People are taking advantage of the free downtown parking: KCBIA

Downtown parking woes

It appears drivers are abusing the free parking being offered in downtown Kamloops.

Parking fees were waived on March 20 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Carl DeSantis, executive director of the Kamloops Central Business Improvement Association (KCBIA), tells Castanet he and his team have found vehicles parked in the same stall for a full day, every day of the week. 

"The consequence of this, of course, is businesses that are remaining open for takeout, for delivery or pickup, they’re suffering because their customers who want to come in, find parking short-term and then move on, they can’t. They legitimately can't find parking," he says.

DeSantis says the KCBIA worked with the city to install temporary loading zone signs at various locations, in hopes of deterring long-term parkers. However, it didn't work, he says.

"Some vehicles were ignoring those signs, parking for long-term all day long, every day."

Meanwhile, the downtown CAP team, on two occasions, distributed more than 130 flyers to vehicles parked on Victoria Street. 

"(They) asked that in the spirit of being a good community neighbour, they not do this, and instead find alternate parking," DeSantis says.

That initiative also didn't work. 

"It's unfortunate, because we genuinely had made an effort to work with the community," he adds. 

DeSantis says he'd like to see paid parking along Victoria Street reinstated, to help with the turnover rate.

He notes he's been in touch with the city about next steps.

Castanet has put a call into the mayor's office and is waiting to hear back.

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