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Archive for August 14th, 2007

Councillor eyes space under Canada Line

with 2 comments

Richmond News

But organizer worries parking and servicing limits possibilities

Nelson Bennett, Richmond News

Published: Tuesday, August 14, 2007

A few days ago, as he contemplated the Richmond Night Market’s desperate attempts to find a new home, Coun. Bill McNulty had a minor epiphany.

Put it under the Canada Line, he thought.

After all, the elevated guideway for the new rapid transit system will create dead space that the city wants filled up anyway.

The biggest challenge, though, is parking.

“We get about 8,000 cars to an event every night,” Cheung said. As far as he is aware, there is nothing within the Canada Line corridor to accommodate that many cars.

So here is an idea. Don’t provide any parking at all. Let’s try a car free night market. Maybe work with Translink to get some more buses running until the Canada Line opens, but once there is rapid transit overhead, parking will not be needed. Richmond’s city centre needs to become a more pedestrian oriented environment and this could be the stimulus to change. It fits in well with a new rapid transit line and lot of new residents moving in to new condominium towers sprouting up around it.

Or work with the other retailers on a really stunningly original idea. Stop treating parking as your own space but rather as a public facility. Realise that city centres work best as interdependent places. Oddly enough there is a precedent in Richmond for this. At one time Richmond Centre worked with Lansdowne to uitlize their parking to relieve congestion at Christmas time, and ran a (free) shuttle bus between the two centres. Lansdowne had spare parking capacity then, even at the peak of the season. It should be possible to leave your car in a secure public parking lot or structure, and walk  to several different destinations in one trip. Somehow nearly every other city on the face of the planet has worked this one out. Richmond is the only place I know where it is transparently obvious why the city is not working as others do, yet no-one seems likely to actually do anything constructive about it. Only the towing guys will suffer.

Written by Stephen Rees

August 14, 2007 at 8:42 pm