It’s aimed at alleviating illegal parking and traffic problems on a narrow rural road, but not everyone is happy about the City of Delta’s solution.
The city has been receiving complaints from those wanting to access the Brunswick Point trail at the end of River Road. Some are not pleased about no parking signage on the road, having to now walk to the trail from a new parking lot built further away.
The Optimist has also received several letters in opposition by those saying they are being punished by the change.
The city for over a year went through a design phase and consultation with the local farming community on the new parking lot located at River Road near the intersection of 30B Street. The city’s Agricultural Advisory Committee also provided input.
Due to safety concerns, the city installed no parking signs on the road near the popular nature trail where parking was never allowed in the first place.
It was aimed at curbing parallel-parked cars blocking driveways and farm vehicles from accessing the road.
Staff reviewed the possibility of a parking area at the south end of 34th Street, but it wasn’t seen as a viable option due to several reasons including its narrow width and large ditches, no ability for vehicles to turn around and the shared road ownership with the Tsawwassen First Nation.
Staff then proposed constructing a new parking area at 30B Street and limiting existing on-street parking.
Delta Farmers’ Institute president Jack Bates told the Optimist farmers don’t have a problem with visitors wanting to access the area, but the situation has been bad with farming vehicles blocked from accessing fields and a lack of parking enforcement and towing.
“Nobody wants to shut people out, but they should be able to appreciate if farmers can’t get to their fields, then we’re the losers. This industry is tough enough as it is without being denied access to farms. People, I know, are not intentionally clogging roads up, but look at how wide some of these farm vehicles are, so if both sides of the road are parked up, or one side is parked up and there’s a telephone poll on the other, what do you do?” asked Bates.
Noting the city should have a public information campaign including an information kiosk on site, Bates also suggested a second access to the trail would help alleviate the complaints.
In a response to recent letter writers who expressed frustration to the city, engineering director Steven Lan responded that the road is narrow in places and the availability of parking on the road shoulder varies from section-to-section.
Continued problems have been noted with vehicles illegally parked, blocking driveway access, impeding farm equipment and creating unsafe situations for pedestrians and drivers.
Although more pronounced during the pandemic, the issues were present prior to the pandemic as well, explained Lan.
To find a suitable solution, in addition to the new parking lot, accessible parking was retained close to the trailhead and an improved access ramp was constructed for those with mobility challenges, Lan noted.
A safe walking access beside the road has also been provided and plans are also underway to provide improved connectivity along the dike from the parking lot, said Lan, adding that it is a longer walk to the trailhead from the previous general parking area, but provides residents and visitors with a safe parking area and walking route.