It was a good week for dialogue on downtown parking last week. Two meetings were held, one on Wednesday and one on Thursday. The first was hosted by the Kamloops Central Business Improvement Area (KCBIA). Late last year, the KCBIA was endorsed by council to take the lead in recommending parking solutions for the downtown core. The second meeting was hosted by the Kamloops Voters Society (KVS). The KVS is hoping to become a neutral convenor of conversations on a range of community issues. It is fair to say, I think, that current KVS membership is quite different from the membership of KCBIA.
These two meetings resulted in a good deal of input. I need to dig up the parking recommendations from the KCBIA and post them here. Summarizing the key recommendations: partnering with private sector for building a new parkade, taking out the individual parking meters and putting in parking kiosks which would allow much more payment flexibility, raising on street parking rates, and allowing for three hour maximum parking for a little more money.
A number of people have subsequently asked about the role of transit and alternative transportation. This came up again at the KV parking meeting. We might be looking again at the idea, proposed in a few different city planning processes, of a downtown shuttle bus.
It will be useful to consider all the input as we solidify parking plans for downtown.