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EDITORIAL – No, Coun. Denis Walsh has not gone stark, raving mad on parking

(Image: Mel Rothenburger)

An ArmchairMayor.ca editorial by Mel Rothenburger.

POLITICS is an interesting business — one day you’re a hero, the next you’re a bum.

If Coun. Denis Walsh didn’t already know that, he’s finding out.

Some people are convinced he should sign up for counselling before he opens his mouth again on the subject of downtown parking. After voting against a $100,000 downtown parking study — which was a good thing — he decided to go further and talk about parking rates.

It isn’t that there aren’t enough parking spaces, he says, it’s that too many people want the same ones.

So, charge them more on Victoria Street than they’re charged elsewhere, or shorten the maximum time you can park there.

Reaction to his comments has ranged from “just crazy” to “go jump on a rake.”

But let’s consider this a little more before we write his political obituary. He’s absolutely correct that we all want to park right outside whichever store we’re shopping at. We know that.

He’s also right when he says people drive around in circles waiting for a spot to open up on Victoria Street. I do it often, and about half the time end up parking — get ready for this — on Seymour Street an entire block away.

So why not encourage people to walk a block instead of tying up Victoria Street? It’s not about charging people more to park, it’s about charging them a little more to park on Victoria in the sweet spot, and a little less to park a block or so away.

Simply establish a premium-rate zone on Victoria Street between First and Fifth Avenues, and fan out with lower rates from there.

I’m not wild about cutting the time limit from three hours, but even that’s worth talking about if applied to the heaviest-used blocks.

Walsh’s approach could save the cost of a parkade or two.

Coun. Walsh is a thinker. He says what he thinks.

On this one, he deserves a chance to be heard. He’s not crazy.

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.

10 Comments on EDITORIAL – No, Coun. Denis Walsh has not gone stark, raving mad on parking

  1. Excellent. We need a walkable vibrant downtown. Parking in front on one business is the slow death of the rest. Parking on Victoria Street, let’s remove it from First to Fourth. And yes that’s been done in other cities. Get out and see what your city has to offer. Don’t forget to wave to Denis,Argun,Donovan and Kathy they can be seen walking on Victoria Street.

  2. gentlemen. I am not a seasoned shopper, so I will just shoot from the hip and ask questions later. Go ahead raise the damn parking rates downtown. dosen’t bother guys like me , because I will continue to shop at the malls. I must be in the minority because, I think this gets way too much media attention. If ,I were to open a business, downtown would be the last place I would go, because of the parking fees, and traffic hassles,plus, probably pay more for tax’s as well. Last time I went downtown was at least 2-3 years a go, it , cost me 20 bucks for a overtime parking ticket , plus parking fee. Sorry but I will continue my shoping at the mall,s

  3. Jerome Farrell // November 14, 2017 at 11:22 AM // Reply

    There should be a premium rate on Victoria St.

  4. This would only work if the city gets rid of this abomination of a parking system, and goes back to meters.

  5. There’s always Value Village

  6. Stevan Puharich // November 14, 2017 at 10:09 AM // Reply

    Victoria street should be a pedestrian and bicycle route. The only exception should be busses or electric carts.
    Ppeople need to get off their rear ends and walk a little more often. It’s healthier and better for all.

  7. Ian McCulloch // November 14, 2017 at 10:08 AM // Reply

    The danger is he talks of raising rates which the rest of this council will climb on like a free ride to Disney World. These little darlings see dollar signs and off they’ll go. Maybe we should re-look to see if the present system generates ANY income when we look at the total cost of implementation. Perhaps lower rates and include North Shore and Sahali/Aberdeen

  8. I agree that parking on Victoria Street should cost more than in other areas — premium parking should cost more. Council should raise the rates there and keep them fixed for other streets. People like me who don’t mind walking to save a buck wouldn’t even bother looking for parking on Victoria anymore. I fear Brock may be correct, though, in that there could be problem implementing such a differential rate system with these idiotic parking meters we have now.

  9. “Stocking the fire” it is the job of each one of those people on council…challenge, question, debate. Councillors and mayor need to be paid according to the contribution they make…sitting around and going to parties ain’t truly what we elect them for nor what they should be paid for.
    MR, is your wordsmithing craft getting better, more useful?

  10. I’m not sure how this would work with the current metering system that allows you to pay once and park wherever you can until your time is up…

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