Let’s take a step back in time and check out some old photos of Delta’s popular Centennial Beach.
The beach has been making news over the past year for all the wrong reasons due to its growing popularity with many visitors from outside Delta taking up parking and creating traffic problems for the area.
The city has been pressing Metro Vancouver, which now operates Boundary Bay Regional Park, to make changes to the traffic management for beach following occurrences of traffic volume being so bad that police had to shut off access to Boundary Bay Road.
Last month, Delta council approved proceeding with a residential permit parking pilot program within the Boundary Bay neighbourhood as well as intersection improvements at 3rd Avenue and Centennial Parkway.
A 1960 Delta Archives photo of a family picnicking at Centennial Beach Park
Due to complaints from Delta residents, the pilot program was subsequently amended to weekends and holidays only.
“We have also now heard from other Delta residents who are concerned over the more restrictive visitor parking measures and their ability to access Boundary Bay area to walk their dogs, use their boats and to paddleboard,” a recent report to council states.
Mayor George Harvie said the parking initiative was seen as a pilot program subject to change and was intended to meet the needs of the community.
A 1960 photo of a group of children playing in an old boat at Centennial Beach
“I have tried to respond to all the phone calls and the emails…people understand the necessity on the weekends during the summer, but residents were quite concerned that as residents of Delta they should be able to enjoy that beach and park and take kayaks down,” he recently said.
“I appreciate that and understand that, so that’s why we put this out as a trial, but we don’t want to go through the trial without recognizing that this is a valid concern of people who don’t live in that community to be able to enjoy the beach during the week."
A photo from 1967 showing the Delta Community Band performing at Centennial Beach Park
Harvie added, “We had a very good, frank discussion. The lease for that property does state that they [Metro] are responsible to ensure that the surrounding neighbourhood is not subjected to a nuisance and of course this is just not a nuisance it has reached the point that on busy, hot, usually weekend days it has become a public safety issue. The streets are getting jammed and we can’t even get ambulances, police or fire vehicles in to attend a call for help.”
Harvie also noted that there has also been talk from Metro about a proposed pay parking system, however, that is something Delta does not favour.