Letter: Ticketing tourists in poor taste

Ticketing tourists in poor taste

Penticton Western News letters to the editor.

Penticton Western News letters to the editor.

Ticketing tourists in poor taste

Issuing parking tickets to visitors (or residents) of this fair city who have come to spend time and money by either attending or participating in an event the size of the Peach City Beach Cruise is absolutely deplorable and in poor taste.

Further to this, it simply does not make good business sense.

Ticketing event (or community) attendees whether local or tourists simply sends the message that the City of Penticton is not open for business and please don’t bother attending anything in the downtown area. The Peach City Beach Cruise, the Elvis Festival and the Farmers’ Market and Craft Fair are great events that attract tourists and locals who spend money and socialize in the downtown area. The spin off business and financial gain throughout the city is felt by hotels, motels, restaurants, small shops and the malls and many other businesses for many months. Sadly, what some people will take away (from this past weekend) is a feeling that the City of Penticton rolled up the welcome mat and slapped them in the face with it.

I had the pleasure of attending the events this weekend and they were fantastic, many cars, great entertainment and fantastic food helped set the tone for a fun-filled and memorable weekend. Unfortunately, and accompanied by a bit of irony, as I walked out of the downtown area (Saturday) past the city sponsored information table designed for the public to express their opinion on the parking situation in the area, I was very surprised and disappointed to see the number of parking tickets that were issued to vehicles parked on Winnipeg Street and the surrounding area in the 100 block.

While there are meters in the area and they are clearly marked (in effect from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday to Saturday (Sundays and stat holidays are free), my question is why do we pay on weekends? If a city event is scheduled to occupy the free parking spaces on Main Street, why not replace it with free parking on another street?

In fact, someone needs to show the public the financial numbers that support the idea of paid parking on weekends in this city; what does the city take in from meters and violation tickets, versus what it pays out in staff wages and lost revenue from people who just won’t go to the downtown area, or even worse, won’t come back.

Perhaps it’s time the city reviewed some of its seemingly non-friendly practices.

Kevin Andrews


Penticton Western News