The City of White Rock’s July 24 Land Use and Planning Committee meeting was another classic.
Finally, the city’s chief administration officer produced some numbers for the waterfront-parkade project after the planning and development services director pressed for a five-level option adding 205 stalls to the present capacity.
The CAO presentation centered around the need of “the economic well-being of businesses on the waterfront dependent on tourism activities during the summer.”
None of the council members questioned this statement. Don’t they know that Canada thrives under the free economic market system?
Since when are taxpayers being asked to subsidize restaurants? Obviously, only in White Rock.
If a restaurateur opens up, he or she is on their own; they either make it or go under.
One councillor stated that residents could not find a parking space on B.C.’s Family Day. Have these poor people heard of a taxi service?
Missing from the CAO’s spreadsheets is one important number: legal capacity of restaurants along Marine Drive. I have asked for them since the first week of July.
At present, city-operated parking spaces total 869. Assuming only two people per car to go out for lunch or dinner equals 1,738. Add additional suggested net 200 spaces with the parkade, and you have 2,138.
Of course, there is the beach. City officials and all members of the various committees have no doubt studied the average number of visitors during three summer months. Some 65 per cent have young children interested only in the water – when they can get to it, since we do have a tide here.
The CAO’s suggestion that White Rock should be a holiday mecca for the ever-increasing population of Metro Vancouver does not mean that we have to fork out more money to accommodate more cars.
If the city keeps on building highrises, we won’t be able to see the sun on the streets much longer, as is the case in certain areas of Vancouver.
Wolfgang Schmitz, White Rock
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I’m very disappointed to see the White Rock Coalition and mayor determined to put up a parkade on Vidal Street for beach traffic.
It appears that they have not explored other options such as a gondola, tramway or frequent trolleys, or…?
One possible site for a gondola could perhaps be at the Landmark development on Martin/Foster. The gondola could run down Martin Street to the pier.
Since there will be a shopping centre in this development, perhaps there could be additional parking for the gondola station. This could be funded through a public/private partnership.
Another possible site could be from Centennial Park down the Duprez Ravine to West Beach.
The ravine would also be a good place for a zipline.
As the future trend is away from cars, a parkade could be a white elephant eventually.
So many beautiful towns worldwide discourage or ban cars from their seaside beaches. Who knows, we all may be going up and down the hill on drones!
Eve Weimer, White Rock