City parking strategy will prove problematic

Lack of parking is the No. 1 complaint we hear from customers; we are thankful for those customers who continue to support our businesses.

To the Editor,

Re: Free parking ends on Commercial Street, Nov. 24.

The article states that the city’s parking strategy will eliminate free parking and install meters in the Old City Quarter. Businesses in the OCQ are opposed to this for a number of reasons.

The strategy for Commercial Street and the downtown core may have some logic given that there are various high-capacity but under-used parkades available to absorb parking traffic moved off the streets. However, there are no equivalent parkade facilities in the OCQ.

Furthermore, the OCQ has a much higher mix of residential and commercial than the downtown core. This means that many residents use street parking.

Additionally, the OCQ does not have the same problem of business owners parking in front of their businesses, since a majority already have tenant parking provided, albeit at a charge.

Actual or perceived lack of parking is the No. 1 complaint we hear from customers and we are thankful for those customers who continue to support our businesses in spite of that.

To reintroduce parking meters to the OCQ after a more-than-15-year absence would be a big step backward, and we will oppose that.

Eric McLeanpresidentOld City Quarter Association

 

To the Editor,

Re: Free parking ends on Commercial Street, Nov. 24.

Is the Downtown Nanaimo Business Improvement Association that naive?

The Bulletin’s front-page photo of the group’s president, smiling, says it all: bye-bye to any hope of people heading downtown to shop, eat and play.

By forcing drivers to plunk $1.25 an hour in a parking machine to run into a shop or grab a coffee, stalls where you could previously park for free for two hours, will send all of us scurrying to the malls this Christmas shopping season and forever where we can park for free.

Just a while back, the BIA was bragging about the city not charging for parking on the weekend. Now it’s smirking that charging will free up parking stalls. It sure will.

George OliverNanaimo