Metro Vancouver will be reaching out to the City of Delta following the conclusion of an online public survey that gauged interest of a pay-to-reserve parking program at Boundary Bay Regional Park (Centennial Beach).
Metro says the program could potentially be implemented during the 2022 peak season.
It was back in April when Metro launched full paid parking at Belcarra and Lynn Headwaters but the Centennial Beach proposal would be a mixture of reserved and free spots. That decision came after consulting with Delta Mayor George Harvie who sits on the Metro Parks committee.
The recent Metro survey offered a wide range of questions from a number of annual park visits to parking rate suggestions.
“We have had a good response,” said Metro Regional Parks Chair John McEwen. “We are hoping to gather all the information we got and work with Mayor Harvie and council to make sure that we are doing the best that we can.
“(We know) paid parking is not popular at all. We had some initial concerns but where we have instituted it at Belcarra and on the North Shore it has overall been very successful and we are not hearing anything.”
McEwen added paid-to-reserve parking could lead to increased visits as spots would be more readily available. Reservations would likely be for half or a full day.
“We have found it actually increases visitations as people are not inclined to stay the whole day and allows more people to visit and utilize the park,” he said. “We are also very cognizant (of pricing) and we are making sure the cost to park is not that significantly more than it would be taking transit.”
Metro currently charges $2 per hour or $12 per day at Belcarra which is in effect from April 1 to Sept. 30. All parking revenue is invested back into the park.
Boundary Bay Regional Park has seen a significant jump in visits, especially since the start of the pandemic, increasing from 923,000 (2019) to 1.4 million (2020). Weekend summer crowds led to a courtesy shuttle being launched from the South Delta Recreation Centre a year ago. The City of Delta also initiated a parking permit program on nearby residential streets.