The resident complaint-driven residential parking only enforcement in Victoria pits residents against neighbours and others who park in the designated areas, says one City councillor. Tim Collins/Victoria News

Residential only parking areas in Victoria have some seeing red

Tickets are issued based on resident complaints

The prevalence of “residential only” parking areas has some local politicians concerned, and at least one Victoria resident calling for a review of rules that restrict parking in areas where small businesses may be impacted.

Jennifer Iskiw recently attended a hairdresser in the Moss Street neighbourhood in Fairfield.

“I like supporting local businesses in the pocket neighbourhoods around Victoria. It’s part of what makes the City great,” she said.

When she left and returned to her vehicle, she discovered a $60 ticket for parking in an area posted as residential only. “If I can’t park near the small business in a neighbourhood setting, I guess I’ll have to take my business to a mall or somewhere where I can park nearby.”

City of Victoria spokesperson Ryan Shotton explained that residential parking areas are not initiated by the City, but are posted when a group of residents band together and generate a petition to City Hall. Ninety per cent of the residents on the street must be canvassed and 80 per cent of those canvassed must approve of the application.

The process, he said, is to protect residential streets bordering on commercial areas from becoming congested. Those who live on the street have their license numbers registered with the City for identification purposes, but fines to anyone else are only generated when a complaint is registered by a resident.

Coun. Chris Coleman, whose ward contains several residential parking only areas, expressed his concern regarding the system.

“To begin with, I’m uncomfortable with a system that essentially has some residents pitted against other citizens,” he said. “And it can impact businesses. We know, for example, that 88 per cent of the businesses on Cook Street are accessed by customers in their cars. But with a lot of the streets in the area marked as residential parking only, it can become a problem for people wanting to use those businesses, particularly if they have mobility issues. Asking someone with a walker to park 300 metres away is like asking them to run a marathon.”

Coleman said residential parking only areas tend to multiply because, as one street gets the designation and cars attending businesses are forced onto an adjoining street, residents on that street then petition for their own restrictions. If they are successful, vehicles move to the next street and the cycle continues, he added.

At present a little more than 33 per cent of the City’s total parking (outside of parkades) is designated as residential only, an amount that spans 111 kilometres of roadway. By comparison, the City has 143 km of unrestricted parking, 62 km of time-limited parking and 25 km of metered parking.

Another issue raised by Coleman is that, beyond the customers of local businesses, others may also be unfairly affected.

“What do you do for the home care nurse who is looking in on a client in the neighbourhood, or someone delivering meals or simply visiting a shut-in?” he asked, noting that he’s heard about such situations.

When tickets are issued and those ticketed feel they are undeserved, citizens can dispute the ticket at the City’s parking office in Centennial Square. “We currently forgive about 20 per cent of all the tickets we issue,” said Shotton.

Mayor Lisa Helps is sympathetic to those who have issues with residential parking only areas.

“I think it’s wrong for residents to see public rights-of-way as a place where they can store their personal vehicles. The roads are there for the common good, so this is obviously something that needs to be looked at,” she said.

editor@vicnews.com

Dylan

Just Posted

Victoria man says new device helps him better control his diabetes

Ryan Rock thrilled with ease of use, but FreeStyle Libre not for everyone, pharmacist warns

Study recommends jurors receive more financial and psychological support

Federal justice committee calls for 11 policy changes to mitigate juror stress

West Shore resident given unusable money withdrawn from circulation

Bank exchanges Canadian dollars for expired banknotes

VIDEO: Campers leave big mess at rural Port Renfrew campsite

Vehicle parts, garbage, a mattress, lawn chairs, beer cans, and even fecal matter left in the area

Film Review: On Chesil Beach

Saoirse Ronan continues to shine in adaptation Ian McEwan novel about young newlyweds on their wedding day

Research needed on impact of microplastics on B.C. shellfish industry: study

SFU’s department of biological sciences recommends deeper look into shellfish ingesting microbeads

Singh sides with B.C. in hornet’s nest of pipeline politics for the NDP

Singh had called for a more thorough environmental review process on the proposal

Saanich may look at roundabout for intersection

They are common in Europe and one could potentially appear at the… Continue reading

VIDEO: B.C. woman gets up-close view of Royal wedding

Kelly Samra won a trip back to her home country to see Prince Harry and Meghan Markle say ‘I do’

Single vehicle hits pole in Saanich on Highway 17

A single vehicle collision caused some minor traffic delays southbound on Highway… Continue reading

30 C in B.C., 30 cm of snow expected for eastern Canada

It might be hot in B.C., but the rest of Canada still dealing with cold

Free mixed media camped offered to youth

Camp hosted on Denman Island

Reading between the lines: the many roles of the Victoria Literacy Connection

Saturday fundraiser to help volunteer-run organization teach people to read, write and more

Most Read