To the editor:
The City of Kelowna council needs to ‘walk the talk’ regarding issues of parking in the downtown core. Did I miss something? What has happened to finding ways for alternate transportation or encouraging people to use transit, to walk or to cycle?
Surely, with imagination and creativity, the city can limit the number of cars coming into the downtown core (as much as possible), without having to build more parkades.
Creating park ‘n’ rides in partnership with major shopping centers and simple changes to transit stops within the downtown core (along Lawrence) that can get people within one or two blocks from Bernard. Create reasonable annual and bi-annual senior bus passes to encourage ridership. Clean up and complete the Queensway station (a project 10 years overdue)—that would not only serve a purpose but it could be an attractive asset to downtown.
If people complain of having to walk one or two blocks, then I suggest we have a bigger problem on our hands, one that has nothing to do with parking.
As for the proposed IH building. Of all people who should understand the value of walking (after all, the new building will only be one block from the main Queensway transit station. )
If parking is the real issue, perhaps the design of the new building should include parking—it works for the Madison.
Then there is the question, which has already been answered in the courts, regarding the covenant. Does the City of Kelowna truly expect taxpayers to pay to go back in the courts to challenge this decision? When does a promise not mean a promise?
So what does council do? They initiate the alternative approval process to borrow $15 million, banking on a flawed process where 10 per cent of electors may not take the time to voice their objection.
Expanding the Library parkade sounds reasonable, but not the suggested location of a parkade in front of the museum. Personally I think we all can think of other locations or ways to spend 15 million tax dollars.
We need to find ways to work with what already exists and make do. If and when additional housing and business develop in the downtown core, the city must insist that parking is including in their designs.
Until then we have until Oct. 26 to object to the proposed parkade project. I encourage anyone of like-mind to get out and vote against this proposed parkade project.