Editorial: The parking paradox

The issue of parking in downtown Duncan is once again rearing its complicated head.

The City has decided to penalize the prolific offenders, those who don’t seem to mind paying the $20 fine on the occasions when they haven’t been able to slip under the radar. Apparently there are between 20 and 30 people who fall into that category.

Council has decided the answer is to increase the ticket for a second offence to $50 and $75 for a third offence.

It seems it will be a bit of a chore to keep track of who qualifies for the bonus rounds, and hopefully it will be possible to target those who offenders who blatantly ignore the parking rules. Often, those people are business owners and their staff.

The worst case scenario would be for faithful downtown shoppers to wind up on the expensive side of a parking ticket and begin to question the wisdom of shopping in downtown Duncan.

Managing parking is complicated.

A few years ago, North Cowichan spent about $10,000 to study the parking situation in Chemainus.

What they concluded was what everybody already knew: there are times when parking is at a premium and shoppers have to circle the block once or twice and often wind up walking further than they would like. (Ironically, shopping mall visitors don’t seem to mind trudging a quarter of a mile to shop at a big box store)

The study also confirmed that for most of the time, parking was readily available.

Sadly, two or three years later, parking was no longer an issue. For various reasons, shoppers were no longer drawn to the main drag in the numbers they once were and there was ample parking downtown … a situation that continues to this day.

Be careful what you wish for.

Duncan has a vibrant, successful downtown core. Tampering with the parking regulations could threaten that viability if not handled properly.

City council’s action is well-intentioned and could help the situation, but it should be closely monitored over the next year.

Just Posted

What you said: Pay for use water a controversial topic

Public works crews have been busy for the last four years installing water meters

Pair of 11-year-old Cowichan highland dancers heading to Virginia for competition

Amelia Marsh and Maya Sundstrom are excited about the possibilities

Chris Wilkinson column: Where are you on the Happiness U-Curve?

With age and maturity, the focus turns away from social competition and toward social connection.

Music trivia tournament in Duncan a hit on World Alzheimer’s Day

More than $13,000 raised by people naming that tune

Drivesmart column: Wet weather driving dos and don’ts

Wet pavement alone can increase stopping distances by more than 10 per cent.

VIDEO: A moment to remember during the World Lacrosse Men’s Indoor Championship in B.C.

Diego Hernandez Valenzuela’s team lost, but he felt like a winner Saturday

B.C. Lions hype-man marks 15 years of cheers

Crazy P cheers, chants, bangs his drum and spreads a message of love

PHOTOS: Steller sea lion with plastic around neck rescued on Vancouver Island

Rescue staff determined the plastic band cut the protected animal’s neck approximately two inches

B.C. VIEWS: School officials join fact-free ‘climate strike’

Students, public get distorted picture of greenhouse gases

Handgun crackdown, health spending and transit plans latest campaign promises

Friday was the end of a busy week on the campaign trail

B.C. woman photographs massive ant swarm on Abbotsford driveway

She asked what the ants were doing? The answer: war

Iconic 90s TV show ‘Friends’ celebrates 25th anniversary

The iconic, decade-long television show aired its first episode 25 years ago today

Police arrest B.C. phone scammer linked to illegal call centres in India

Person arrested in Burnaby here on a work visa, says police

Most Read