Opinion » Maxed Out

The light goes on for paid parking

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"It was only a joke," he said lamely, implicitly denying Freud's hypothesis that jokes were simply redirected hostility. "You can't possibly defend paid parking."

"Of course I can," I replied.

"Oh really," he shot back. "Well, name me five reasons paid parking is a good thing."

Rising to the challenge, I quickly pointed out the obvious. "Because it'll get more people taking transit," I said, echoing the mayor's main selling point. "Yeah, I know it won't do anything to get the day-trippers out of their cars or help the poor schmucks working in the village bars and restaurants until all hours... or the commuters from Squampton. But someone's going to think about taking the bus instead of being dinged for parking, inconvenience notwithstanding."

"That's one," he sneered, grudgingly.

I thought for a moment. "It'll be good for business at Marketplace and Creekside where the indolent, lazy... car-drivers will refocus their unnecessary, polluting SUV trips, leaving the village relatively uncrowded for those of us virtuous enough to take transit."

I was on a roll.

"For that matter, it'll be good for Squamish's growing stripmall, big-box culture. Those whose hearts aren't pure will shop down there where parking is free and morals loose."

"It'll make all those people driving up here from Vancouver for a day's skiing or golfing or sightseeing or whatever feel proud to pay an extra 12 bucks knowing they're helping a local take transit. Almost like buying a carbon offset."

"That's four," he said, rolling his eyes.

"I'll get back to you with the fifth," I said, dashing off. "My two hours under the conference centre are up."

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