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

Just Posted

Prize winning Urban Bee Honey Farm generating a buzz

Urban Bee honoured at the Vancouver Island Business Awards

African rhythms, dance performance to help out Sierra Leone charity group

Feb. 23 show by Issamba ensemble a fundraiser for Victoria-Taiama Partnership

Excitement builds for first Victoria Folk ‘N Fiddle Festival in Sidney

First headliners announced, wide range of community friendly musical, cultural events planned

Over 100 take the Vancouver Island polar plunge

More than $25,000 raised for BC Special Olympics athletes

B.C. students win Great Waters Challenge video contest

Video, mural and song about saving the salmon claims the top prize

B.C. athlete takes home gold in freestyle aerials at Canada Games

Brayden Kuroda won the event with a combined score of 121.65.

Cabinet likely to extend deadline to reconsider Trans Mountain pipeline

New round of consultations with Indigenous communities is coming

B.C. government provides $75,000 towards salmon study

Study looks at abundance and health of Pacific salmon in Gulf of Alaska

UBC researchers develop inexpensive tool to test drinking water

The tricoder can test for biological contamination in real-time

Disgraced ex-Congressman Anthony Weiner released from prison

He was convicted of having illicit online contact with a 15-year-old North Carolina girl in 2017

B.C. communities push back against climate change damages campaign

Activists copying California case that was tossed out of court

Most Read