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Letter: Making parking the top priority for new arena is a joke, right?

City council should rethink its priorities, says letter writer
City council's focus on parking as a priority for a new arena is ill-advised, says letter writer Neil Shyminsky. (File)

On April 11, city council "approved approved an option that... made parking a top priority." 

Parking? A top priority? This is a joke, right? The leadership of this city thinks that cost, economic impact, and — I can't believe I'm writing this — parking are all equally important.

Not city building, livability, suitability of the building itself, the corollary benefits, accessibility, or operating cost. Not even aesthetics. Parking.

And this, from a city and city council that, presumably, wants to be taken seriously and wants to attract new people. But no, it's imperative that we shave a few minutes off that walk to the front door, even if it means building the arena in Coniston and adding those minutes back with the extra commute.

It would've been nice to see city council at the McEwen school's events centre panel discussion on April 6, where planner Elizabeth De Luisa described what citizens actually look for in a city. 

She summarized a 26-city study that asked people why they chose the city in which they live. The top three responses? Whether their city is beautiful, whether it's inclusive and whether it offers a variety of things to do.

Curiously absent from her list? Any reference to parking.

Neil Shyminsky