The brakes are being put on big rigs and other commercial trucks parking overnight on any street in Delta.
Delta council amended the municipal highways bylaw last month to restrict overnight parking of any commercial vehicle on roadways, a move in response to commercial vehicles parking overnight on Annacis Island.
It is part of a series of measures the municipality is implementing to address ongoing traffic and parking concerns raised by businesses located on the island at the north end of the Alex Fraser Bridge.
A report to council noted bylaw staff observed many drivers operating trucks based outside Delta use Annacis Island to store their commercial vehicles during the night and on weekends, and in turn, park their personal passenger vehicles during the day. This activity not only increases the number of unnecessary vehicle trips entering and leaving the island, but reduces the availability of on-street parking.
Bylaws manager Hugh Davies said one quick weekend daytime survey found 130 trucks from businesses outside of Delta scattered across Annacis Island, including one from Burnaby alone that had 19 trucks there for free street parking. A follow-up survey by staff the following week found 241 trucks.
Asked why this was happening, Davies said Delta has no restrictions on commercial vehicles parking on streets overnight, so companies from other jurisdictions are well aware and take advantage.
Noting an overnight restriction should be everywhere so as to not spread the problem elsewhere, CAO George Harvie said a quick Internet search found plenty of commercial truck pay parking lots available to drivers in the region.
To eliminate the parking activity, council approved a recommendation amending the Delta highways bylaw to restrict commercial vehicle parking between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m., which is consistent with adjacent municipalities such as Surrey and Richmond.
As far as the problem of rush-hour commuters bypassing traffic by taking the Annacis Island exit, causing delays, congestion, safety and even road rage incidents, council approved taking $130,000 out of a contingency reserve toward a yearlong targeted policing campaign to curtail drivers from taking shortcuts through Annacis. A twoday blitz earlier this month saw police write $7,500 worth of tickets.