An editorial by Mel Rothenburger.
PUBLIC FEEDBACK ON PARKING is underway after a delay caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Residents, whether they live in Kamloops or outside of town but use public parking downtown or on the North Shore, can fill out a very short questionnaire and offer additional comments on the City’s Let’s Talk web page.
To say the least, the survey is rudimentary, asking things such as how long you usually park there, whether you park on or off the street, how far you’re willing to walk, and so on.
It will, hopefully, provide at least a bit of a picture of parking habits and parking wishes. The trick will be to link up the survey results with an actual plan. Since phase one of the parking management study is already completed, and includes an understanding of “the existing state of parking demand and supply through information gathering and data collection,” the survey seems a bit like window dressing.
From the resident’s viewpoint, sitting in on a couple of virtual information sessions March 11 and 12 might be more useful. At any rate, maybe this latest study will, at long last, give the City what it needs to come up with a plan that works.
The survey misses the boat in a couple of respects, though. A big one is a failed opportunity to gauge public interest in paying for parking along the Tranquille Road shopping corridor. Resolving the inequity between it and the downtown core is long overdue, especially as parking along the corridor is beginning to be more crowded.
What’s needed is a transparent outline of potential revenue and how that revenue might be used to improve parking convenience in that shopping zone.
The survey also ignores perennial complaints about downtown parking kiosks and parking rates, and could have gotten some useful feedback on whether people are willing to pay a premium for parking on Victoria Street.
It’s the kind of information that goes to the very root of Kamloops parking woes and, so far, it’s not in the picture.
I’m Mel Rothenburger, the Armchair Mayor.
Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops and a retired newspaper editor. He is a regular contributor to CFJC Today, publishes the ArmchairMayor.ca opinion website, and is a director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He can be reached at email@example.com.