The Becker Recommendations

The 5 recommendations from Jessica Becker's Masters Thesis: these recommendations would aid travel demand management efforts to reduce car dependency at McMaster University, and would therefore assist  rehabilitation of effected natural areas. The five are:

  1. Discourage Single-Occupant Car Use Prior to Permit Assignment
  2. Actively Provide Transit Information with a Trial Pass
  3. Improved and Regular Recognition and Rewards
  4. Increased Number of Pre-Paid Parking Options
  5. Prohibit Increases to Parking Infrastructure and its Planning

For now let's look in detail at the final recommendation (#5):
"Finally, it must be noted that the addition of further infrastructure is not recommended. With the completion of the new stadium and its underground parking facilities, the number of parking stalls on the campus will be elevated to that of what they were prior to the construction of the new residences and other facilities. Providing more parking will make it easier for those already driving regularly to campus to park, and also risk the strong possibility that those who do not already drive will begin doing so since there will be that increased space (Litman, 2006). Within the university's own Campus Master Plan, the mandate is to provide "less than average" parking facilities, and this mandate should be referred to if or when the administration begins to consider the construction of a parking facility." (Becker 92)
Her conclusion that "there is sufficient parking space on the campus" is used to warn against "consideration regarding the construction of a parking garage on campus"; Clearly, supply of parking is seen as an incentive to drive. While Becker's recommendations are not looking at the problem of parking lots in a floodplain, the bulk of her research supports the admirable goals of reducing parking demand which could easily be applied to the floodplain problem in Zone M. Less people driving means less parking demand, which would free up space for other uses.

Other uses could include rehabilitated natural areas adjacent to the creek, with the support of local conservation agencies and biologists and students at the university. So far, Restore Cootes has had no official response from the university about our letter dealing with the zone M parking problems.