Despite kicking up some controversy last year, the implementation of pay parking at təmtəmíxʷtən/Belcarra seemed to have a negligible impact on park use.
Following the announcement of $2 per hour pay parking in 2021, more than 1,800 protesters signed a petition opposing “a blatant cash grab done in the name of increased demand during a pandemic.”
Besides aligning with the idea of “user pay,” implementing pay parking was designed to encourage carpooling and cycling while avoiding a repeat of the “considerable challenges” involving traffic, parking and crowding of 2020, according to Steven Schaffrick, a division manager with Metro Vancouver.
Local news that matters to you
No one covers the Tri-Cities like we do. But we need your help to keep our community journalism sustainable.
Overall, summer park use during June, July and August 2022 was down nearly five percent from the same period in 2021, according to figures supplied by Metro Vancouver. Park use was down 8.9 percent from the same period in 2020.
Compared to 2021, vehicle use dropped 5.8 percent this summer while transit use jumped 73 percent. That spike is partially attributable to TransLink upping bus service to White Pine, according to Schaffrick.
Month by month
Park visits plunged in late spring/early summer, with about 56,500 fewer park users trekking to təmtəmíxʷtən/Belcarra in June compared to 2021. (təmtəmíxʷtən is pronounced “Tamm-tamm-eeuff-ton.)
That 35 percent drop might be due to the “unusually cold and wet start to the summer of 2022,” according to Schaffrick.
However, after that sluggish start, park use rose to match and eventually eclipse the previous two years.
Metro Vancouver recorded 180,000 visits to the park in August – 36,600 more visits than 2021 and 21,900 more visits than 2020.
Seasonal pay parking encourages visitor turnover, according to Schaffrick.
Turnover was roughly the same in 2022 compared to the previous year. Approximately 74 percent of visitors stayed for between one and three hours – down two percent from 2021.
Metro Vancouver announced plans to assess the program to see if adjustments are needed for 2023.
Bedwell Bay Road
Given the problems of illegal u-turns, illegal roadside parking, and pedestrians walking in the middle of the road, Metro Vancouver and the City of Port Moody are examining a few key changes along the roadway.
Possible changes include:
- A mini-roundabout to allow cars to change direction legally
- Separated cycling/pedestrian lanes
- New pedestrian crossings
- A 25-stall parking lot north of Tum-tumay Whueton Drive
- A park-and-ride within the Ioco Townsite
The park-and-ride would allow “would-be park visitors to park their vehicles at Ioco and use existing transit connections to access the park,” according to a report from Metro Vancouver.
The project would likely cost $8 million and would likely require grants from senior levels of government.
If approved, pre-construction work could get started in 2023.