I will always support more housing over where we should park our cars. I support the implementation of a free and frequent
transit system throughout Banff. I support being pragmatic and reasonable when considering the budget. Council needs to
consider all decisions with an open mind and look at each decision individually, carefully considering the impact it will have
on our community.
I don’t consider myself liberal or conservative, left wing or right wing. I consider myself to be pragmatic. I will always look at every decision before council through the prism of one question…what is in the best interest of all 8000 residents in Banff. Not one resident, or one neighborhood or one constituency. But whats in the best interest of the community as a whole.
I support paid parking with one condition. That 100% of the revenue generated from paid parking goes toward transit and other congestion and traffic related initiatives. Any revenues generated from paid parking does not go into general revenue for other town functions.
I believe it is wrong and counter intuitive that we allow visitors and residents to come downtown and park for free but ask them to pay a fare to take transit. Increasing transit ridership is the best and most effective way of dealing with our congestion and parking issues and the best way to do that is by eliminating fares and increasing schedule frequency.
This past council term I brought forward a motion to develop a residential parking pass program which would be implemented with a paid parking program allowing our residents the exclusive opportunity to park on their streets in close proximity to downtown. I think this is important to ensure our residents maintain the right to park on their own street should paid parking push vehicles outside of the downtown area into the residential neighborhoods.
On the issue of housing, I think it is imperative for the municipality to work with the private sector to create incentives to develop more housing options in our community. We will never achieve an appropriate balance until we get our residential vacancy rate to around 3-5%. Currently it is at 0%. If the private sector is not building rental units, I believe it is wholly appropriate for the municipality to build its own rental developments as long as the developments are revenue neutral and do not impact the taxpayers of Banff.