The City of Delta will look at how to better discourage drivers from occupying parking spots designated for those with mobility issues.
That was the assurance from staff during a meeting of the Mobility and Accessibility Committee last month where members expressed concern regarding the number of unauthorized vehicles utilizing accessible parking spaces.
The advisory committee members recommended that the city update their signage to include the fine amount to deter drivers from parking illegally.
Staff advised they will look into updating accessible parking space signage and report back to the committee.
Planning department staff also provided an overview of the city’s accessible parking regulations in comparison to other municipalities and highlighted that Delta is exceeding requirements when it comes to accessible parking spaces and van accessible parking spaces.
It was noted the city is looking into reducing the number of required parking spaces for new developments, however, it will not reduce the requirement for accessible parking spaces.
In response to a concern raised by the committee, city manager Sean McGill said the city will continue to monitor the requirement for accessible parking spaces in new developments to ensure there are adequate spaces provided. Should the city see a demand to increase the requirement, staff would prepare a report for council’s consideration.
In 2021, council approved a bylaw amendment to increase the accessibility of parking by adding requirements for van accessible parking where accessible parking is required, as well, added a requirement for residential visitor parking to include accessible parking.
Of the required accessible parking spaces for a new developments, 50 percent are required as van accessible parking at a width of 11 feet.
Accessible and van accessible parking spaces would need to be labelled as such with painting on the pavement, as well as signage.
A report to council at the time noted the bylaw amendment is consistent with policies in Delta’s Official Community Plan when it comes to increasing accessibility for all residents.
The changes would also make Delta’s regulations more consistent with other municipalities in Metro Vancouver, the report noted.
During council’s discussion on the amendment, Mayor George Harvie said that when it comes to enforcement, it is infuriating to see people who are able-bodied using mobility passes for their vehicles.
“It bothers me when I see people bounce out of their car and they’ve taken a handicap spot. To me, it’s just total, total ignorance,” he said.
Meanwhile, the City of Delta is currently formulating a new accessibility plan.
A requirement by the Accessible British Columbia Act, which became law in June 2021, local governments are required to have an accessibility committee, accessibility plan as well as a public feedback tool in place by Sept. 1.
Delta’s mobility advisory committee reviewed a draft city plan at their May meeting, where it was also noted the Delta Police Department and the Delta School District will also be required to prepare accessibility plans.