On the cover of yesterday’s Metro, a neighbour of ours spoke out on how the downtown parking policies favour non-residents and make living downtown a more difficult choice for those who also have a vehicle. Even our city councillor spoke favourably of non-resident based parking policies because of the SHED plans for Donald Street development. While we encourage businesses – including sports, hospitality, and entertainment – to invest in our community, we cannot let city planners and policy makers continue to assume these developments are only for bringing people into downtown at night.
The Donald area where our neighbour Rex Masesar lives is within spitting distance of three surface parking lots. Investing in SHED development should include investing in multi-level parkades, particularly expanding below ground to leave more space on foot level for greenery and esthetic appeal. Good planning goes beyond the evening hours on days when a major event is held at MTS Centre, and harmonizes the needs of residents and visitors in our community.
The Downtown Community Residents Association cannot effect these changes ourselves, but if we establish a formally recognized voice for our community our needs and interests will gain the weight they deserve in commercial plans in Downtown Winnipeg. Parking was a concern of multiple people at our November community meeting, and with changes like this there is clearly a need to voice that concern of our residents to make our community a thriving place to live.
Come to our Annual General Meeting in the new year (date to be announced soon) to help formally enact our organization and start getting our voice heard. We need recognition, a driving body, and spokespeople to get our word in on the changes in our community. We encourage all of our neighbours to be a part of this change, big or small.