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EDITORIAL – Time may have come for paid parking on the North Shore

(Image: Mel Rothenburger)

An editorial by Mel Rothenburger.

IS IT TIME for paid parking on the Tranquille Road shopping corridor?

Over the years, it’s been considered political suicide to even mention the prospect. Free street parking in the corridor is recognized as a differentiator between it and the downtown core, a reason for shoppers to head north cross the bridge.

But, now, none other than the North Shore Business Improvement Association is opening the door on the issue.

In a newsletter to members, manager Jeremy Heighton has bravely suggested there might be benefits, and even went so far as to say the City might soon be looking at paid parking on a couple of other North Shore streets as well.

Heighton says paid parking would put bylaws officers on the corridor who could also deal with other “community challenges,” help fund street patrols, and pay for street-level enhancements.

He hastens to add that formal discussions with the City haven’t started, but says, “The reality is, if we don’t consider this today, then we could have a similar situation as exists downtown, where the parking conversation is dominated by concerns, as opposed to the benefits of traffic flow, traffic calming, shopping turnover, community safety and funding of beautification and improvement projects.”

Who knows whether North Shore merchants will get behind their manager on this one but Heighton’s comments open up a path for at least considering it.

A few years ago, I wrote that paid parking on the North Shore could be directed toward the costs of the performing arts centre. We’re past that scenario now but if North Shore parking proceeds are directed toward the things suggested by Heighton, it could be a good thing.

And, it would put both our major shopping areas on an equal footing.

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 (7196 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.

1 Comment on EDITORIAL – Time may have come for paid parking on the North Shore

  1. Witnessing semi-regularly what’s happening downtown, paid parking does put bylaws officers “on the corridor” but they quite apparently do not deal with other “community challenges.” Although funding street patrols have some effects (I only see them red shirts kids in the nicer weather part of the year), street-level enhancements is only in regards to unpaid parking. One can idle in its vehicle for long periods of time with impunity, one can litter with impunity, one can be a nuisance with impunity, one can speed through the downtown streets with impunity, one can take motorized carts and bicycles on the sidewalks with impunity. These are among some of the most obvious issue which are never dealt with by Bylaws even when they are called to do so or when it is pointed out to them.

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