Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Is it time to have pay parking in District of North Vancouver Parks?

Argueably the biggest single issue facing the District of North Vancouver's future is money. This past Monday night's regular council meeting saw a presentation from the Parks and Open Space Plan and they were saying just that, that more money was needed somehow from somewhere to keep up our parks standards. One of the ideas bantered around was metered parking like Stanley Park has for the larger DNV Parks.


Anonymous said...

NO! The District is wasting a lot of funds, and we don't need to supply them with more. Perhaps better to trim some of the expensive DNV management staff (too many of them).

Mocrael said...

I will probably get a lot of flack from this one -- like usual: There is a "specific sports group" that places a lot of strain, wear and tear on our forest trails, yet do not pay a dime to use our parks and natural forest resources. They have received a lot of funding in the past, at the cost of our parks' infrastructure and upkeep. They refuse to pay for licensing their mountain bikes in order to pay for the upkeep of the damage they do to the forest and parks infrastructure.

Rather than to penalize passive forest users in our parks, DNV should really be looking at collecting money from a wealthy-wheeled sports group that is creating the most damage to our natural resources inside the forests. If the mountain bike tourism and revenue coming from it are correct, why is DNV not looking at collecting from it, instead? The freeride on the backs of taxpayers has gone on way too long.

John Sharpe said...

I think it was Clr. Muri who suggested that DNV residents should continue to have 'free access' to our parks, but that 'visitors'(non-residents)should be the ones paying.

Two things come to mind:

If it's true we have so many outside visitors would this scare some away reducing 'much needed' spin off revenue? Also, depending on the system used, wouldn't the parking by-laws need to be 'enforced'. Who's going to police them and at what cost?

Clr. Bassam would not support any pay parking in the parks.

Anonymous said...

Mocreal, perhaps you should think about how much money is being spent in your community by non-resicent park users pre- and post-ride/hike. To say they don't pay a dime to use 'your' parks is incredibly short sighted.

Paid parking at the parks will just prevent people from using these resources or perhaps park in unregulated residential areas nearby. Paid parking was a miserable failure in the national parks on Vancouver Island and I suspect they would be a miserable failure here. Why not put parking meters in your retail areas instead and put those earnings to some good use?

John Sharpe said...

When I used to mountain bike to and up Mt. Seymour I seem to recall pay parking being implemented at the bottom of Old Buck Trail. I think this is a Provincial Park and last time I looked they had taken it out. No one used it because like Anon 12:16 pm said, "they parked in unregulated residential areas nearby."

Anonymous said...

An estimated 1/2 million people per year visit Lynn Canyon Park for free. Bus loads of visitors sightseeing over the free suspension bridge. Meanwhile, over at Cap Canyon it costs $31.95 per adult admission to trot over the private bridge.

Cates Park, full of visitors from across the bridge all summer.

Figure it out. Residents could pick up a parks parking decal for their car window and park for free and visitors should pay.

Who would police it? Why the same guys that police the BC ferries parking lot at Horseshoe Bay could issue parking tickets and tow violators.

Big revenue for DNV. Should go for it.

Anonymous said...

I can pretty much guarantee you'll see park use drop (at least you'll see designated parking lot use drop). You'll drive outdoor enthusiasts elsewhere and lose the very real secondary revenue earned by local merchants when the hikers and bikers patronize local shops and services.

Anonymous said...

You've got to be kidding. A 1/2 million visitors to Lynn Canyon, bussed in and out without stopping elsewhere in the District and spending those value added dollars that you're describing.

$31 per adult at Cap Canyon and free at Lynn Canyon. Charge them.

Mocrael said...

DNV proposes within the next five to ten years to actually place parking lots on Fromme for the mountain bikers (POSSP). They should be Pay Parking Lots, as the wear and tear from their riding and trail building activities goes far beyond any other recreational activity (hiking, dog walking, nature watching) in the forest. It doesn't take "rocket science" to see that.

We are talking about a very consumptive off-road vehicle sport akin to dirt biking and ATVing (without the motor :P) The Freeride on the backs of taxpayers should end, and they should have to "Pay to Play."

If this ends up with less mountain bikers on Fromme, there will be less ongoing degradation of trails and the forest floor. It will also mean less "trail building" activities req'd, which are very unsustainable (all the noted reroutes, bypasses and alignments being dug up -- better known as new trail building).

We will have fewer tree roots hacked up, less digging in the forest floor for rocks and "gold dirt" pits. There are too many sanctioned and unsanctioned trails being built for the very consumptive sport of mountain biking, already. It is not sustainable, no matter how you try to "stand it on its head."

The forest should not remain some off-roaders' personal sandbox and amusement park, folks. If it is going to be used that way -- pay through the nose, and don't keep trying to squeeze more funding out of the taxpayers from the DNV coffers.

Now the whining begins from the Extremely-entitled extreme mountain bike advocates. They are blinded by their destructive addiction to off-road riding and building culture. It is futile to try to reason with them... It is clear that the mountain biking "Emperors" have no clothes on. Why keep pretending? There, said and done.

Anonymous said...

Good Lord Mocreal, but you're a broken record! There are other users of the parks and trails of the north shore. What of the folks who hike recreationally and all the users not on bikes? Would you impose fees that would discourage their access to our back country? Set your obsession on mountain bikers aside and think about what you are proposing would do to other users.

Mocrael (not Mocreal) said...

"Pay to play" if you choose to bring your off-road vehicle into the urban forest/parks, backwoods, and onto the trails. Where did you get the idea this "pay to play" fee should also affect on foot users in the woods? Dirt bikes and the like do not belong on our forest trails in the first place.

But if so, it is high-time the freeride ended and mountain bikers were charged for the privilege of ripping and shredding this natural environment. It is not a passive "small footprint" recreational activity at all.

I would rather be a "broken record" (repetition, repetition, etc.) than to be a broken body hobbling into the Emergency room from a self-inflicted mountain biking injury.

(Note that Anon Nov 23 is afraid to let us know who he/she is, like so many mountain bikers who hide behind various avatars on forum boards while they poke back at those that oppose their freeride antics. That is a cowardly act. What are they afraid of?)

Anonymous said...

Sorry Mocreal but I'm not a mountain biker and who I am is none of your business. Why are you so afraid of opposing viewpoints to your own? Choosing to remain anonymous doesn't make one's views any less valid. So far, mountain biking and other recreational pursuits are perfectly legal on District lands. The topic here is paid parking, NOT 'pay to play'. Paid parking would impact not just mountain bikers but other park users as well. If paid parking is put in place then your district will likely force people to look elsewhere for their recreation, or at the very least, park in unregulated residential areas. If they stop coming to the North Shore, local businesses will lose out from those who patronize their business/service before or after their hike/bike.

Barry Rueger said...

At the risk of dragging the conversation back on topic, I really can't see much point in trying to institute pay parking at local parks. As it stands now most parking lots seem to sit half empty at any of the parks that I visit. Is it really likely to be a cost effective move?

More likely it would just drive people to park in surrounding residential areas.

I suppose that there's an argument for pay parking at some destination spots - like the high use bike trailheads - but beyond that it seems like a waste.

Call me crazy, but if there isn't enough money to maintain our parks, maybe it's time to accept fiscal reality and bump up the property taxes a little bit.

Anonymous said...

Don't know what parks you frequent but Lynn Canyon parking lot is full including the overflow everyday from May to Sept. Cates full all summer and impossible to get a spot every summer weekend.

Many users not District residents.

Put in pay parking.

Anonymous said...

Lynn Canyon Park is the only park where many of the summer Rangers hired by DNV spend their time. The main Rangers Station is in Lynn Canyon Park also. It makes sense to have paid parking there.
Other parks like Cates and Panorama should continue to have free parking as their many festivals and venues pay for it.

Barry Rueger said...

Many users not District residents.

And exactly how do you know this? Survey? Licence plate checks? Homing pigeons?

Anonymous said...

Cates Park weekends is packed with picnicing groups cheek by jowl.
Very typical to end up speaking to those on the next blankets.

Licence plate checks? Some have solutions for which there are no problems.

Barry Rueger said...

Let me rephrase for clarity::

Some anon said: Many (park) users not District residents.

I asked anon: And exactly how do you know that these people are "non-resident"?

Did you perhaps conduct a survey of people arriving?

Did you record licence plate numbers in the parking lot and then check the vehicle registrations?

Or did you attach homing pigeons to the cars, equipped with GPS trackers, to see where they were released before flying home?

If these "foreigners" are wearing out our parks, wouldn't it be simpler to just barricade the Second Narrows bridge?

Anonymous said...

I suppose this could go both ways. If the DNV is going to start charging people to use the parks (after all, this is really just a user fee), then I suppose the City (and all the local municipalities) should start charging residents of the DNV to use our amenities such as parking at shopping malls and retail streets. Why stop there? Let's charge them to use our streets. Hell, let's charge a toll for anyone wanting to cross the two bridges into the City of Vancouver! Want to come to use the restaurants and cultural amenities in the CNV? Well, we're gonna charge you to cross into our community!

Do you see how silly this crap starts getting? If you're going to charge parking, make sure you do it right across the board so that both residents and residents pay, otherwise you're promoting municipal protectionism. What you guys over at the DNV need to really start doing is increase your property taxes to pay for all your wants or reduce your wants and/or increase the number of residents to contribute to your tax base.

Anonymous said...

Are you guys for real? If you go to downtown Vancouver and park there you will pay to park, on the street or in a parkade.

North Van City's rigorous parking enforcement force is just an alternate method of pay parking. No meters but 5 minutes past the allotted time and you pay a bundle.

Pay parking at the hospital.

Pay parking at Capilano Suspension Bridge. Pay parking at Grouse Mountain.

Pay parking at Horseshoe Bay.

Pay tolls to get over bridges in the valley.

Pay parking near the seabus, Lonsdale Quay, IGA, movie theatres.

Wake up, it's all over the place except the good old cow to be milked - DNV.

DNV residents pay for parking elsewhere and also support our amenities through our tax dollars without equivalent pay parking offset income.

Give DNV residents window decals for their vehicles when they pay their property tax that exempts them from having to pay at selected DNV destinations and everyone else that uses them can help contribute to their upkeep through pay parking.

No homing pigeons necessary, Barry.

Anonymous said...

Mayor Lois Jackson of Delta says no parking meters in her municipality. And there aren't any.

Anonymous said...

"Give DNV residents window decals"

Therein lies the problem. Parking meters cost money, and monitoring parking meters cost money. If, residents are exempt, then you have a significantly smaller group contributing towards the infrastructure and the operations & maintenance, and someone has to pay for the resident exemption decaling program including staff time.

You won't have a dime left to contribute to park maintenance.

On top of all that, non-residents (or undecaled residents), will simply avoid the charge by parking on the east side of the park at Little Cates.

All this to combat a little xenophobia.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, no problem at all. The contract is let to a company like Impark who runs the Horseshoe Bay lot and they issue tickets for overstaying similar to what NV City nails you for through their camouflaged pay parking programme.

The cost of the monitoring is offset by the revenue derived from the fines and parking fees with the balance go to upkeep of the amenity.

The cost of each decal would be less than a nickel and they can be picked up by residents interested in not paying parking fees. Staff already at the front desk can give them to those producing their picture id with a District address.

No staff cost as they already exist. Valued added.

Finally, yes some who know where Little Cates is may try that and "no non-resident parking" signs are easily erected (see N.V. City and Vancouver) with further revenue to the company with the parking contract.

All this virtually free management of our amenities with additional revenues from non-contributory users. Perfect.

Anonymous said...

Money for the parking management company...what's left to go into the parks, where the money is wanted?

Anonymous said...

Reread above, very slowly.

Anonymous said...

Once again, WHAT'S LEFT? Sorry, but you're going to need to show me that there will in fact be an adequate balance that will go to the parks.

If you're going to insist on paid parking, make it paid parking straight across the board for residents and visitors alike and let the District bylaw officers look after compliance. There's no need to hire a management company when there is already parking/bylaw enforcement staff on the books.

Anonymous said...

1. A simple analysis by the Finance Dept. can determine the projected revenues in from pay parking based upon projected use as provided by our Parks Dept.

2. Fines and towing fees both go to Impark or other contractor for 2 reasons:

a. to offset contract costs (if any). Fines and towing fees are an incentive to the parking contractor to frequently patrol the pay parking areas for additional revenues;
b. to not saddle existing Bylaw stafff with an unnecessary addition to their workload.

3. A simple pilot project at Lynn Canyon Park kicking off next April would demonstrate the financial outcomes of pay parking. If not good then scrap it. If good then expand it. No I don't need to show you the balance, it can prove or disprove itself.

4. I prefer to share the upkeep of our parks with all who use them. DNV residents have already contributed to the upkeep through their taxes or the taxes paid by their landlord. Let the non-DNV users who haven't contributed help with the upkeep. I like the decal for residents.

Anonymous said...

The District of North Vancouver is subsidizing the City of North Vancouver.

Lee L. said...

You lose your liberty a little at a time.