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Letter: Paid parking puts the brakes on tourism economy

Editor: What gets lost for me in the discussion about paid parking in Canmore and creating a residential parking permit program is the fact that our economy is driven by tourism.
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Editor:

What gets lost for me in the discussion about paid parking in Canmore and creating a residential parking permit program is the fact that our economy is driven by tourism.

By restricting parking in residential areas, where are the tourists going to park?

I think they will park at the Safeway or Save-On-Foods lots, as we know happens now, where folks park then walk or ride their bikes downtown or to the trails.

If tourists do not have a place to park, they will drive around trying to find a parking spot, increasing emissions (did someone say climate emergency?) and/or, in frustration, give up and leave Canmore. So lost tourism dollars.

Plus a tourism-relation nightmare if they receive a ticket for parking in a residential area. And think about parking challenges for some of our annual events like the Canmore Folk Music Festival. 

I appreciate the Town “protecting residential areas,” but we need to accept the reality that tourists bring vehicles. We are an hour or so from the airport. Tourists will not ride a bike here.

We do not have efficient transportation alternatives for the significant number of tourists that visit us, particularly in the summer months. And the provincial government has a goal to increase tourism.

So why are we not first addressing where to put these vehicles? Either an intercept lot or a parkade? A parkade (paid parking) could be designed in a beautiful way, with beautiful landscaping.

Vehicles are not going away, so until we know where those cars are going to park, for me it is the cart before the horse.

Canmore needs tourists – they are our economic engine. Let’s accept that reality, welcome tourists and recognize they will be arriving in vehicles.

Darcey-Lynn MacArthur,

Canmore


 


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