Chad Eliason.

Council Report: Salmon Arm wrestles with parking spaces

Parking commission continues to investigate new options

In a recent conversation, someone brought up how the same old issues keep coming back to council, over and over again. A perfect example of this is downtown parking. No issue has been talked about or re-hashed during the past 114 years of our fair city more than where to park and for how long.

You probably have not heard that the Downtown Parking Commission is currently halfway through a strategic planning process. Our diverse group of dedicated volunteers meets monthly to discuss all of the options for parking, including dramatic changes to the status quo.

One of the recommendations being considered is expansion of electronic ticket dispensers across the entire downtown core. Electronic dispensers will allow more options for on-street parking and more precise enforcement.

If you have been to Kamloops, perhaps you have experienced their system and their three-hour limit – first hour being cheaper, and incrementally increasing rates for the second and third hours.

Related: Parking lot lease renewed

Related: Thieves target Vernon parking meters

This will require a large capital outlay for new electronic ticket dispensers and devices for enforcement but will hopefully encourage good behavior.

The city’s master capital plan includes planning and construction for the Fourth Street parkade in the near future (2021-2023). We hope this will provide a long-term parking option for employees and business owners.

Having a parkade will open up the more coveted spots on the streets so customers benefit from the convenience of parking near the shop they wish to visit.

Other parts of our discussions include where will the new charging stations for the electric vehicles go? How will autonomous vehicles affect our need for more spots? Will E-bikes change our need for summer parking and actually make “Bike to Work Week” feasible for residents?

Our goal is to introduce a comprehensive plan with scheduled changes to encourage the desired outcomes. We would like to do it once and hopefully do it right, but if history teaches us anything, this will never go away!


@SalmonArm
barb.brouwer@saobserver.net

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