When the TPA says public parking is “critical for economic development” and the Board of Trade says “it’s not in the public interest for the city to use municipal funds to create more parking” you can almost hear the crunch of old school TPA thinking hitting today’s reality.
Somewhere in the hallowed marble halls of the TPA is the carved inscription worshipped by all who serve the needs of cars “expanding parking is necessary to meet the needs of new local businesses”. No one ever needs to provide data to support this religion. God drives, that’s all you need to know.
The city is short of cash and is shuffling through the sofa cushions for spare change. Toronto’s vehicle traffic jams is costing business way too much money. The Toronto Board of Trade has released a report with the position that investment in transit is seen as the solution and the TPA is seen as some easy spare change to help. The supposed economic benefit of using public money to fund the development of parking lots pales relative to the economic benefit of transit.
The razor question to watch now is whether the supposed business minded Tory accepts and acts on the Board of Trade’s recommendation or does he give in to the councillors of outer
Mongolia Toronto who are his supporters?
When Council endorsed a new best practice realty model that consolidates all property ownership and management under a single city-owned entity it also asked staff to consider a Toronto Parking Authority request to be effectively exempted from these changes. The Board of Trade says “On its merits, this request should have been rejected out of hand.”
Poor Lorne Persiko, president of the TPA. What he considered his unshakeable base of business support has broken into his marble halls and spray painted on the TPA’s credo – “you are in the way of progress”.