Monday, January 19, 2015

Parking Issues in Clayton

During the 2013 Christmas season, some residents along 80th Avenue became very upset when they learned that the Township of Langley was going to remove on-street parking along 80th Avenue as part of widening along that corridor. This was always part of the Township’s plan.

The Township of Langley allows “temporary” parking in future travel lane along roads that will eventually be widened. Some areas of Walnut Grove have had these “temporary” parking areas for over a decade. Parking is a lighten-rod issue, and removing on-street parking is a recipe for controversy. Some people along 80th Avenue were bullied by their neighbours to sign a petition to keep parking along 80th Avenue.

You can read more about this in a previous post, but the short story is that the Township commissioned a study which found that people weren’t using their garages and on-site parking for vehicles. If people actually parked their vehicles on-site, there wouldn’t be an over-subscription of on-street parking.

Current state and original widening proposal for 72nd Avenue at 193 Street in Clayton. Select image to enlarge.

Interesting enough, some residents in Surrey’s Clayton Height became very upset this past Christmas season when they learned that the City of Surrey was finally moving forward with widening 72nd Avenue between 193rd Street and the Township of Langley border. Currently, some residents park in an ad-hoc fashion along this corridor. The City's original plan would see no parking along 72nd Avenue, like other major roads in the community.

These Clayton residents setup a website where you can see their perceptive on the issue. Even though the current, temporary parking along 72nd is not officially sanctioned —like in the Township where they install “Parking, Future Travel Lane” signage— the controversy is the same.

It would not surprise me if, just like along 80th Avenue in the Township, Clayton residents are using their on-site parking for everything else but parking their vehicles.

Going forward, the City of Surrey and Township of Langley should ensure that in new areas, parking expectations are managed. If a street will become a “no parking” street, parking should not be allowed from day one. To ensure that everyone has equal access to the valuable on-street parking, in areas where parking is oversubscribed, parking permits should be introduced. Parking demand needs to be managed. Creating more on-street parking will never be able to meet the demand in these areas.

It would be a really shame, going against the spirit of both Surrey’s and Langley’s Sustainability Charters, if sidewalks are shrunk and bike lanes removed to accommodate additional on-street parking.

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