Monday, July 12, 2010

Pedi-ville Junction

I assume from the play Saskatoon is getting on CBC this morning regarding the downtown parking issue that we have reached a juncture on the direction downtown will go. We have spent tens of millions of dollars to revitalize downtown and make it a people place. It is actually looking pretty good. The next decision will determine whether or not downtown will survive.

Although it is great to point at other metropolitan centres, we have to consider our weather and demographics. If downtown parking becomes more difficult to attain, shoppers will leave and businesses will eventually close. Many businesses rely on the Christmas season to survive - it is then that they make margins essential to survival. No one is going Christmas shopping downtown and struggling to carry parcels home on a bus. When it is 30 below and the wind is whistling, no one is standing outside to wait for a bus. Past experience with the downtown bus terminal has left the public with a poor image and concerns for safety at a terminal. The bus service is still poor.

When the city tried a free bus shuttle in the downtown core to aid downtown residents to access essential services and shoppers to park on the periphery and ride into the core, it was not used. Increasingparking restrictions downtown will encourage shoppers to migrate to the malls with acres of free parking.

Pedestrians and bike pedlers are not the only users of downtown.

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