CFB Esquimalt’s Blue Boat cancellation sparks parking concerns

Esquimalt residents and defence personnel tout need for solutions

Esquimalt resident Thomas Wybert stands along Lyall Street against a backdrop of a full CFB Esquimalt parking lot. He worries that the cancellation of the Blue Boat will prompt defence personnel who can’t find space in the base’s lots to park on residential streets.

With the potential for hundreds more vehicles to flood the area around CFB Esquimalt after the base’s Blue Boat ferry service is cut April 30, Thomas Wybert is bracing for more parking problems.

The longtime Esquimalt resident, who lives on Lyall Street not far from the main base parking lots, has long complained about defence personnel taking up residential side-street parking spaces.

“It’s going to get worse,” Wybert said. “Somebody’s going to get hit here because half the time when you come down a side street you can’t see because there’s trucks and everything else from dockyard parked there.”

But civilian defence and military personnel say they don’t have a choice, and are worried about competing for spaces with more vehicles starting in May.

“If you try to park from 7:35 a.m. on (and) unless there are at least two ships at sea, there is no parking,” said one navy wife, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Most base parking spaces are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

There are 1,935 spots along Canteen Road, Lyall Street and at Signal Hill in Esquimalt. There is a mix of 503 assigned and general parking spots at Naden.

About 5,500 personnel work at CFB Esquimalt, though not all are employed at Naden and dockyard.

“I think parking is something that we’re always concerned about, in terms of being able to support the requirements of the workforce, because we know there are more vehicles than (parking spots),” said navy Capt. Craig Baines, commander of CFB Esquimalt.

A private cross-harbour ferry, park ‘n go busing and a carpool matching service are the focus of discussions at the base.

“Internally in Esquimalt we’re being challenged and the challenge is going to keep adding pressure, parking-wise, traffic congestion-wise,” said Esquimalt Mayor Barb Desjardins.

The recent creation of a full-time bylaw enforcement officer position will help address parking violations, she said.

Darrell McLean, who retired from his inspector’s post at the Victoria Police Department’s West Division in Esquimalt last October, started work on Monday.

“That’s good news,” said Wybert. “If they have a bylaw officer and come around like they used to do … I think it’s a good idea.”

emccracken@vicnews.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Island riders conquering new heights

With no races, cyclists tackle Everest challenge to lift community

Saanich police search for suspect accused of using stolen credit, debit cards

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers says suspect made numerous fraudulent purchases

Homeless woman sentenced to 18 months in jail for selling drugs to Victoria police officer

Officer paid $20 for a substance consisting of heroin, fentanyl and caffeine

Family restaurant to hold Saturday fundraiser for Beirut blast

Wrap and Roll will donate all sales to victims of blast

Police looking for witnesses of alleged assault in Burnside Gorge’s Cecila Ravine

Concerned woman pushed to the ground, had phone broken while taking a photo of a dog

53 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths cap off week of high infection rates in B.C.

Roughly 1,500 people are self-isolating because they either have COVID-19 or have been exposed to it

Fitness non-profit challenges citizens to invent a game to be physically active

The campaign was launched after a study showed only 4.8 per cent of children and youths in Canada met required standards of the 24-hour movement guidelines

VIDEO: U.S. Air Force pilot does fly-by for B.C. son amid COVID border separation

Sky-high father-son visit plays out over White Rock Pier

3 Vancouver police officers test positive for COVID after responding to large party

Union president says other officers are self-isolating due to possible exposure

Vancouver Island team takes on wacky challenges of world’s largest scavenger hunt

Greatest International Scavenger Hunt taking place Aug. 1-8

New mothers with COVID-19 should still breastfeed: Canada’s top doctor

Dr. Theresa Tam made the recommendation during World Breastfeeding Awareness Week

Collapse of Nunavut ice shelf ‘like losing a good friend:’ glaciologist

The ice shelf on the northwestern edge of Ellesmere Island has shrunk 43 per cent

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Aug. 4

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Should it be mandatory to wear masks when out in public?

B.C. is witnessing an alarming rise in the number of cases of… Continue reading

Most Read