I apologize if this blog will sound purely negative, but sometimes it baffles the mind the way the city operates. For decades, they have pumped hundreds of millions of dollars, in order to attract people to the downtown core. We built Portage Place Mall, the MTS Centre, the Manitoba Hydro building, and much much more. All in an effort to lure people back to downtown.
Then the Winnipeg Parking Authority decides that the people who have returned to the City Centre need to pay more to park downtown. This is counter-productive to what the city has been trying to do for decades. Of course mayor Sam Katz, and most of City Council think it's a great idea (no surprise there). It almost boggles the mind. Just take a look at what Downtown Biz head Stefano Grande had to say in today's edition of the Winnipeg Free Press about the fee increase.
If the City of Winnipeg really wanted to increase parking revenue, why not install metres along the Osborne Village, Corydon Avenue and Little Italy? I'm sure it would not deter people from packing the area, especially in summer. Of course, that is where the people in Winnipeg with money like to spend their time. Of course, Katz would not dare try and make the citizens of Winnipeg that are the most well off financially, spend a few extra dollars while they dine in their favorite Italian restaurant. And as we all know, Katz would never step on the toes of those who got him elected in the first place.
So leave it to the bureaucracy of Winnipeg to ruin any momentum downtown Winnipeg has, just to milk a few thousand dollars from the people they have been trying to entice to return to shop, visit, and live in the core area. Then again, with the mayor's handling of the Bus Rapid Transit corridor, should I really be all that surprised?