First line of offence


Re: A matter of respect, July 23 letters.


Re: A matter of respect, July 23 letters.

You published a letter to the editor in which, the author laments the lack of respect shown by the motoring public along Marine Drive.

If my recent experience is any indication, I would say that White Rock has indeed reached a tipping point with motorists.

Parking along Marine Drive is an obvious problem for White Rock and the businesses along the promenade on any summer day. No doubt the problem is magnified on weekends and when the area hosts special events calling for the engagement of private parking lot attendants.

There is a palpable level of frustration with the cars and the overcrowding, but does that excuse those on the front lines for common courtesy?

I attended with my family the West Coasters Daze car show on Aug. 4 at the Semiahmoo Park. A beautiful day and a great event were marred by a 20-something parking lot attendant, sitting in his yellow vest on a temporary barricade at the second of two entrances to a horseshoe-shaped parking lot.

I had just passed the first entrance to the lot when I saw the barricade there being moved to permit two cars to leave. Thinking they could now be a parking spot, I dared to ask the attendant at the second entrance if I could not enter the lot.

At least I tried to ask. The attendant interrupted me mid-sentence by barking, “The lot is full.”

Perhaps he did not see the two cars departing at the other access point. I motioned to them and I tried to ask, “Could I take one of their spots?” He interrupted, in a louder voice: “The lot is full. Can’t you read?”

He was referring, I presume, to a piece of white paper on which the word “full” was written that was taped to the end of his barricade.

“Yes,” I said, “But there are two cars leaving.” I am tempted to describe his response, although for one to offer a response, one must first hear what one is responding to.

Rude, belligerent and demeaning. What a welcoming combination!

Has the saturation point been reached? Has the objective shifted from welcoming people to dissuading them from coming? Do businesses along the promenade really want the first interaction with visitors to come from a parking lot bully?

Civility is surely not that hard to muster, even in the heat of summer, unless White Rock has tacitly determined it really does not want visitors.

S. Dawson, Vancouver



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