Residents living near Langley Memorial Hospital, the Langley Events Centre and the Carvolth Exchange could see new time-restricted parking stalls added in the future, as the Township begins tightening up parking management in high-demand areas.
The measures come following a parking bylaw review that was presented to council at its afternoon meeting on July 24.
In addition to time-restricted stalls, council directed staff to begin the process for amending the zoning bylaw to allow for more bicycle parking and end-of-trip facilities — such as bike racks, cages, lockers and change rooms — electric vehicle parking, shared parking and “transportation demand management incentives.”
Staff will also look at purchasing advanced technology to enforce parking rules, and adding preferred parking for car share, carpool and electric vehicles at major civic facilities, such as the Langley Events Centre.
“The two most important themes I would like to suggest to you are, one, that people believe that they are entitled to free parking no matter where they are in the community … so if a council is considering at some point to start charging, whether it’s for on-street or off-street parking, it’s really important to do a good educational process upfront, so that people understand that parking isn’t free, there is a cost associated with it,” said Gary Vlieg of Creative Transportation Solutions, the company hired to undertake the parking bylaw review.
“The other interesting point to deal with is that people believe that the road that’s in front of their property belongs to them … There are some interesting neighbourhood altercations, let’s say, that come about as a result of that particular perception.”
A case study on pay parking in Fort Langley was also completed, however staff is not recommending that it be implemented at this time.
The study looked at adding pay parking with two-hour maximums from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. The capital cost for the equipment needed is $50,000 to $100,000, and an additional $250,000 in operating costs would be incurred annually.
“The revenue doesn’t come close to that $250,000, so that is definitely a net cost to the Township,” Vlieg said.
A pro of adding pay parking would be increased turnover, however there are two “fairly significant” cons as well, Vlieg added. It could push drivers to instead park in the free residential areas, or create negative impacts on local businesses.
Coun. Bob Long asked why developments in Fort Langley require 50 per cent less parking than in the rest of the Township.
Staff member Paul Cordeiro said that that rule stems from businesses on Glover Road in older buildings, which cannot physically accommodate the additional parking.
“I’m not putting anybody on the spot, but it’s odd that something that’s historically put in for a reason is carried forward now — now it’s a whole different situation,” Long commented.
Later in the evening meeting, Coun. Kim Richter presented a motion to have tandem parking eliminated from multifamily developments and other zones. While many members of council said they disagreed with removing that style of parking altogether, they did agree to send the concept of tandem parking to a future council priorities committee meeting for further discussion.