In response to your view on parking (Our View; No Parking; April 18) I would like to say that I agree that it is an issue, both at the Prestige Hotel and other locations in town.
Perhaps a small, but not insignificant contribution to a solution would be for more people to cycle when possible. However, for this to happen we need to have better infrastructure and education. The District of Sooke is slowly working on improving the local infrastructure, however it also remains important for local businesses to support this lifestyle change. The Prestige Hotel seems to be missing the mark on this one. When I showed up there for a meeting on my bicycle, and found no place to securely park my bike, I spoke to the manager about getting bicycle racks. He indicated that the corporation had no intention to install any bike racks. Instead, cyclists could ask for a staff member to lock it up in an empty room in the hotel. Brilliant idea when the weather is wet and muddy, and I am sure the cleaning staff appreciated my bike and trailer parked in the boardroom for our meeting.
I would imagine that our small, local businesses that have footed the bill for bike racks in front of their establishments would find this shameful. What happened to the requirements for developers to provide suitable amenities? I guess in the case of the Prestige Hotel, parking, of any sort, was not part of the deal.
As our community becomes more cycle and pedestrian friendly it will have huge benefits for everyone, even for those people that will never ride a bicycle.
The shift is happening all over the world, and Sooke will hopefully be able to follow suit… and who knows…maybe even become a leader in small community sustainable growth and resilience, that will lead to a healthier and more vibrant community in the true sense of the word.
Juan De Fuca Cycling Coalition