Proposed Kamloops parking study defeated by council

By Jill Sperling
November 8, 2017 - 12:06pm Updated: November 8, 2017 - 1:23pm

KAMLOOPS — A $100,000 downtown parking study will not go ahead in Kamloops. 

With one councillor absent, and a 4-4 vote, the motion to approve the study did not pass. 

In addition to cost, some opposing councillors state they feel the issue of downtown parking has been overblown. 

"I think some people have the perception that there's an issue, but I don't believe there is an issue," said Councillor Denis Walsh. "I think that was the first thing we need to decide. Is there really a problem? Because, I don't see when I research it, and I live, and work, and I also own a video rental business downtown. I think I'm well qualified by talking to a lot of people about it. 

"The problem is the management of the parking downtown. Everybody wants to park where they're going, their destination, and that's the only problem on the on-street issue."

Walsh adds a city centre plan and transportation demand study should be completed before parking is addressed. 

President of the Kamloops Central Business Improvement Association Mike O'Reilly says the comprehensive 20-year study would have been able to answer the question of whether Kamloops does or does not have a parking problem. 

He said it would also look at possible management solutions. 

"When you talk about $100,000 being asked for council, that money is coming specifically from parking meters," O'Reilly said. "That is excess reserve funds that council mandated that could only be used for parking downtown. So, it can't be used for anything else, and that's why we're using it for this study. If we can't use it for this study, what can that money be used for if council won't approve it? 

"Council asked for this study to be looked at. This isn't something that we just came up with, council wanted a parking study, and this is what the business owners and the BIA came up with, and supporting administration to get this through."

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