Parkade should stay until a viable parking plan is created
I cannot help but agree with Bill Shannon of Scholar's Quay Antiques and Downtown BIA secretary, who stated in a recent article that the parkade should not be torn down until a viable alternative plan for Downtown parking is in place.
To listen to some people, you would think that the city council and merchants of the day were fools to build such an unnecessary eyesore in the first place, and that it was needed in the '50s and '60s but not now.
First of all, why spend money on an overpass before we know what Larco is going to do with its five—or is it six—high rise towers on the river, and what may be needed in that development to accommodate acceptable access? An overpass, maybe?
Secondly, is this another boondoggle to give access to our landlocked new park, which has no parking of its own and now can only be egressed through Larco's parking lot?
Thirdly, has anyone given any thought to the cost of tearing down a section of the parkade and building an overpass? I would suggest many millions. And in the process, possibly letting the developer off the hook for all or any part of the costs.
Fourthly, with more development Downtown, and more parking needed, where are the approximately 300 vehicles now using the parkade daily going to park? Not on Columbia Street or Front Street. That's why the parkade was built in the first place—to give easy access to the businesses Downtown.
I have walked and driven through the parkade recently and it is, with a little maintenance, in good shape. At present we own it and at this point it is a cash cow for our city's coffers every year. I believe it has served and can continue to serve this city well into the future. And why do we want to spend millions of dollars on a half-baked proposal before we know what Larco is going to do?