City wise to put brakes on parking trial

Parking downtown can be a touchy topic. There’s the question of whether to use parking meters or not, whether summer tourists should be ticketed or just given a warning for over-staying the parking limits, whether space should be devoted to dedicated over-size spots for RVs or people towing boats – not to mention the key question of what the appropriate time limit should be for on-street parking.

It appears to be a divisive issue even among the downtown business owners. Downtown Salmon Arm, which represents the interest of the owners, conducted a survey and supported the idea of extending the on-street limit from one to two hours throughout the downtown for a one-year trial.

Other businesses got wind, said they had not been consulted and 16 of them petitioned against the two-hour limit, saying some establishments on Hudson Avenue have seen a 10 to 40 per cent drop in business since a two-hour trial was implemented  on that street.

City council has now decided it was time to put the brakes on the initiative and refused the two-hour pilot program, opting to revert to the previous one-hour limit. While some might grumble, there are other options for those who require longer parking downtown. The Ross Street lot is two-hour, the Hudson lot by the Salmar is free, while the one near the Legion is two hours and there is pay parking in the Inner Core lot and at the wharf.

Given the discrepancies in the information presented to council, it seems wise to opt for the status quo and allow the city time to further research the implications before taking widespread action.

- Salmon Arm Observer

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