Mitchell vexed by lack of downtown parking procedure

Justin
Justin Crann
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Coun. Don Mitchell has cast some light on a problem with the Friendly City's downtown core: a dearth of parking.

Coun. Don Mitchell (standing, centre-right) addresses Matt Noble, Moose Jaw's city manager, regarding parking spaces at Timothy Eaton Centre during Monday's regular council meeting.

Mitchell filed an enquiry to city administration on April 21.

The enquiry was intended to clarify the process through which the city allocates parking spaces specifically near the Timothy Eaton Centre, and came forward through Mitchell from a member of the public, he told city council during its regular meeting on Monday.

Specifically his enquiry asked, "What role do city administrators have to play within the allocation of parking spaces in city owned lots and specifically the lot adjacent or nearby the Timothy Eaton Centre? Do seniors and residents of Timothy Eaton's have any priority in space allocation?"

According to documents prepared by city administration in response, "the city's process for administering who receives a parking stall is on a first come first serve basis once a stall becomes available … parking spots rarely become available and when they do, they are rented immediately."

Mitchell took issue with the response, which he said was unsatisfactory and didn't address his reasons for posing the question.

"I was trying to … ask about the process with which we manage downtown parking, not just in general, but specifically related to residential facilities in which the city itself is a partner," Mitchell explained. "If there's no process in which these lots are posted or advertised … how do (residents) know if they have a chance to move up the line?

"It's driving people there (at Timothy Eaton) crazy, and I'm sliding into the same path," he added.

Matt Noble, Moose Jaw's city manager, responded to Mitchell's comments.

"From a municipal perspective, it's a parking spot that is available and it's no different from any other lot," he said. "We don't maintain a list. How parking spaces are dispensed, again … is first come, first serve."

Mitchell had other concerns to raise following the city manager's response.

"Even if we don't have a formal waiting list, we know that there are some people who are desperately searching for that spot," he said. "If a spot becomes available and someone (else) shows up at the same time to take over that spot … there's no fairness to the process."

But, Noble said, "people know that the residences they are renting or buying don't all come with parking spots.

"Parking spots are separate," he added. "We make no promise, to my understanding, of a parking spot."

You can follow Justin Crann on Twitter.

Organizations: Timothy Eaton Centre, Eaton's, Mitchell's

Geographic location: Moose Jaw

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