Plans could make Penticton next Detroit

Fun police have taken the life out of the city and driven away tourists

As a resident of Penticton since 1976 I applaud the words of Penticton councillor John Vassilaki quoted in the Penticton Herald, July 24, 2013.

“The city was alive. The downtown was vibrant as any street in a large community,” said Vassilaki.

I agree and remember well those happy days of old. No parking meters or ticket  dispensers. No traffic congestion.

I remember launching my 17-foot ski boat, first to learn then teach youngsters waterskiing on Okanagan and Skaha lakes and having no hassles as to where to park my boat trailer.

I remember visiting my parishioners in the hospital, even taking some to emergency without worrying about a parking ticket on my windshield. I remember my wife taking me to emergency at the onset of my heart attack without worries about parking.

Yes, the city, downtown, lakeshore, hospital, Main Street to the humblest back street was alive, vibrant, and friendly.

The city was growing. So what happened during the passing of the years?

Revitalization projects that set us back?

Imposed upon us more and more restrictions?

Fines?

Fixing that which works well?

Change for the sake of change not necessarily for improvement?

Unnecessary expenses?

If the ticket dispenser for the boat-trailer parking will cost $10,000, how much did all the parking meters cost?

In my vision of a revitalized, vibrant not just downtown but the city as a whole, those annoying installations do not exist.

The one-way traffic pattern on Main and Martin works fine. To improve it we might want to follow the example of Wenatchee, Wash., where in a similar situation the traffic lights are synchronized.

Traveling at the posted speed limit one drives through town without having to stop for a single red light.

For revitalization let’s look to vibrant places like the Las Vegas strip, cities in Hawaii, the tourist attractions in Florida.

They all offer plenty of free parking.

Even Tacoma, Wash., has a large parking garage just outside city center and an electric tram that takes people downtown.

Both are free. The merchants in those centres prosper.

So can we!

Let’s not follow the example of Detroit.

Harry G. Kapeikis

Penticton