Vernon council exploring options for largely empty downtown parkade

Downtown Vernon parkade

VERNON - Concerns around safety might be deterring people from using downtown Vernon’s parkade.

The parkade only has about 35 per cent usage, council learned on Monday, Dec. 14, leading Coun. Catherine Lord to question why it's not better used. 

“We need to do something to make it more attractive for people, especially if we are going to be losing some other parking downtown with development,” Lord said.

Protective services manager Clint Kanester said the 1980s structure isn’t well designed for openness or visibility, which could be making people feel unsafe. He noted there have been some updates over the years, including new lighting and paint, but expects bigger changes will be needed.

“It would presumably need something more than that for it to be really attractive for people,” Kanester said. “Everyone likes single level, ground level open parking spaces where they can see what’s going on and they don’t have any corners or any opportunities for someone to be hiding.”

Most new parkades have glass walled staircases and an open concept, Kanester said.

New surveillance cameras going up at the parkade might reduce some concerns, Coun. Juliette Cunningham pointed out, but beyond that said she’s not sure how much more can be done.

Lord wants the city to look at ways of promoting the parkade, as well as other ways the vacant space could be used.

“If we’re only using a third of it, perhaps we could look at something else we can do with it,” Lord said. “It seems like such a waste.”

To contact a reporter for this story, email Charlotte Helston at chelston@infonews.ca or call 250-309-5230. To contact the editor, email mjones@infonews.ca or call 250-718-2724.


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