An open letter to White Rock council.
Regarding the new $175 non-resident parking passes, I’m truly delighted White Rock is finally offering non-residents the opportunity to purchase parking passes.
But, I’m a little mystified by the price point.
I understood from the article in Peace Arch News (City sells 4 passes in first week, Nov. 13) that your goal was to replace the loss of income from parking meters due to a reduction in price and change of seasonal pricing over the summer months.
While financial objectives are great, we always want to be fiscally responsible. But don’t we also want to encourage shoppers to the Marine Drive strip year-round and give tourists visiting our beautiful seaside city a wonderful experience? May I suggest a different approach that will meet both objectives?
Why not sell resident and non-resident parking passes for $55 a year to everyone – including tourists.
I would further recommend parking passes be reduced at the six-month mark. Say, $35 after July 1. That way you get the maximum involvement of the tourist season.
Let’s compare the math. White Rock council is hoping to sell 250 passes at $175 for a total of $43,750. At $55, how many people do you think will purchase a pass? To be on the safe side, I’ll suggest a modest number of 1,000, which at $55 is $55,000 – well above what council is hoping to raise with the $175 price point.
What are the advantages of a lower price point and open parking-pass policy? Our neighbours in South Surrey and elsewhere will feel they are being treated fairly and equitably. Tourists will appreciate being able to park for a lesser amount while they visit our beautiful city. They will have more money to spend in the Marine Drive stores because they won’t be spending it on parking. They will also spend more time shopping and dining because they won’t be worrying about spending astronomical amounts of money on parking.
Parking passes make for great marketing. Tourists will tell their friends about the great City of White Rock that offers parking passes to its tourists. Marine Drive businesses will see more traffic and sales.
The City of White Rock will surpass its budget expectations.
Christine Bennet-Clark, White Rock