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EDITORIAL – How to save money on another downtown parking study

Another parking study is in the offing.

An ArmchairMayor.ca editorial by Mel Rothenburger.

I AM so confused.

On the corner of Fourth and Seymour Street, a venerable, solid old building has just been torn down for a parking lot.

For years, we’ve been told that the downtown core needs 200 more parking spaces, mostly for people who work there.

Just since 2005, studies have been done on downtown parking in general, the impact of a proposed casino on Lansdowne Street, the impact on downtown parking of a waterfront hotel, and the effect on City centre parking of redeveloping Lorne Street.

Then, of course, there was the infamous parkade-in-the-park fiasco, and the City Centre Plan of which parking is a key ingredient.

Parking demand, on-street parking, off-street parking, ratios of parking per square foot of building space, parking versus traffic volume — they’ve been studied to death.

But now, the City is looking at spending $100,000 on yet another downtown parking study, this one to decide what will be needed over the next 20 years.

The study will ask questions such as whether businesses want more parking.

What’s the best city-owned property downtown for a new parking garage?

Are parking rates OK?

What’s going on in other cities?

The Kamloops Central Business Improvement Association, which loves parking studies, is on side with this newest exercise.

I can save some money for my City cousins right off the bat. Want to know what other cities are doing? Google it.

Want to know where there’s public land for a new parking garage? Look at what you’re doing at 4th and Seymour.

As for whether businesses want more parking, one guess.

But here’s an even better idea. Read the parking study done by consultants a few years ago, which said, “Demand for parking will be highly influenced by new development in the area.”

Of course it will.

Does anyone know exactly what that development will be over the next 20 years? Of course not.

So, save your money.

Mel Rothenburger’s Armchair Mayor editorials appear twice daily Mondays through Thursdays on CFJC- TV. His Armchair Mayor column is published Saturdays on ArmchairMayor.ca and CFJC Today. Contact him at mrothenburger@armchairmayor.ca.

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About Mel Rothenburger (5078 Articles)
ArmchairMayor.ca 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 ArmchairMayor.ca 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.

9 Comments on EDITORIAL – How to save money on another downtown parking study

  1. I’ve been wondering since the KDN building starting coming down who was going to occupy the new black space.

    I recall the “…infamous parkade-in-the-park fiasco…” What upset many Kamloopians was the thought of spending eight million to provide parking for staff and downtown workers. Hopefully that isn’t the goal for the KDN parking. If it is, maybe that explains why the rush to tear the building down.

    Why not start providing bus passes and leave the spaces for downtown shoppers.

  2. Tony Brumell // November 6, 2017 at 10:43 AM // Reply

    I’ve got an idea.Talk to the people who ,you know! park downtown.Ask them how much of thier day is wasted attending to the nebulous demands of the parking kiosk.Ask the folks who think they have paid for thier parking only to find that they missed one key stroke and didn’t get a time slip.Ask the folks who paid in the $5.75 that I pulled out of one meter at one time.Ask the street people who use the kiosks as a source of pocket change.Ask the folks from out of town who have received a ticket in the mail or on thier windshield after putting in $2.00 and not checking the that license number they entered was not correct.Ask the people who have tripped and fallen in the 100 yard dash to the nearest kiosk.This would apply to those who do not have a $1000.00 smart phone.
    I have another idea!!!! GIVE ME MY BLOODY PARKING METERS BACK !!!!

  3. Save the 100,000 and ask anyone with a car about downtown parking. The hundred g’s could go to a solution….how is that for a total change of pace.

  4. Ridiculous to say the least. Expect to see the city want to spend more, and more on these ” studies ” with Christian in charge. What is wrong with using city staff to do these studies ? Are they not capable ? Kamloops is becoming past ridiculous in the quest to see who can waste the most tax dollars.

  5. Build a dome over the new parking lot. Integrate it with a drive-in theatre. Retro 1960’s & 70’s.
    Problem solved.

  6. Thoughtful and insightful article. Thanks for the history lesson. My guess is, in 20 years we probably won’t need as much parking. There will be fleets of self driving electric vehicles, summoned on demand by an app accessed from the wet tech silicone chip implanted in our brains. Call one when you need it, it takes you where you’re going and then recirculates. Driverless cabs. Non stop service. They’ll self clean like a Public toilet in Tokyo. When not in use the cars will stack together like Lego blocks or a Borg cube. Now, about that $100,000… I’ve got some swampland in Florida for sale, you could build an amazing condo complex on it…

    • Glen has it absolutely right. Except I don’t think it will be 20 years from now… more like within 5 or 10. Maybe less if the technology penetrates outside of the large centers. Waymo started testing with a fully autonomous car just the other day. Tesla has been working to crack the same nut and plans to have full blown automation available in a few years. Track down Tony Seba on YouTube and watch his recent presentation in Colorado. His arguments are compelling and I have to say that in spite of being annoyed by the lack of parking myself, I would be hesitant to put much money into solving what is likely to be a very short-term problem. We’ll be better served to look at how to stage drop off and pick up zones for all those people taking advantage of the autonomous cars.

  7. Cathy Churchill // November 6, 2017 at 7:20 AM // Reply

    Finally. Thanks for saying the obvious. Personally, I’d love to see something more imaginative than a parking lot at 4th and Seymour though. However, studying the previous studies sounds pretty logical to me…

  8. I was floored when I read the news regarding this latest exercise in futility.
    What I was expecting though was a news flash from our mayor reassuring us no money was going to get spent on a parking study and that he was going to have a serious talk with senior administrators, pink slips in his pockets and stern look in his face.
    None of it came…at least not yet…but that should be the only way to handle it.
    Seriously!

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