Urban Inconvenience


Nobody wants to park downtown.

First of all, nobody wants to PAY to park downtown. Surface parking lots abound, and in most major buildings there are basement parking levels. Multi-level parkades are also growing in popularity as a more practical alternative the drab and plain pavement that only emphasizes the terribly dull flat land the Canadian Prairies already have. So people do park downtown, usually because their jobs pay them enough to afford monthly parking and they have phobias or allergies of things related to riding the bus. Or they’re just uncomfortable around poor people.

People who don’t work downtown still drive to the area for appointments or evenings out, hockey games or concerts, theatre or school. Many try to come early to steal a spot on the street that they don’t have to pay for past 5:30. Others find it worth the convenience to pay for parking close to wherever they go.

But if they can get around it, nobody wants to park downtown. It’s mostly an unspoken aversion, but I can see through the reluctance for people to accept invitations to my home. It may not be the price they assume they’ll have to pay for entitlement to park, as at certain hours or on certain days that’s not an issue. There are commonly held prejudices against downtown outside of business hours when there isn’t the same size crowd to deter theft and vandalism. It’s not entirely without base. Recently a friend of mine did have her window smashed and laptop stolen within the few minutes she spent in somebody’s apartment. But my defensive response wants to argue that this event didn’t happen in MY part of downtown.

For those who want the comfort and convenience of their cars to extend to the comfort and convenience of where they park them, I can’t force them out of that mindset. All I can say is: I don’t park downtown either. Because I don’t have a car. I’m not suggesting that as a solution to whatever problems they may have with leaving their vehicle unattended in my part of the city, but oh man, am I ever glad I’m never preoccupied with worrying about parking downtown.


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