I've stayed out of the parking debate, because I fiqured everything would work itself out after the Olympics. Like most good Canadians we would eventually just suck up another user pay tax grab. I see this time it's not the case. It was painful to see the lots empty all last year, but this year it's too much to bear.
I don't like paying for parking either, but walking in ski boots from lot 4 sucks too. I admit I almost bought into the idea at first to promote transit use, even though for me and many others its logistically unfeasable. Judging from many others letters the transit situation has its share of problems too.
Were getting unneeded bad press coverage on national news, with pictures of deserted lots, empty retail space and grumpy foot traffic. Having the mayor state on TV that over 80 per cent of parking in Whistler is free, was deceiving in that most of it is remote from the village. A proposal that was pitched as a win-win has obviously become a lose-lose. Hey Ken, smell the fumes. This situation needs tweaking... fast.
Reverting to free parking is less likely than the HST being repealed. Were obviously in financial trouble. So what's the solution?
I know it's a hard pill to swallow but I suggest that all the lots become pay parking. If we reduce the rates, and have a graduated fee depending on the proximity to the village, all the lots would be equally used. We would have the choice on how much to spend, how much to walk, and most importantly the Muni could start to recoup some money.
Discounted passes should be made available to village employees and tax-paying locals. We're the ones paying for this mess anyways.
Budget is a car wreck
Going through the recent budget, I felt like I had lent the Muni my car, and now they were trying to break it to me gently that they'd wrecked it. What's worse, they didn't seem that sorry about it. And it's not as if I hadn't seen my taillights sticking out of the river on the way in.
Going back to the 2007-2011 Five Year Plan, the projected deficit for transit in 2011 was only $730,420, so how the transit deficit grew to over $2,300,000 is an open question. Perhaps the experimental hydrogen buses and the infrastructure (the Garagemajal) to support it had something to do with it? As for the pay parking, that was opposed by almost all sectors of the community except municipal hall, as nobody thought that it would bring anywhere near the projected revenues. Shrugging their shoulders, pointing to transit and pay parking, and asking "what do you want us to do?" isn't going to cut it on any level.