New council greets old issue
It didn’t take long for an election issue to appear before the new city council.
The Kamloops Central Business Improvement Area has formed its own group to look at parking issues downtown.
And, after asking, it will get a hand from the city.
Council has agreed to lend two of its members to the KCBIA’s parking solutions group.
The downtown BIA’s group has a number of ideas to deal with parking issues in the downtown.
Among them, a parking-management program that would include installation of express stalls, setting up different zones with different rates and time restrictions and targeted enforcement to move staff off street parking.
The group consists of downtown business owners, landlords and property managers.
The KCBIA said the downtown needs 200 new parking spots immediately and more within two to three years.
As for a parkade structure, Gay Pooler, general manager of the KCBIA speaking on behalf of the parking group, said it doesn’t want the 1970s-style parkade like the one on Lansdowne Street.
Instead, a mixed-use building is preferred.
The KCBIA has also encouraged the city to partner with the private sector on any new parkade.
Mayor Peter Milobar said he is pleased the KCBIA is taking an active role on the issue, adding the group had some good suggestions, but whether they work out has yet to seen.
He also noted the BIA’s effort doesn’t preclude the city from starting its own task force to find a location for a third downtown parkade.
Milobar suggested setting up a task force after the petition to stop the Lorne Street parkade was successful.
“If the need is there for us to acquire and build a standalone parkade structure, we still have the flexibility to do that in separate process,” he said.
Donovan Cavers was the lone councillor to vote against any involvement with the parking group, arguing the city needs to listen to the results of the parkade petition and explore options other than a parkade.
The two councillors tasked with sitting in on the KCBIA’s group will be chosen next week.