I had a really good laugh reading an earlier letter to the editor about paid parking.
The idea that paid parking will reduce local shopping, in a place where many can and do walk everywhere, where not everyone can (or wants) to drive even to Cochrane every other weekend, where many genuinely enjoy local shopping, and where tourists will continue to spend money solely because of our natural capital, is hilarious.
Trust me, as someone who works in and frequents our local shops, for every person like you who chooses to shop in Balzac, there is a person from Airdrie driving all the way here, and they’re not doing it because we have free parking.
In fact, most studies show that decreasing drivability and increasing walkability is a sure way to increase local shopping.
Why? Because people on foot are far more likely to stroll around and spend money in shops they were not planning on being in.
As someone who grew up here, it is, I admit, hard to swallow the idea that I should have to pay to park in my own home town. Especially as someone with asthma, walking or biking to work are not always choices for me.
Yet still, when I think about what a privilege it is to own a car, and the privileges my pollution takes away from others, I don't mind paying.
When I can remember growing up without a bus service, and know what a huge difference that service makes for those who will never be able to drive, I don't mind paying.
When I think about the fact that me driving my car is changing my own home in detrimental ways, I don't mind paying.
In fact, I'm happy to do my part, because it is my home.