LETTERS: Street parking is not ‘a free benefit’ for homeowners

Re: The recent article “What’s ‘free parking’ really worth in Victoria.’

The writer of this piece seems to believe that on-street parking for taxpaying homeowners is problematic, and yet on-street bike lanes that are not paid for by those that use them are not.

On-street parking for residents is part of a social contract that goes back decades between taxpaying homeowners and the municipality as these taxes go towards the building and maintenance of the streets. Cyclists do not directly contribute to the cost of bike lanes; in fact bike lanes are mostly paid for by those that do not use them.

By using his own calculations ($128.39 per square foot = $1,382 per square metre), each kilometre of two-metre-wide bike lane has an area of 2,000 square metres with a value of $2,764,000. I think that qualifies as a “heavily subsidized use of public space.”

I’m not opposed to bike lanes at all, but please don’t imply that on-street parking is a free benefit to homeowners; that’s just not true.

John McLaren

Victoria

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