The other morning around 10:00 am I had reason to be on Water Street at the corner of Water and Princess. As it turned out a young lady was also on the street. She turned to me and said;” You know in any other city in Canada with a waterfront the street would be filled with stores and alive with people. She was right, I have been to many of those cities, so what is wrong with Saint John? Had I become so accustomed to a lack of activity and commerce on the street that it was starting to feel “normal”?
We know that we have spent tens of millions on one kick ass Police Headquarters, Parking Garage and a Bus Garage that Toronto would envy…. but what are our fearless leaders doing about economic development?
I took the time to do a short video of the street. Suite Serendipity located at 44 Water Street has given up, she loved the spot but her clients got tired of the almost invisible parking police that seem to materialize just as parking meter reached zero minutes. She has moved to Parkway Mall where her clients don’t have to worry about having a $25.00 parking ticket added to a $5.00 purchase. Apparently the Famous Barber Shop is moving to another location as well. That will leave one business on the street between King and Princess.
Did you know that in the mid-eighties Bangor removed all the parking meters in the downtown and provided 2 hours free parking because they were concerned about the growing empty store fronts? That 2 hour free parking continues today. The Bangor public parking garage displays a huge first 2 hours free parking banner.
Did you know that according to a survey carried out in Dec. 2015 by Turner Drake “Saint John continues to have the highest overall vacancy rate and lowest overall net rental rate in Atlantic Canada”. for commercial and retail?
Uptown Saint John retail and commercial operations are paying the second highest property taxes of any city in Atlantic Canada so why are making “surviving in business” still more difficult by placing a parking levy and risk of parking fines on their clients?
Do you suppose the City Hall or Common Council will eventually figure out that the Parking Nazis are driving business away? Nah…. My first letter re regressive parking policies was sent to mayor Elsie Wayne in Aug 1989, nothing has changed since then why should we expect a change in the future. Since streets often reflect some attribute I propose to Council we rename it “Slaughter Street” As Sonny says “Ya can’t fix stupid”.
Last one out turn off the lights.