Should the City of Port Moody install parking meters at the recreation complex and Rocky Point Park? If ever there was a suggestion guaranteed to upset residents, this might be it.
But anyone who's tried to find a spot at the park on a Saturday in the summer - or circled the lot at the rec centre after work - knows something has to be done at both these locations to make them accessible to those who need them.
While the issue is in the preliminary stages at City Hall - staff need time to research it and council hasn't formally discussed or voted on it - some council members are already speaking out.
They agree that if it does go ahead, it won't be a "cash cow" for the city. Rather, the money would be funnelled back into programs and services that benefit residents.
So far, so good.
But the idea of paying to park at a city-run recreation centre is a little disturbing. Aren't these buildings like libraries and schools, provided for public use by our tax dollars? Many of us like to support our local rec centre (and, by extension, our community) by taking programs and fitness classes there, and we already pay fees for that.
The idea of paying to visit a park is also a little disconcerting. But many parks in busy areas of the Lower Mainland, like Jericho Beach in Vancouver, do charge nominal amounts for parking during the busier months. Those who don't want to pay have the option (if they can find a spot) of parking on a nearby residential street and walking to the park.
When it comes to Port Moody, we like an option discussed by Mayor Mike Clay: that drivers get a few hours of free parking at Rocky Point before meters kick in. After all, the last thing we want to see is people skipping a trip to the park to save a few bucks.