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Opinion: ‘Burnaby is obsessed with moving parked cars for no good reason’

Should the city update its bylaw?
Glacier Media file photo

Readers reacting to my recent collection of parking blogs seem to be split over Burnaby’s parking bylaw.

Some say it’s good that people can’t just park their vehicle in one spot on the street for days on end. They like that people can call in a complaint and then the driver receives a warning that their vehicle will be towed if it’s not moved.

Others say that’s a terrible idea – even citing the fight against climate change as a reasons.

For some, it’s more practical.

“I hate that Burnaby gives so much power to entitled homeowners who have their own parking but get petty about if anyone parks in front of their home,” a reader named Vance told me. “Burnaby is obsessed with moving parked cars for no good reason. It’s a public street. Many people have nowhere to park, especially those who rent. It’s not the end of the world if a vehicle sits there for a day or two.”

Others say that forcing people to move their vehicles goes against the city’s climate change goals.

I received a letter from a BCIT student who has a good reason for not always using his vehicle.

“I'm renting a place that's a 10 min walk from BCIT,” said M. “I park my car on the public street. I walk to school and take transit for groceries, only using my car when I go to visit my family and friends. There is always plenty of parking on the street. I got a warning due to a neighbour's complaint. They are correct in citing the bylaws. Legally, I am in the wrong here, but I believe that this bylaw stated below should be changed.

“The issue I see here is that Burnaby is trying to become more sustainable. (Most Plans and Strategies are Environmental Sustainability based.) Yet, as written, bylaws like this would state that every vehicle must be moved once a day. I believe this goes against what Burnaby is trying to become, and is especially unreasonable with many people now working from home.

Potential Solutions:

I think that the bylaw should be rewritten to:

  • 24 hours for non-residents
  • Up to 5 days for residents
  • Enforced by either:
    • a parking permit
    • database where residents can register on a monthly/yearly basis.”

I have to say this is one of the most reasonable suggestions I’ve read in the past few weeks. It’s a refreshing change from people setting their hair on fire over this issue.

Follow Chris Campbell on Twitter @shinebox44.