An editorial by Mel Rothenburger.
TWO BLOCKS. Those might be the two most important words that came out of a pair of City of Kamloops online information sessions on parking at the end of last week.
Two blocks. That’s the distance the City’s parking consultants define as a “reasonable” walking distance from vehicle to destination.
Remember those two words the next time a City bureaucrat of councillor insists there’s plenty of parking in Kamloops.
One of the online sessions pointed out there are more than 200 on-street parking stalls on the Tranquille Road corridor and half of them are usually available at any time during the day. But the consultants say “available parking supply is not within reasonable walking distance.”
That reasonable distance being two blocks.
The situation in the downtown core is much the same. There are more than 2,000 on-street spaces and lots off street as well, which often leads City Hall to insist there’s plentiful parking if only people stopped expecting to park right in front of where they’re going.
But, again, there are many “hot spots” where parking is at a premium, and those tallies on available spots take in a huge area, all the way up to Columbia Street and east to the Columbia-Battle intersection.
Which brings us to the performing arts centre. The City went from supporting a large underground parkade with the first version, to insisting that parking doesn’t matter in the second.
The 1,500 people attending events in the main auditorium can find parking within a few blocks and hike to the venue, they say. But the two-block rule puts the kibosh on that rationale.
Parking, or lack of it, at the Sandman Centre proves the point. The parking issue was bungled when the arena was built, and now some PAC supporters want to ignore parking as a way of keeping the costs down.
Clearly, they better go back to the drawing boards before the next vote.
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.