From: Rusty “Scoops” McGraw, thenorthbaybay.ca staff
NORTH BAY — It was a day filled with mixed reactions from North Bay residents as City Council announced parking changes which will grant downtown visitors an hour’s free parking while also revealing a fleet of rapid response drones that have been commissioned to monitor parking violations.
City Council unveiled the fleet of one hundred Terror-600 Rapid Response Drones as part of the new adjustments to the parking by-law.
Dora Fern, member of the DIA spoke with us about the changes.
“Is this the ideal outcome?” asks Fern from her Main St. business. “Perhaps not. But, it is a step in the right direction and we truly believe that this will have a net positive outcome for the businesses and residents of downtown North Bay.”
“Anything that makes it easier to come downtown to shop and eat is welcome news, but…”
Dora leans in close, glancing at the drones waiting just outside her store, and whispers: “…but if I can be frank, the new parking by-law drones scare the shit out of me.”
Mixed Downtown Reactions
North Bayite Garth Golly expressed frustrations with the new system.
“Well on one hand it’s great that I can finally just park downtown for a quick work lunch,” says Golly. “But on the other hand, I came back five minutes late to my car and there was just a smoldering crater where it used to be.”
“That, and a small parking fee slip.”
Zelda Linklater, local retiree, sees the silver living in the parking by-law drones.
“Actually, I love the fact that ‘Flight of the Valkyries’ is constantly blaring out of these drones,” shouts Linklater. “It adds a real sense of ‘class’ to our downtown core that I think has been missing.”
The drone project costing is said to be a large part of the 4.8% budget increase in the city’s upcoming 2020 operating year.
“We listened to the people of North Bay and we did what we believed was right for the tax-payers of the city,” says City Councillor Vic Tikus. “We want to encourage people to come shop downtown. We want them to experience everything it has to offer.”
“However, we also take seriously our commitments to our parking by-laws, which is why if you break the by-law more than three times the drones will find you last known address and fire up their flamethrowers.”
“And I can tell you right now, Terror-600 Drones don’t miss.”