites, including remote sites for rental or purchase
- identify restricted parking zones
- study cost effectiveness: implementation costs, operational costs, and revenue potential (pre-payment discounts, multi-day permits, annual passes, taxpayer passes)
- show sensitivity to the needs of ALL stakeholders (Sauble Beach residents, all TSBP taxpayers, tourists, TSBP, SFN, SON...)
- safety, including pedestrians and cyclists
- traffic calming measures, crosswalks
- disabled parking, emergency vehicle parking, motorcycle and bicycle parking, oversize vehicle parking for buses, RVs...
- pick-up and drop-off locations
- frequent shuttle service, car-pooling initiatives
- 3rd party partnerships for revenue and parking enforcement
- and MOST IMPORTANTLY... public consultation

What an excellent opportunity to plan for the future in a respectful and prudent manner, with public and professional input. If I can identify these few topics, imagine what a professional commissioned parking/traffic study could do! There could also be potential to partner with a university and its students who are studying rural and/or urban planning and who need some practical experience.

Something to consider I hope before any work commences along the dunes at Sauble.

Ann Rolfe
Shedden / Sauble Beach