Lisa Leblanc, Transportation Manager for the City of New Westminster, has provided the following update on actions undertaken by the City in response to the information residents provided her at the May 2, 2019 General Meeting:
1. Encouraging visitors to use on-site visitor parking. We are working on signage to be placed on-street to encourage use of on-site visitor parking; we are also working on a letter to be sent to all property managers, with suggested wording for a bulletin or poster to encourage residents to encourage visitors to park on-site rather than on-street.
2. Car share – we are working with MODO to have a reserved space created onstreet for the MODO car which is currently stored at Parkside, to free up that space for Parkside use. Also, we are working with EVO to locate two reserved EVO spaces on street, one at either end of the neighbourhood. Car share is an important piece of the solution to residents owning surplus vehicles – the greater presence of car share in the neighbourhood, the more likely it is that people will get rid of their second (or third!) vehicle.
3. Bus service improvements – we are continuing our discussions with TransLink to advocate for improved peak hour bus service for Victoria Hill.
4. On-street stopping in front of “The Grove” on Francis Way. We are working on options to mitigate the problems that have been identified. It would be helpful if someone could capture a photo when the problem is occurring, as we’ve yet to catch it in action. It would also be helpful if someone could tally up the number of times this occurs in a day or week, to give us a sense of the scale of the problem. As I said, each time that I have been on Francis Dr, and each time that a member of my team has been there, we have not observed this condition.
5. Fraser Health Authority parking lot – we have initiated discussions with FHA to ask two questions: 1. Would they consider making paid parking available to residents of Victoria Hill during their off-peak hours (i.e. overnight and on weekends) for residents to park their surplus vehicles, and; 2. Would they consider having 4 or 5 reserved spaces for EVO within their parking lot.
6. Parking Services have been in the neighbourhood patrolling for violation of the parking restrictions, and reported that they issued 70 tickets on one occasion. They will continue to enforce periodically.
7. Electric vehicle charging – I have initiated discussion with our energy manager and electrical operations to determine if a suitable location could be found for a Level 2 EV charging station on-street; we are working with BCIT on a pilot project for on-street charging, so the charger would be installed as part of that pilot.
Please note that there are a few recommendations that I do not have a mandate to pursue at this time:
1. Investigating any further the provision, at City cost, of additional parking, including more lay-by parking.
2. Re-evaluating one-way streets or wider streets by removing sidewalks.
The idea to convert parking on McBride to angle parking is an interesting one, but unfortunately it’s a tough one to prioritize, given that the Pattullo Replacement project will be starting within the next year or so, and that street will be affected. I’m reluctant to put time into studying and implementing a change like that when it’s possible it would have to be altered for construction within a year or two in any case. That said, I am going to ask our co-op student to do a desk top study to see if it’s even possible with the existing traffic operations and road width available.