Two-hour downtown parking up for debate

Salmon Arm Mayor Nancy Cooper predicts a lively discussion on downtown parking at next week’s council meeting.

Cooper was responding to comments councillors made following a report from city staff at the city’s planning meeting Monday, which outlined a recommendation from the Downtown Parking Commission. The commission has recommended that, based on the results of a Downtown Salmon Arm business parking survey, the trial of two-hour street parking on Hudson Avenue be extended throughout the downtown core for a year, from April 25 of this year to March 31, 2015.

Coun. Denise Reimer said she is not prepared to vote in favour of the recommendation.

“Salmon Arm has a very vibrant downtown already, with so many diverse businesses. With that, comes diversity in parking. While I appreciate the study done by Downtown Salmon Arm, I think we need to look at a much more extensive study.”

Coun. Marg Kentel said she’s thinking along the same lines as Reimer.

“By the time Marcel (Bedard, bylaw officer) marks a tire, they could park for close to four hours the way this would work...”

She also said a year is far too long for an experiment and suggested until the end of the year would be more than enough.

Coun. Debbie Cannon explained that she, as council’s representative on Downtown Salmon Arm, has spent a lot of time downtown talking to businesses as well as looking over emails, and she tends to agree with Reimer.

“I think one-hour parking is sufficient, and the survey done didn’t have much of a science to it. The business owners and residents I’ve discussed it with don’t support the two hours.”

Coun. Chad Eliason agreed, saying he doesn’t think two-hour parking is a solution for all businesses. Cooper and Couns. Alan Harrison and Ken Jamieson didn’t state their views.

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