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EDITORIAL – Delaying decision on Saturday parkade fees makes sense

(Image: CFJC Today)

An editorial by Mel Rothenburger.

KAMLOOPS CITY COUNCIL has been taking a beating lately, including from the Armchair Mayor, so it’s only fair to mention when it makes a proper decision all on its own.

A recommendation came before it this week to start charging for Saturday parking at the City’s two parkades, operation of which the City will take over from the Downtown Parking Corp. as of next year.

Community and protective services director Byron McCorkell told council that paid Saturday parking would generate a healthy piece of change for the City coffers but council balked at the idea.

In fairness, council has a habit of balking at parking fee increases, but its thinking on McCorkell’s proposal is logical. With a downtown parking management plan due out later next year, why make changes now when further changes might well be in the offing later?

It’s interesting, by the way, that both Coun. Arjun Singh and Kamloops Central BIA manager Carl DeSantis called the parking shortage “a good problem to have.”

Say what? Well, their reasoning is it must mean a lot of people must want to shop downtown. Yet, it’s often said the issue is created by the demand for spots for employees, and that the resulting overall shortage turns shoppers off, encouraging them to go elsewhere.

So is the parking shortage a problem, or is it not?

Anyway, the only one voting to put the Saturday parkade fees into effect sooner rather than later was Mayor Ken Christian, who makes a good point in saying that if users don’t pay, everybody pays.

The longer council puts off rate increases, the more they promise to become an issue in the next election. So, this week’s decision wasn’t an easy one.

Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops and newspaper editor. He writes five commentaries a week for CFJC Today, publishes the ArmchairMayor.ca opinion website, and is a director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He can be reached at mrothenburger@armchairmayor.ca.

About Mel Rothenburger (7044 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.

4 Comments on EDITORIAL – Delaying decision on Saturday parkade fees makes sense

  1. Jennie Stadnichuk // November 29, 2019 at 1:19 PM // Reply

    One more thought to my previous post – How often do people complain about parking shortages in North Kamloops? And there the parking is FREE! It’s an excellent area to shop and have appointments. There are many great shops and Professionals (i.e. Doctors or Accountants)! WHY don’t we hear of similar parking issues? Oh yes, they don’t have a parkade.

  2. Jennie Stadnichuk // November 29, 2019 at 1:14 PM // Reply

    Having free parking on Saturdays may cost “a fair chunk of change” but does encourage shoppers to come downtown. I have used this courtesy for many years especially during the months that “Farmers Market” is available. After buying my produce etc. there, I continue down 3rd Ave. and shop downtown. I, like Pierre above have never found a parking problem downtown no matter what day or month I’m in town. I suggest that too many folks who shout “Parking shortage” refuse to walk a block further from their destination! It’s easy to drive around a block to find a spot even now during the “Christmas Shopping Rush”. What I think might be helpful is to post a map of parking lots that exist in the Downtown area! Voila! the “Parking Shortage” becomes a myth!

  3. I have been using the parkades for the last several Saturday mornings and have never found many other vehicles parked there so I am wondering where the “healthy chunk of change” that Byron McCorkell refers to would come from. If the city started charging for parking there on Saturdays then I think there would be even fewer using it.

  4. As a side note in the thirty years I lived in Kamloops I never once used any of the downtown parkades. Do you know why? Because there is never been a problem finding parking a few minutes walk to my destination, even in the coldest of weather.

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