Penticton residents have been given a new round of Christmas gifts from the city.
The gifts are currently wrapped in yellow plastic bags and will not be opened until after the New Year. Drive down the 100 block of Martin or Winnipeg and view your latest gift from the mayor and council, more parking meters, installed without your knowledge or input.
More metered parking means more residential parking problems elsewhere as beach goers will walk a few extra blocks to avoid paying for parking.
Since most of the beach and sidewalk adjacent to the Peach is rented to tent vendors during the tourist season, it will be interesting to see where they will park next summer after unloading and setting up. Perhaps they will continue to park wherever they want, for as long as they want as was the case last summer, or they continue to abuse the residential parking permit program on Churchill Street by somehow wrangling residential parking permits. Both situations existed last summer and were largely ignored by bylaw officials. In fact, one vendor in particular had two residential parking permits. One permit on the truck and trailer that was parked overnight on Winnipeg Street and the other permit on a smaller, more fuel efficient vehicle driven from a neighbouring town where the vendors reside.
At any rate, the competition for free parking spaces will continue to grow and become more complicated as time passes.
Winnipeg Street, narrow and largely without sidewalks, is fast becoming a single lane street. As more smaller, older houses on large lots are demolished and replaced by four-plexes the City will have to change the street to single-lane one-way traffic, allow parking only on one side of the street or continue to ignore residential parking problems created by densification and metered parking.
C. Otto Knaak