There have been quite a few complaints about lack of parking in Wolfville, both by businesses and residents/customers. The issue has been mentioned a number of times at Council meetings; it came up for example with the municipal go ahead and installation of outdoor patios along Main Street and again recently with the installation of the jacuzzis flower pots in the Town Centre project when more spaces were lost. How the mayor could claim increased parking space from this construction is beyond us. One has to wonder why the Town would want to consistently and increasingly reduce parking in Wolfville.
Here is a municipal story which caught our eye which relates to parking, transportation and the degree to which administration thinking can be completely oblivious to the needs and preferences of citizens. The story comes from Seattle but one has to think that Wolfville has a similar blinkered view of how things should be. In brief Seattle spent a couple of billion dollars on a light rail transit system and purposefully didn’t provide parking at the stations . On the contrary they REDUCED parking around the stations by restricting even exisiting on street parking and adding hefty fines for violations. Letters to the editor of the Seatle paper tell some of the story.
Seattle Department of Transportation spokesman Rick Sheridan’s quote in The Seattle Times [“Would-be rail riders bemoan lack of parking,” page one, July 16] is astonishing! He said, “Light rail was meant to be fed by people taking the bus, walking or biking. It was not mean to be fed by cars.”
His arrogance has blinded him; light rail is meant to serve the public. It could also serve to reduce freeway congestion. Why on Earth were there not provisions for station parking as part of the plan …
Sheridan and other Seattle official’s cars-are-evil mentality will surely inconvenience the citizens who are paying for the system and may doom it to minimal use.
My wife and I would use the service, but the station is more than two miles from our home, too far to walk on a rainy evening.
Let alone an icy evening. Could there be a “cars are evil” attitude at work here in Wolfville?
Here’s another letter writer who suggests there is “green thinking” behind it all.
What, no parking?
Sound Transit is unbelievable. It will soon open a 14-mile railroad costing $2.3 billion dollars, about the cost of the more than 50 miles originally sold to taxpayers.
The one thing Sound Transit doesn’t offer is parking for people who, because of distance or other concerns, must drive to their stations. For this the city can thank the greenies, including Mayor Greg Nickels, the most self-righteous greenie of them all, to whom cars are anathema.
The comments added online in response to these letters seem to confirm the feeling that environmental ideology is at work, with a preference for high density, high cost condo living thrown in, which reminds us of the efforts here to eliminate the R1 zone. Emphases ours.
I’d rather be triple damned in hell before I’d move back to Seattle with no privacy in over priced housing and live near a light rail station that can’t take me anywhere that I’d ever care to go. …
The density will increase near the Link stations. Those folks win. Housing prices will rise near the stations because of the convenience of not needing a car to get to work. Transit doesn’t get everyone out of their cars instantly, the city will evolve and those that evolve with it win. Those who insist on low density pay the price. …
A year from now you will not notice “any” improvement in the commute traffic in the south end. And the few people taking ST in the south will be paying for tickets that represent 1/10th of the actual cost to transport them. The tax payer (in cars) are paying for the rest, and will continue to pay forever. …
I am sick of the waste of our taxpayer money without any input on what we want. This thing about no parking around stations is just plain stupid…
A 100 thousand drivers and I will be driving by light rail as usual thinking it was a big waste of money because provisions were not made to include us in the system, with adequate park and ride parking. Driving to park and ride lots that services express trains into town is a marketable solution, selling everyone an apartment or condo next to a station is not a practical solutions at all. ..
You get the picture. Our point is that this anti-car, high density attitude, and “what residents wants be damned”, is a way of thinking which Wolfville has adopted as if we were an urban centre. It doesn’t even make sense in Seattle let alone a small town like Wolfville. At least to our way of thinking.
What do you think? Has there been, in truth, a reduction of parking in Wolfville and what impact does it have?