Stephen Rees's blog

Thoughts about the relationships between transport and the urban area it serves

Archive for November 25th, 2006

This nonsense has to stop

with 5 comments

Richmond Review

At the corner of Williams and No 3 are two adjacent shopping areas – Broadmoor and Richlea – with separate ownerships. There is no fence between them, or any signage indicating the boundary. But people who dare to park at one and then shop next door get a $65 parking ticket. The malls defend the practice by saying we have “to protect the parking space for our own shoppers”. Bizarre. If I shop in Safeway, I’m their customer, but as soon as I go to the bank or buy a lottery ticket I am fair game for $65 fine. This is not the first time that this ridiculous situation has happened. City Wide Towing got itself in all sorts of trouble for following shoppers and then towing their cars if they left the lot to shop next door. Diamond Parking seem to be following in their footsteps.

Never mind the commercial idiocy of chasing people away from a Mall that is already a commercial failure (vacancies in the indoor section of Broadmoor now exceed the space taken up by the few remaining tenants). Forget that the banks in Broadmoor bring people to the adjacent shops at Richlea. Just think about what these idiots think you are supposed to do. Find a spot to park in: do some shopping, then get back in your car, start it up and drive a few metres just so you can continue shopping. Know what that does to emissions? Do you have any sense of civic responsibility?

Richmond expects every shopkeeper to provide his own parking. They accept no civic responsibility except for a few on-street spaces which have pay and display meters. Which is why No 3 Road from Richmond Centre to Bridgeport is a total traffic disaster. Lots of parking lot entrances with tight radius turns and lots of cars driving short distances from lot to lot. Most cities in Britain have municipal parking facilities adjacent to their major shopping areas. It is the only way to keep a vibrant town centre going in the face of megabox stores on the edge of town.

But I am not about to waste my time talking to Richmond civic leaders. I just expect these two mall operators to realise that they sink or swim together. There are many places I can go to shop. Indeed, I regularly drive to do the big grocery shop at Thrifty’s in Tsawassen.

So if you want my business, you had better clean up your act sharpish!

UPDATE

An abbreviated version of this article appeared in the Richmond Review as a letter to the editor (Nov 30)

Written by Stephen Rees

November 25, 2006 at 2:45 pm