I have a Violet story rolling around up there but instead, today, I will rant.
I was driving home from work today and heard an interview with a professor of Urban Studies talking about the shocking revelation that there will not be enough parking at the new football stadium for all the people who will want to drive to Bomber games.
Interesting how this little tidbit of information came out only because the neighbours in the area suddenly barked loud enough about traffic congestion on game nights that the media picked up the story. Of course, the stadium is already under construction, there are no plans to add parking, and it’s too late to change things now. The Urban Studies guy said that the idea is to get people to use public transit instead of bringing their cars.
I can see the concern. People in this city do not take the bus (partly because bus service is terrible). Even if they add in the new transit corridor, and make it as convenient as possible, it will be a long time before people will take the bus.
Now I’m all for getting people to use public transit. The people in this city (flagrant overgeneralization coming here) tend toward excessive use of convenience and image-enhancing vehicles. It will not hurt people to discover that taking a bus occasionally does not automatically make you trailer trash. It might even be amusing to troll the neighbourhoods around the stadium on game night to watch the Commissionaires hand out $50 parking tickets
It does make me wonder, though. Did they suddenly realize that they had only planned for 1/4 of the parking spaces they would need, or did they only just now figure out that there is not enough real estate? Either way, the planners look like idiots. Of course another possibility is that they meant to do it this way, and just figured they would force people to use public transit by removing the option of bringing a car. Somehow, I feel manipulated.
But considering I am not especially in favour of this stadium to begin with (cost, location, percentage of what is essentially entertainment that is being funded by taxpayers when I can’t get approval to go to a conference because of a moratorium on spending), I think they are deluded if they think a) there exists the public transit infrastructure to support the mass movement of 20,000 people in a timely manner, and b) that Winnipeggers will actually use public transit in the first place.
I hope I’m wrong (no, really, I do). If not, though, at least maybe the revenue generated from all those parking tickets will help pay for the stadium. More likely it will just clog up the judicial system with appeals (“Wah! it’s not fair! I didn’t even know I wasn’t supposed to park next to the NO PARKING ANYTIME sign! Wah!”).
Ok, I’m done now. This was really pointless, but fun nonetheless. Maybe I’ll go work on Violet for a bit.