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And why aren't there a few free spots out there with 15 minute limits where people can run in and do quick errands, like send a letter or get a cup of coffee?
What impact will pay parking have on village businesses, or even the village atmosphere? Will you stop to give visitors directions if your time is running out? Will the village lose that small town atmosphere where people stop to chat with friends and neighbours because everybody is rushing around to beat the clock?
I would also be grateful if someone could tell me why there are no reasonable exceptions. Some towns have designated parking spaces for seniors or people with children, or carpool vehicles - so why not Whistler? Can we at least keep our handicap parking free, and allow people who are injured to get temporary free parking signs on their car so they can still get around?
I get it. Cars are bad and public transportation is good. Pay parking will get people out of their cars and onto the bus. In theory, anyway.
But while I frequently take public transportation and support transit, it's not always the best alternative. On a busy winter day it can take half an hour or longer to get to the village from Spring Creek, on an overloaded bus that often leaves people behind along the way, swearing and kicking out the bus shelter windows. It's also hard for me to get home as there's no southbound highway stop at Spring Creek.
The fact that Whistler has one of the busiest bus services in the province may be a feather in the muni's cap, but it's also a pain in the average rider's ass. Busy buses stop more and move slower, while the lack of seats often leaves you standing awkwardly with skis, groceries and a case of beer wedged between your feet while the bus lurches from stop to stop.
For people with small children, for people making quick errands, for seniors, for people with heavy loads, for people who plan to make more than one stop (e.g. village, then Nesters, then Meadow Park), the bus is sometimes a poor option. It works, but it's hardly ideal.
I can say with complete honesty that I will personally spend less time and money in the village as a result of pay parking. My apologies to local businesses, but I'm on a budget already and spending $4 to spend two hours in the village a few times a week seems unreasonably steep on top of all my growing cost-of-living expenses.