An editorial by Mel Rothenburger.
A COUPLE OF MORE online public sessions are set for tonight (Tuesday, March 1, 2022) and tomorrow (Wednesday, March 2, 2022) to talk about parking in Kamloops.
“Oh, no,” you say, “here we go again with more parking talk.”
So, OK, instead of revisiting parking in the downtown core yet again, let’s look at the Tranquille shopping corridor. Tranquille Road and Victoria Street are like two different countries when it comes to parking your vehicle.
Tranquille corridor is long and skinny while the downtown core is fat and relatively compact. Driving through the downtown area is a walk in the park compared to Tranquille.
They have something in common, though: They’re both losing parking spaces to new development. It isn’t as acute on the North Shore as on the South but it’s coming.
City council has shown an inclination to approve apartment projects with less parking, characterizing the choice as being between housing and parking, and there will undoubtedly be more on the way as densification becomes the trend. Parking is already bleeding onto side streets.
In the case of Tranquille, though, it raises a lot more safety problems, which are already an issue on the corridor. Feedback from residents so far focuses largely on traffic safety and future parking demands.
There’s still a need for better marking, bulb-outs and bus stop locations. A parking survey so far shows only 23 per cent rank safety and security good or very good, with the rest putting it somewhere between fair and very poor.
Interestingly, there’s no indication of a growing acceptance of the need for paid parking, even if kiosks like those awful downtown machines aren’t used. Two years ago, the North Shore Business Improvement Association floated a paid-parking balloon but dozens of comments in the City’s survey are strongly against it.
Tonight’s online session focuses on the Tranquille corridor, tomorrow’s on the downtown. And, here’s a cheerful reminder: paid parking returns at Royal Inland Hospital on Friday.
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.