Fees keep tourists away

Dear Editor:

Up until recently while doing business downtown, whether it be shopping, grabbing a haircut, or simply having a coffee with friends, I had no problem parking at a meter and dropping in a loonie.

Now, with the city wanting to get greedy, I have decided to follow suit.

First of all, parking revenue for the city has increased substantially already with the installation of ticket spitters downtown. In the old meter days, you plug in a loonie for one hour of parking. If you only take 20 minutes and drive away, someone else can simply slide in the space for the remaining 40 minutes without having to pay. The tickets from these machines are non-transferrable because you must enter your license plate number, so now one parking space now has the potential to generate much more revenue than before.

Second of all, pay parking will, in my opinion, drive away tourists and keep locals who are on a fixed income from utilizing our facilities as often. Maybe a recent letter writer was right — maybe this is the plan so mayor and council can label a green space “underutilized” to pave the way for more development. This was one of the reasons for the proposed Skaha Lake Park waterslides. The area is apparently “underutilized”.

I challenge mayor and council to actually go there anytime between 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. before school starts again and look me straight in the eyes and tell me it’s underutilized.

In closing, I have decided to entertain my right to bear “veteran” plates on all my vehicles, which should be arriving this week sometime. This allows me to park on the metered streets for free. The City of Penticton will not receive another penny in parking revenue from me.

Mark Billesberger

Penticton