ROTHENBURGER – A city’s history of failure in dealing with parking problem

(Image: Mel Rothenburger)

FOR A CITY SO CODEPENDENT on automobiles, Kamloops has a strange aversion to figuring out where to park them.

When my grandfather bought one of Kamloops’ first motorized vehicles (it was a Chevrolet Baby Grand) and test drove it around the McArthur Park race track more than a hundred years ago, parking wasn’t a problem.

Since then, though, it’s been all downhill.

Talk all you want about how people are too spoiled and should learn the benefits of walking a block, but there’s never been a time when downtown Kamloops didn’t need more parking. A new parkade hasn’t been built in close to 50 years.


Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops, former school board chair, former editor of The Kamloops Daily News, and a current director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He was awarded the Jack Webster Foundation’s lifetime achievement award in 2011. His editorials are published Monday through Thursdays, and Saturdays on CFJC Today, CFJC Midday and CFJC Evening News. Contact him at

About Mel Rothenburger (8312 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.

4 Comments on ROTHENBURGER – A city’s history of failure in dealing with parking problem

  1. Downtown Kamloops will be losing parking lots when PAC is built & another subsidized low-income housing on 500-block St Paul. Also, with the building of the numerous condo’s under construction or planned, street parking will be impacted.

    Parking, though certainly not an issue now, will be & the result will be the City building a new parkade (its inevitable) & they know it.

  2. Kamloops officials have identified the “automobile” as the sole mode of transportation readily and reliably available to the inhabitants…perhaps that thought needs a revisit?

  3. GM Place, in far away Vancouver sits almost 20,000 people…where do you find parking for even one quarter of that amount? Solve that mystery if you can!

  4. Jennie Stadnichuk // November 16, 2019 at 1:01 PM // Reply

    1) I get what you’re saying, and about many folks being too lazy to walk a block further from their destination, but when this happened to me I realize that had I left home 5 minutes earlier I would not have been in a panic about being late for my appointment! As I drove around the block my brain kicked in and I remembered the ample parking in the lot behind Hotel 540 (across from Lansdowne Mall) on the 500 Block! I believe most drivers have not really looked at what parking IS available! There are other parking options in addition to the one I mention. 2) Here’s a question: Why other than cost does the new PAC plan not include more parking? Does the Planner/City think Kamloops voters can’t think as far as your above commentary does? i.e. Lack of parking during a performance in the PAC and, say a hockey game? I believe the new PAC’s acceptance via a Referendum is threatened by the minimal parking planned. I’ve heard folks discussing this very point and saying they don’t plan on voting Yes! There needs to be an “Open House” to show the public what the PAC plans include i.e. whether plans include projected income from facility rentals and how frequently it will sit empty thus generating “0” income!

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