The Organization for the Commercial Development of Quebec's city center is launching a charm operation in the St-Roch neighborhood, located in the centre-city, by betting on its parking spaces.
The business community of St-Roch usually focuses its advertisements on the elegant and diverse boutiques of the Rue Saint-Joseph.
This time around, they wanted to get rid of a persistent perception once and for all. "We need to dispel the myth that there is no parking in St-Roch," exclaims Eric Courtemanche Baril, President of the C. A. of the SDC Saint-Roch. "The parking spaces are just not well-known. We went around to the parking spaces on the street, the metered parking, and we realized that most of them are not taken throughout the day, and even more were not occupied during the evening," he added.
A location chart was put up, and the publicity campaign and initiatives within the neighborhood will still be on view for several weeks. "This is going to extend through the summer and fall."
Responding to the Critics
The counter attacks aim to respond to the criticisms that are many times directed at the neighborhood, according to Baril. "It is a criticism that we hear often of our clientele: there is no parking in St-Roch. Well, now we know that there is!"
According to him, it is not always so obvious to change the perceptions on the subject of parking. "I often say humorously that Place Laurier, for twenty years, fought to be able to say that there was parking in the back."
Sure, parking spaces in front of businesses are rare in this district. "For the most part, people want to be in front of a business," admits Baril. "But the beauty of the centre-city is parking and then strolling along several of the streets," he concludes.
The Parking Meter Lottery
New parking meters have recently appeared along the Rue Saint-Joseph. They are payment machines desired by the businesses, but they rarely make the drivers happy. In order to make the bitter pill easier to swallow, these days the SDC has initiated the distribution of scratch tickets - with local prizes one can win - for those drivers using the meters.
Could they have taken advantage of the same idea by also encouraging people to take public transportation to St-Roch in order to win the local prizes?
Original article, originally published in French, here.
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