Yorkton really showed strong support for two excellent community events on Saturday night: Close to 2000 watched the SJHL Terriers complete a weekend sweep of the Melville Millionaires, while another 700 or so congregated in the Flexi-Hall for Snow-A-Rama. The Gallagher Centre is a great venue and can, easily, accommodate a big crowd like that.
The problem is that the citizens of Yorkton haven’t a foggy clue how to attend these things. The parking display Saturday night was nothing short of embarrassing. There are a lot of people at fault, including Gallagher Centre management but I don’t hold them nearly as accountable as the rest of us that are all old enough and, apparently, qualified enough to drive a motorized vehicle. I’ve written in this space a few times over the years about how ridiculous it is that folks feel they need to park as close to the building as possible no matter what. But, Saturday takes the cake.
When I arrived shortly after seven o’clock, what I witnessed was nothing short of appalling. There were pylons set out with reflectors on them (I assume for the snowmobilers that took part in Snow-A-Rama, but I don’t know that for sure). These pylons were driven over without regard so people could get a few extra steps closer to the building. After I parked and got out, I noticed a huge struggle for traffic trying to find a spot because some people decided they’d use up extra spaces at the end of a row to make the driving lane (it should be large enough for one lane of traffic going each way) barely passable for one vehicle let alone two going opposite directions. Vehicles were not parked two deep in an orderly fashion. Some were three deep. Some rows just, mysteriously, stopped and a new row would begin totally out of line with the previous one. Then there were other vehicles parked sideways, yes totally perpendicular to the rest of the vehicles simply because there appeared to be enough room up against the snowbank to squeeze in and save precious steps when walking to the doors to go inside the facility. Afterwards, it was mentioned to me that staff parking on the west side of the building was blocked and so too were the fire lanes. What is wrong with you people?
Over the last day or so, I’ve been criticized for focusing on the negative and that I should ignore this parking fiasco and instead be happy we have upwards of 2500 people at the Gallagher Centre in one night. Fine. Noted. But if we can’t learn to park, people aren’t going to come. They are going to take one look at that mess and think, “I don’t want to watch the Terriers that bad tonight.” We also have a very large segment of the population that likes to think, “Well, if it’s not laid out in black and white, it must not be against the rules; so even though this makes no sense whatsoever and I’m doing something that is, blatantly, rude; I am going to do it anyway because there are no signs or markings that tell me this is wrong.” You are the people I am most upset with. God gave you more than a two cent head. Use it. When you turn onto the main lot there is a common area (an invisible double lane if you will) that is used by vehicles to navigate where they should go. This must remain clear of traffic. You don’t need markers to know where it is. If I took 100 random people outside, there is a good chance all 100 would agree with me on who should and who shouldn’t get parking tickets (provided an offender wasn’t in that group of 100). This is not rocket science. Another excuse I heard from someone is that it’s dark and not well lit, so it’s confusing where to park. Use your friggin’ headlights and follow the pattern. Stop at the end of the lane and eyeball it so that there is, at least, one lane of traffic going each way. If you don’t guess very well, err on the side of caution.
Unfortunately, nobody is going to listen to me. It’s been proven. Lots of people come up and agree with me but nothing is ever done to change it. The only solution is this: put some markers up and get somebody outside who can write tickets. Believe me. All it would take is one weekend of overtime and the problem would be solved and the bylaw officer can go back to regular shifts. You would make more than enough money in that weekend to cover the cost of signage and overtime. Imagine the stories you would be reading today had there been a fire Saturday night and nobody could move because of the gridlock caused by this mess? The other thing you can do is move that bloody snowbank back towards the far end of the lot. Obviously, nobody parks there. It would free up a dozen spaces or more.
No nice person mentions this week. I’m cranky about not being able to write a story about sports in the Olympics where judges get to determine the winners and losers. Maybe next week.