Filed for publication with the Campbell River Mirror
Re: On-Street Parking
As I read the article in the May 17 edition of the Mirror regarding council addressing on-street parking, it was apparent that most information received by staff and council likely comes from complaints, so I felt it appropriate to weigh in with my views in support of what is really off-street parking. For full disclosure purpose, I have a vehicle (1/2 ton truck) parked on a concreted pad at the front of my property (on the boulevard which extends about 11 feet from the paved roadway).
I live on a typical residential street (not a collector street like Westgate or arterial road like Alder which are much wider) and the paved roadway is about 28 feet wide. If there is a parked vehicle on the street (typical parked 1/2 ton takes up 8-9 feet of the road width), traffic is required to “weave” their way along the roadway. Opposing traffic needs to adjust their line/speed to see who passes the parked vehicle first. If there are parked vehicles on both sides the travel lane between them is very much a (narrow) one lane roadway increasing the driving complexity. By having my truck parked on the boulevard, the roadway in front of my property is more visible and I believe a safer situation for drivers.
I do not support having units such as trailers and boats parked on the roadway if they are “detached” from their tow unit and it appears the issue of where to park them is already an identified item. If such units, but more specifically vehicles like mine, are not permitted to be parked on the boulevard I believe the parking congestion on the roadways will significantly increase as residents re-position their cars/trucks to the roadway. Also, the definition of the boulevard will likely come into focus as many residents who currently park in their driveways encroach on the boulevard. An example would be a motor home that fits in a driveway (or parking area adjacent to driveways) but the end of the vehicle butts up to the sidewalk or roadway. If this vehicle can no longer park there because of the boulevard encroachment, it likely would end up legally parked on the roadway in front of the house, significantly increasing visibility and safety issues.
As council deliberates this boulevard dilemma, I would share my view that this little strip of land is an area of cooperation between city and residents. Although it is city property, residents keep it clear of snow in winter, swept of dirt and gravel in spring, and we maintain flower beds and grass strips year round. Perhaps the ability to utilize some of that space for parking is a fair trade-off for the residents being stewards of the city property and represents a win-win situation. Should you agree, I strongly support establishing some standards around such use as in no derelict vehicles of any sort on the boulevard.
In closing I believe a clearer roadway is a safer roadway, and encourage other residents to share their thoughts with council and staff as well.