As I work on end-of-year stories and award ideas for the NOW, one inescapable category became clear.
And, yes, readers won’t be surprised due to all of the columns I’ve written on the subject.
It’s parking (shocked emoji).
No issue has filled my inbox with more emails than people detailing their parking woes. I heard from renters. I heard from homeowners. I heard from people fed up with getting nasty notes on their windshield.
Based on the letters and messages I received, one neighbourhood stands out as having the worst parking issues.
It’s Brentwood and it’s not even close.
Brentwood, especially, the section above the mall area, is notorious due to its collection of narrow streets. When vehicles are parked on both sides of the street, there is very little room for drivers. There’s even an issue with buses being able to squeeze down some of these streets.
One street even has an issue with one homeowner parking his Cadillac collection on the street, taking up valuable spots.
But it’s not just the width of the streets that’s the problem, it’s all of the people from outside of the neighbourhood parking there.
Namely, construction workers.
Here’s a sample letter.
“After coming out to Brentwood, by bus & Skytrain from my house in Vancouver, the other issue with Brentwood parking is not only local business folks and Skytrain riders but CONSTRUCTION WORKERS,” writes Marnee.
Brentwood has a lot of these workers due to all of the residential tower projects under construction, plus additions to the mall.
“That also poses the question about this $40 resident parking fee, which Vancouver just defeated, I might add. When Burnaby City Council has permitted that volume of construction - also Metrotown, for the last five or so years.....most of those workers come from areas outside Burnaby. You can't really eliminate these people entirely by putting in a parking fee to park near their 'workplace' in a forward-thinking metropolis and not figure out a way to accommodate those of us who work in the industry.
“You can't continue ticketing and towing because with an industry that is already suffering staffing shortages - you'll push even more people out of the trades - not all of us are making huge sums of money to build your beautiful condos, most of us are just getting by with the income we've got - and no, in what most times works out to be a ten-hour day, lots of us working 6 days a week at least once a month - for the 'extra' cash - but no time or energy for that matter to take on a second job.
“It seems that no one, Vancouver or Burnaby has given a thought to the trades people who are slogging it out working in construction. We too are a part of your neighbourhood and I have yet to hear anyone speak of our requirements.”
It’s a fair point. I’ve heard the same complaint about the Metrotown area, which is slammed with construction projects. For those workers who don’t take transit, finding parking is a huge issue. And area residents are not welcoming because that reduces the number of spots available.
Follow Chris Campbell on Twitter @shinebox44