ROTHENBURGER – How PAC 2.0 has made downtown parking issue vanish

Byron McCorkell at public information meeting. (Image: Mel Rothenburger)

THE MESSAGING ON the PAC parking issue continues to impress.

After years of studies, delegations and failed attempts to build parkades, parking in downtown Kamloops is suddenly no longer a problem.

This is a truly amazing development. How different it was in 2015, when a $90-million proposal for a PAC on the same site at 4th and Seymour included underground parking for 355 vehicles. The current proposal includes only 70 spaces.

Back then, onsite parking was considered a necessity. Now it’s not.

At a public information meeting on the PAC this week, Byron McCorkell of the City brushed off the parking issue.

“A theatre is not enough of a reason to talk about a parkade,” he said.


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

About Mel Rothenburger (8130 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.

2 Comments on ROTHENBURGER – How PAC 2.0 has made downtown parking issue vanish

  1. As far as the parking question is concerned, I raised the point of the Riverside Coliseum fiasco. Although some might like to brag about the 4,500 seat arena having been built with only a few hundred parking stalls, conveniently left out of the conversation was the roughly $550,000 touch to the taxpayers for the construction of a pedestrian bridge over the CP tracks on 3rd Avenue.

    And, there was a small side bar about an aging population not being able to use the bridge any longer due to mobility issues. Oh, and of course, that little tiff with CP Rail about the safety of pedestrians trying to “beat the train” instead of waiting for 10 or 15 minutes because they do not choose to or cannot use the bridge. Oh, and the little tiff about the possible closure of the level crossings at both 3rd Avenue and 2nd Avenue if the safety issues are not addressed.

    Of late has been the 23rd hour salvation of the downtown core by the “Hive”. Yes, it seems like wasted space now because that land is now a level parking lot. But, that level parking lot, I’m pretty sure, is used by Blazers’ fans on game nights. When this issue was raised, I received a reply that an arrangement has been made to use the underground parking at the “Hive”, so really, there will be no overall loss of parking space downtown.

    Until this series of “informative” emails, I had somewhat of an open mind towards the viability of a downtown PAC. Now, I wonder how much the taxpayer is going to get stuck for when we find out that inadequate parking really is an issue that should have been addressed before the referendum?

    If nothing else was achieved, I can say that these informative emails have assisted me in how I am going to vote.

  2. One amazing part of this major kerfuffle is we have been told time and time again about the huge problem of parking which has afflicted the downtown of Kamloops since the dawn of civilization. The previous proposal went as far as disguising a parking lot as a PAC and we narrowly escaped going into huge debt for nothing. For nothing because it turns out even the ones pushing the (almost) endless advocacy for parking have now relented and gone on the record saying that there are no parking problems after all. What else is perfunctory? Are we that much of a gullible sheeple? Don’t you think, at this point, some of the key personnel (and supporters) at City Hall are shown the door?

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