Council voted to put off making any decisions on parking until the tender for the Columbia-Washington infrastructure project has been approved.
At Monday’s committee of the whole meeting there was debate over whether they should decide now to get rid of the prospect of parallel parking altogether and save themselves the questions about it that will arise when public input begins.
Mayor Greg Granstrom said that it could save them some trouble in the planning phase by designating angled parking to be the design to go with.
“We’re saying angled parking is the designated parking along Columbia,” the mayor clarified.
Coun. Kathy Moore immediately questioned why this motion was being put forward prior to the tender coming back.
“I thought we had decided we were going to have a very wholesome conversation once the tender is out and comes back and we see all that we’re looking at,” Moore said. “I don’t feel comfortable nuking any part of the design just yet.”
Moore mentioned that there will soon be delegations from the public and so council shouldn’t look to preempt what they may have to say.
Coun. Jody Blomme agreed that she’s like to see it as a part of the bigger discussion and not a one-off issue.
Coun. Jill Spearn agreed that it was too early.
“I’m not saying I’m necessarily opposed to the motion, but I’m opposed to where it stands with what we want to talk about more holistically,” Spearn said. “I’m thinking that maybe we still have room for some compromise with some parallel and some angle.”
Blomme was curious to know why the discussion had come up now.
The mayor said that the biggest objection that council has heard is the parallel parking.
“I thought we could allay some of the publics concerns about that by doing this, but if council doesn’t want to that, that’s fine,” he said.
Coun. Cary Fisher said that it could bring some certainty around the issue. “I understand the trepidation that other councillors may have regarding the design,” Fisher said, adding that there have been a lot of public meetings about the issue.
“I feel like some people on council feel like this is being thrust upon council, but there has been a lot of public input sessions and the main concern that I’ve heard is parallel versus angle.”
Fisher suggested that deleting the parallel parking could help with the main source of community angst about the project.
Spearn said she didn’t disagree with what Fisher was saying, but that even so, they shouldn’t rush in on the issue.
“We must be careful that we’re not just listening to the naysayers,” she said.
“Because there were people at those public meetings that said: ‘Let’s do the whole design.”
The committee finally agreed to defer the motion until the tender is back before council.