Recently, I’ve been trying to ignore the parking (and driving) issues at Lansdowne. There are always people parked where they’re “not allowed” to be. There are regularly people driving in pedestrian-only areas. There are often people speeding through and cutting off pedestrians. Hell, over the long weekend, someone drove over a garden in order to bypass the bollards protecting a pedestrian area.
I mean, I always notice it–it’s impossible to completely ignore it–but I try not to take note of it.
Tonight was a little different, though.
After a long weekend where much of the public space was cut off from the public (much of it for parking) and where cars just generally ruled, I was hoping things would be a little bit better. But, no. It was actually quite worse. Here are some pictures I took:
People have been pointing out the issue to both the city and OSEG ever since the park opened. People will park anywhere and neither the city nor OSEG is willing to do anything about it. Once, they issued $0 parking tickets.
(Some people may counter that OSEG regularly enforces parking. This is true…to an extent. They’ll enforce parking for the metered spots. They don’t enforce parking in public, no-parking areas.)
These particular infractions seem to be an annual event. The Citizen’s David Reevely covered the situation when it happened last year:
Cars were everywhere. Dozens of them parked in the little circle off Queen Elizabeth Drive that leads to Lansdowne’s huge underground garage, under no-stopping signs. Dozens more crammed the South Court, the area with gardens and benches between the historic pavilion and the big lawn. Drivers sat around waiting for their bosses, chatting. Many of them smoked under the no-smoking signs that cover the urban park.
What’s clear is that the city doesn’t care, and it never really did. Lansdowne Park is a shiny bauble that can be used to pretend that City Hall did something positive for livability in this city, but when it comes right down to it, it will always be a large grey parking lot, first and foremost.
But hey, at least it’s better than what was there before.