This seemingly simple question turns out to have many different answers that vary significantly. In his “Tale of two parking studies”, Markus Alliksaar reveals that the Madison project has conducted not one, but two parking studies, albeit both having significant methodological flaws. This left me wondering how many cars can actually be found parked at the current Estonian House parking lot?
The first parking study, conducted by LMM Engineering, found the maximum utilization at 12 parking spaces on Tuesday, between 4:30 and 5:00 pm and the second study by LEA Consulting found maximum utilization of 19 spaces on Saturday at 3:30pm and 36 on Tuesday 4:30pm.
In his article, Mr. Alliksaar pointed out that the LEA Consulting “parking utilization rate was studied in the summer when most of the Estonian House’s activities are shut down”. LEA Consulting report disagrees with this observation, stating that “While it is understood that the data of which this study is based on was collected in the month of August, which may differ in patterns from months during the Fall, Winter or Spring, it is further understood that the existing Estonian House experiences relatively consistent parking demand throughout the year.”
LMM Engineering study was conducted in March, not during low summer usage. How did LMM Engineering manage to count only 7 cars at the start (7pm) of a regular school night will likely never be known, but this is the number that was recorded.
Since both studies happened to count cars during low usage periods, the question remained - what is the actual maximum usage? Conveniently, the Estonian House activities are back after Labour Day and parking on several days were observed within a 2 week period.
The peak usage during this period was recorded on Tue, Sept 10 at 7:15pm with 71 cars in the parking lot. Other peak observation times on different days:
Thursday Sept 12 at 7:30pm – 54 cars
Saturday Sept 14 – 100% parking lot used by ETCU activities
Tuesdays, Sept 17 at 8pm – 40 cars (no high school attendance)
Thursday Sept 19 at 7:30pm – 46 cars
Saturday Sept 21 at 10:30am – 51 cars
Tuesday Sept 24 at 8:30pm – 57 cars
These observations do not attempt to answer the question whether 0 proposed parking spaces at Madison Ave is a sufficient number for community use but it does call into question the number of cars observed by the previous studies.
Tauno Mölder, Toronto