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Business owners will be asked to voice opinions to improve downtown parking
Any suggestions that angle parking is going to be replaced by parallel parking outside downtown Osoyoos businesses simply isn’t going to happen, says the town’s director of planning and development.
However, local business owners will have the opportunity over the next couple of weeks to voice their opinions on exactly what they would like to see happen to improve the parking situation in and around downtown Osoyoos, says Alain Cunningham.
“We want to hear what people have to say and then we will go to work on preparing a final report with some of the best suggestions for members of council,” said Cunningham. “This is an opportunity for downtown business owners to speak out about what they feel could be some solutions to improving parking in the downtown core.”
Town planner Steve Shannon will be handing out a questionnaire and speaking personally to as many downtown business owners as possible before the end of the month on the issue of trying to improve parking in the downtown core, said Cunningham.
“We have a very old zoning bylaw in place and we (staff) believe there’s a real need to strengthen our parking legislation,” said Cunningham.
The downtown parking survey process will clearly ask merchants and business owners what they feel should be done to ensure customer’s get the prime parking spaces and perhaps look at new locations downtown to offer more parking, said Cunningham.
“Downtown merchants are the major stakeholders in this process and we basically want to talk to all of them and see what they have to say before we prepare a final report for council,” he said. “Council will hopefully have a very clear picture of what the merchants in the downtown core believe are the problems with parking and hopefully provide a nice list of possible solutions to try and improve things through a new bylaw.”
Because the month of August is extremely busy for most business owner’s downtown, Shannon will try and work his schedule so that he can meet with them at their own leisure, he said.
There have been suggestions that the vast amount of angle parking now available in the downtown core might be replaced with parallel parking, but that’s not going to happen, said Cunningham.
Another downtown business survey conducted several months ago made it very clear that downtown business owners are overwhelmingly against any proposal to consider removing angle parking and replacing it with parallel parking, he said.
“I just don’t see that happening,” he said. “This other survey we did last year made it very clear that virtually none of them were in favour of introducing parallel parking.”