EDITORIAL – Is it too much to ask for a single parking-payment system?

An ArmchairMayor editorial by Mel Rothenburger.

PARKING IN KAMLOOPS is a lot like that drawer full of tangled-up electronics wires we all fight with every time we want to connect one of our devices. Every one is different.

New RIH parkade is a disappointment, says one reader.

RIH has a new parking payment system, again. (ArmchairMayor file photo)

They’re shaped differently, they plug in differently. The only thing they have in common is that we all hate them.

Royal Inland Hospital has a new payment system for its almost-new parkade. The old new one was around all of five months, almost. It came into being with the opening of the Clinical Services Building.

The new parkade is a blessing, reducing the number of nervous breakdowns considerably. With it came a new payment system for parking. You drove in, pulled a ticket out of a machine, the bar raised and in you went.

It’s the same system that was used — let’s see — seems like several times in the past at the old parkade. And was replaced with a remember-your-parking-stall-number-and-pay-for-parking-inside system, I forget how many times.

The new-new system for the new clinical services parkade has now been swapped out with a “gateless pay-on-entry or pay-in-advance” system. Now you must estimate your parking time when you arrive and pay at one of four stations, where you must enter your licence plate number.

According to Interior Health, it’s “intended to alleviate lineups and traffic congestion caused by a single exit gate…”

With some $80 million spent on the new building and parking, would it not have been possible to include a plan for a parking system that worked in the first place?

Would it not, in fact, be possible for everyone to get together and co-ordinate parking payment systems throughout the city? The technology certainly exists — the advances in pay-parking machinery and software have been amazing, spurred on by the fact it’s big business that generates big profits.

But in Kamloops, you have to negotiate different payment systems wherever you go — the downtown core, Royal Inland, Thompson Rivers University, private parking lots, parkades.

It’s confusing as hell. Different machines, different ways of paying, different rates.

Is there not a civic leader who will say, “This is a problem for people who live and visit here. Let’s fix it for them”?

Isn’t it time Kamloops became a modern city with one, single, easy way of paying for something so basic as parking? What a miracle that would be. What a gift.


About Mel Rothenburger (5785 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 – Is it too much to ask for a single parking-payment system?

  1. Bob Boonstra // December 12, 2016 at 7:59 PM // Reply

    Mel you need to get out more. Parkades exist everywhere.

    • Mel Rothenburger // December 12, 2016 at 8:07 PM // Reply

      Point was there are too many different kinds of parking payment systems including, as a reader has pointed out, one that I neglected to mention — the airport.

  2. As you exit, pause for a moment, think of all the photo-ops of self congratulations that this project generated, not one of a politician trying to pay ! Cash for pass hits the parking spot ?

  3. Actually, I have raised that very issue with certain city officials (elected and not) during the 2014 civic election. It makes tremendous sense. Same rates, same protocols throughout the city regardless private or public property. On top of that, an easy to navigate app that gives realtime estimation of parking availability at different locations, especially in the downtown or other easily congested areas.
    This is one of the proposals which I have made in the last two years that went nowhere because heaven forbids it comes from the loud and opinionated immigrant landscaper.

  4. Paragraph 12 above, “IS THERE NOT a civic leader who will say, ‘THIS is a problem for people who live and visit here. Let’s fix it for them’?”

    -The caption from one of the boxes in the new cartoon magazine: “Kaptain Kamloops.” Series 1, Volume 3

    Scene II

    Soaring through the air; cape flickering behind by the valley wind below, the masked hero scopes the entire valley and surmises, taking note: Ewwww, ‘Parking the parking ambivalence…in terms of requirements. It Must Be Done…!’

    Within seconds, ‘Coming up with a solution, the masked caped hero flies out to the -named- Flyin’ Phil Underground Bunker, quickly and proficiently throwing together a mandatory ‘one pay method parking system’:

    “The People Pleaser Parking Apparatus.” The PPPA; (known later by some to be: “The Parking People Pleaser Apparatus.” simply because everyone is different).

    A mechanism which is good for twenty years before maintenance and comes with a guarantee from the home country it’s made in: none other than Canada itself. ! -Kaptain K. is a true capitalist, it should be noted…!

    The people are well pleased once again by Kaptain K. -all smiles in caption box seven and… in cartoon box number eight, the masked hero takes off again and is shown flying north up the Yellowhead route to check on traffic and a problem with black bears into garbage, by which,

    ‘It’s in mind to create a feasible trap which feeds the critters while waiting for their release at another location.,’ the masked hero says before disappearing at almost the speed of light across the sky…..

    -ALL in the days notable work and activities FOR: “KAPTAIN KAMLOOPS ! ”

    (Anyone named ‘Fog _ _ _ _’ need not apply + Red and White suit come with a black bandana mask with a “K” emblazed with yellow upon it in the front.)

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