Editorial — Put surcharge on parking and get new screens

THURSDAY MORNING EDITORIAL — So now, if you’re at the hair dresser’s and you’re running out of time at the parking kiosk, you can pull out your smartphone and dial in some more time, assuming you’ve gone through the steps of setting up an account.

It’ll cost you 35 cents per “session.”

Forget the app, fix the screen.

Forget the app, fix the screen.

The phone app for downtown parking was supposed to be operational quite some time ago but was delayed due to one thing or another. As explained in The Armchair Mayor News back on July 9, a few bugs had to be worked out.

The City estimates that about 20 per cent of those who park downtown will use the smartphone app.

So, one in five will find it a happy convenience. Clearly, however, it’s not a necessity nor even a major enhancement. We could live without it.

What we can’t live without is improvement to the kiosks themselves. Aside from their glacial speed, the thing that gives them an ‘F’ is those infernal screens that you have to crouch and squint at to figure out.

The City has been checking out replacements that are bigger and easier to read, but is hesitating because of the price being asked by the supplier. If the City can get a better deal, it will replace the screens on the 90 downtown kiosks. If not, presumably we’ll have to keep swearing at the old ones.

Well, here’s the answer. Take out a loan, buy the new screens and put a 35-cent-an hour surcharge on parking until their paid for. Never mind the phone app. Drivers would gladly pay it just to remove the frustration of dealing with those unreadable screens that should never have been purchased in the first place.

About Mel Rothenburger (7200 Articles) is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

5 Comments on Editorial — Put surcharge on parking and get new screens

  1. i agree that the screens are slow and hard to read. Now I’m especially irked, knowing that Kelowna residents pay less for using the phone app than we have to pay. Who negotiates these “deals”? I’ve been interested to compare other City’s parking kiosks with our own, and was surprised to find that ours are the very worst I’ve seen so far. Victoria’s are downright user-friendly! I have no idea why this model/brand was chosen by our City. I hope the money to pay for needed improvements comes from the parking lot fund that is being generated by the doubling of parking fees, in keeping with the “parking paying for parking” concept that was touted at the time of installation. No new money spent on parking, please!

  2. Lawrence Beaton // August 21, 2014 at 9:11 AM // Reply

    Once again we are confronted with the ongoing reason why individuals do not like parking downtown. Last night, I went to a restaurant downtown across from the TNRD offices on Victoria Street, company and food was great, but parking along
    Victoria was wall to wall, found myself parking about 1 and half blocks away from my final destination. Things need to be improved. In regards to parking meters, it is just another way to rake in the money. Hopefully, one of these days, the so-called smart meters will pay for themselves. I really feel sorry for all those seniors and others who have a very difficult time understanding how our illustrious meters work etc.

    • They will never pay for themselves Lawrence. as long as council insists on letting staff run amuck buying substandard items that instantly need to be upgraded ( at taxpayer cost ) so they can be used easily as intended, it just ain’t gonna happen.

  3. Dear Mel;
    The issue with the screens, too low and very slow, were issues brought to the attention of city’s officials from the very beginning. In fact, these very issues were discussed one to one by this writer with certain managers during an open house at the ISC a while back. Although in typical city’s fashion (and callousness) they pretended to know better. Here are the results. We should not spend any more taxpayers money to fix a problem created by the stupidity of certain city’s officials. I previously asked and will ask again that Jon “bylaw” Wilson finds work somewhere else.

    • I agree with you Lyman. This council has absolutely no control over city staff. And what’s worse is they follow staff recommendations petty much blindly, without doing any research of their own. Past time for a clean sweep in November, and hopefully some new, bright candidates will emerge.

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