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EDITORIAL: Arena parking plan is off base

Vernon council could create congestion by reducing parking at Kal Tire Place
The City of Vernon is moving ahead with an expansion of Kal Tire Place but parking won’t meet full requirements. (Photo submitted)

One has to wonder how many Vernon council members regularly attend events at Kal Tire Place?

With a pending expansion adding 400 seats to the facility, council voted Monday to reduce the required number of off-street parking spaces at the arena from 917 to 658.

“There’s a lot of onsite parking compared to a lot of other municipalities,” said Mayor Akbal Mund in defence of the plan.

According to the city, Kal Tire Place has 19.4 parking spots per 100 seats, while Kelowna’s Prospera Place has 6.1 spaces per 100 seats.

And while the statistics look great, try to convince someone there’s a lot of parking as they circle the lot for a Vipers game or another event.

Already there is a problem with parking spilling over into adjacent shopping malls, which impacts the businesses there, and the narrow roads of of 43rd Avenue, which creates significant challenges for the arena’s neighbours.

Now in an apparent attempt to control traffic, the city has suggested a shuttle service be launched between Kal Tire Place and off-site areas to reduce vehicle trips. Realistically, though, how many people are going to take advantage of such a program when most of us like to just pull up to the door of our destination?

Obviously space is limited at the Kal Tire Place site because of the expansion, and legal action has sterilized any use of the adjacent Kin Race Track.

However, Vernon council is poised to create a congestion nightmare by amending parking rules that it forces businesses to comply with.

About the Author: Black Press Media Staff

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