You don’t have to be incredibly savvy on Whistler politics to know that parking costs in the day lots were a major campaign platform for almost all candidates in the recent elections. It is no surprise then that during its first meeting on December 7th, the new council unanimously voted to bring back free parking in Day Lots 4 and 5 by December 21st.
Photo: Joern Rohde
This resolution would also make all the lots free after 5 p.m., continue charging $8 per day in Lots 2 and 3, and $15 year-round in Lot 1. In hopes of changing the parking structure by the heavy traffic holiday season, Mayor Nancy Wilhelm-Morden brought up the free parking discussion just 24 hours after being sworn into office.
“I really want (Day Lots) 2 to 5 free, but it’s a lot to knock off very quickly without thorough examination of the budget.” -Mayor Wilhelm-Morden
The Parking Lot Operations Committee contains two representatives from the city and two from Whistler/Blackcomb, and this is the organization that would stand in the way of further parking overhaul. Already they seem skeptical about free parking in Lots 4 and 5, commenting,
“I’m not sure that we think that’s the best decision but it’s the popular decision to make. It’s where this community wants to go.”
This free parking resolution could eliminate some $300,000 in parking revenues, but it is clear where Whistlerirtes stand here. Nobody wants to pay for parking and that includes UnofficialWhistler too. Here is what UnofficialWhistler had to say in March when free parking in these lots originally ended (No More Free Parking – a must read)