Pay-and-display parking not senior friendly

I see that the municipality has decided to “favour” Picton – and the more mobile individuals here – by installing periodically placed, pay- for-parking machines. Clearly council thinks everyone here is highly mobile, able to leap snowbanks and walk easily to occasionally placed machines in minus-20 C weather (if it is anything like today, anyway) to purchase tickets – then back to their vehicle to put them in the proper “display” spot.

I don’t mind paying taxes. I don’t like but accept meters at parking places in some parts of this municipality but not others (e.g., why Picton but not Bloomfield, Wellington, et cetera?). I am learning to work around the apparently increased size and decreased number of parking spaces on the Main Street.

But I cannot deal with the winter trundle to machines, a practice really designed for a young, spry population.

Someone should check Picton’s demographics – the high school has about half the population it once had, public schools are closing, new house building is mostly for retirees from Toronto, etc. The local population is aging.

I just hope someone will warn the “incomers” from Toronto, et cetera., that there is an expiry date on this place – turn 70 or so and be prepared to move on to a place that does favour real “seniors”!

And what is the result of ignoring these shifts? I know a number of people who have reached the conclusion that older people are just not wanted here and have, sadly, moved on.

With respect to the unfolding parking nightmare (doubtless heralded as a technological leap), I more or less thought that with people like Debbie MacDonald Moynes and Community Care for Seniors in place, council would be – more thoughtful – when it came to the needs of older residents. I certainly know she tries to protect seniors but one person can’t do everything.

I believe council should make an effort to appreciate the effects of age on mobility in this kind of decision-making process. And we “aged persons” have to be a lot more thoughtful in our choice of council members in the future. But I believe this community can only prosper by being a much more – um – senior-friendly place than it currently seems bent on becoming.

I simply cannot fathom why the needs of this critical demographic segment are not a municipal priority (and yes, I imagine it is slightly cheaper than individual machines – so increase the fees!) Or let people purchase seasonal parking stickers to display in their windshields. Give the locals a break.

Or even – perhaps as a last resort — ask people what works for them? What do the people want?

Mary Lazier Corbett