Parking in the downtown core appears to pose a perplexing problem.
A recent survey by Downtown Salmon Arm indicated more than 80 per cent support for a change to two-hour parking limits in the downtown core. The online survey also showed 74 per cent of those who responded were in opposition to the installation of parking meters in the downtown. The survey indicated a, “consistent theme that a one-hour parking limit is inadequate to browse downtown businesses following professional/personal care appointments, dining or grocery shopping.”
Sounds pretty straightforward. The customers appear to want it, so why not extend the trial period for two-hour parking to the entire downtown and see if citizens put their money where their cars sit?
Well it seems the issue isn’t cut and dried. Business owners along Hudson, where the two-hour trial has taken place, are apparently unhappy with the change. In a letter to council, a group of merchants writes that the majority of them were never consulted by Downtown Salmon Arm prior to the trial period and would have opposed it.
“This was a misleading move on their part,” they write, noting some merchants have lost between 10 to 40 per cent of their business. They started their own petition against the two-hour limit, with 15 Hudson Avenue businesses signing on.
It appears there are only two clear messages on this issue. There are two very dissenting points of view in the mix.
And city council better do its own research before anything else.