The Record did a further piece on this situation on February 14th, 2009 and did an even more in-depth story on Record reporter Theresa McManus’ blog.
Voice director, Neil Powell, attended council tonight, February 16th. His closing comments were:
“President Obama recently apologized to the American people by saying, ‘I screwed up.’ If in fact Mayor Don MacLean’s comments are correct will you apologize to New Westminster’s residents for putting us through the suffering [related to the Canfor expropriation] of the last 12 months.”
Mayor Wright declined the offer. He also did not seek to set the record straight and correct Neil Powell’s comments regarding what Mayor MacLean had attributed to Mayor Wright. We can only assume then that Mayor Wright did bring the Canfor site and acquisition forward to Metro Vancouver.
The Record recently ran an article on council’s deliberations re: the Front Street parkade. This got Voice director, Susan Wandell, thinking about the issue. Here are her comments. Feel free to weigh in with yours.
I use the parkade most times I am in the downtown. There is not sufficient street parking and even if you find it, the parkade gives you freedom from keeping your eye on the parking meter to make sure you don’t get a ticket. When the downtown has been “rejuvinated” and the convention centre/city hall (oops, public building with an arts component) is built, there will need to be parking and underground parking is extremely expensive to build. People are not going to suddenly give up their vehicles – they may scale down but vehicles are not going away. I attend a meeting on Street one evening a month and seldom found street parking. The committee suggested that members be given permission to park in the parkade free of charge while attending the meeting. We were given that permission last month and I took advantage of the parkade rather than drive around for 10 minutes looking for a space.
Parking variances in the high rises are not providing enough visitor parking and even if there is sufficient space, it is awkward to deal with – calling the person to come down and let you into their parkade and giving you a parking pass and then having to return the pass – what a hassle.
Let’s think outside of the box. If the parkade is underused, why not advertise on the SkyTrain/buses and charge the same rates as SkyTrain parking lots for “Park and Rides”. Perhaps CKNW may advertise as a public service announcement. Promote it in the City Page of The Record.
Thank you, Councillor McIntosh, for thinking ahead. The parkade may not be beautiful to some people’s mind, but it serves a purpose. Before you start with the sledgehammer – come up with a better, more affordable solution.