My Christmas gift to the Navy

An open letter to Capt. Angus Topshee, Commander of CFB Halifax:

Capt. Topshee,

I heard on the radio this morning that you have a parking problem at CFB Halifax with 7,000 employees looking to park on the base and only 3,500 spots. (See link for CBC story.)

As a public service to you, and as a concerned taxpayer and citizen of this country, I would like to help you. I also pride myself in providing common sense solutions to problems and, since it is the Christmas season, I am providing this advice to you free of charge so that you won’t have to spend any money on consultants. They can be quite costly and consultants usually just end up using a bunch of buzzwords in a report that gathers dust on a shelf.

So, without further ado, here are some suggestions to solve the parking problem at CFB Halifax. I realize that not all employees work the same shift, but there are enough of them that work similar hours that some, or all, of the following suggestions will work.

  1. Buy some lots at three locations in the city (Halifax, Dartmouth, Bedford/Sackville) or use existing DND property to create park-and-ride lots. Provide buses from these lots to CFB Halifax. Commissionaires could supervise these lots to ensure that vehicles and their contents would be safe during the work day. A survey of employees and getting their postal codes would help identify the best places to build these lots.
  2. Explore the possibility of similar lots in waterfront areas and consider using water taxis or ferries to bring navy personnel to work.
  3. Set up a system whereby employees who live near each other can carpool. Create a bulletin board or message board — online or offline — to help people find a ride.

Doing this would alleviate the parking problem and reduce traffic congestion on the peninsula and on the bridges.

I hope you find these suggestions helpful and wish you all the best in finding a fair, economical, and sensible solution to your parking problem.

Kind regards,

Ryan Van Horne

Department of Common Sense

4 comments on “My Christmas gift to the Navy

  1. Bill says:

    It’s a touchy subject, as public funds aren’t supposed to be used to provide free parking for government employees.

    • Bill, I think the solution to that requirement and still using my suggestion would be to make all pay for parking, but provide a big discount for those who use park and ride — even require those who drive all the way to CFB Halifax to subsidize it.

      Another option to alleviate need for parking is expand locker rooms and showers to encourage more active transportation. When I worked downtown, I rode my bike in spring, summer and fall and jogged during the winter.

  2. Bill says:

    You must work for the Department of Common Sense..

    That seems like a great solution. Getting DND to make it happen is likely another kettle of fish altogether. I work for the feds and believe it or not it is official formal policy that employees are not authorized to travel by bicycle for government business, even to go between downtown offices. They will pay for a cab but like skateboards and roller blades, biking is “too dangerous”, These people are actually running things and spending huge sums of your tax dollar. *shakes head*

    • I believe you, Bill. I used to work for CBC (briefly) and the provincial government. Does the policy govern how employees commute to and from work though? I wasn’t aware that it did.

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