In March 2018 we might see half of the parking spots in Yaletown disappear. Spots on Hamilton Street and Mainland Street are being eyed for removal by the city in order to accomodate fire trucks. Vancouver Fire and Rescue Service spokesman Capt. Jonathan Gormick says that this has been “…a problem for quite some time. The parking has to change, period.” The angled stall parking on the west side of these streets is highlighted as the biggest issue; the parallel stalls on the east sides will remain.
Annette O’Shea, executive director of the Yaletown Business Improvement Association, recognizes the need for emergency vehicles to be able to move safely and effectively. However, she and other members of the Yaletown BIA feel as if this plan came from nowhere. She proposed other solutions that could achieve a similar result. For example, removing the stalls on the east side of the street would free up space, while resulting in only 40 stalls being lost.
These stalls are rarely empty. “These stalls have a 92-per-cent use rate,” O’Shea said. “Each gets used seven times per day.” That amounts to approximately 250,000 cars parking per year. With such a high demand for parking, any decision to remove stalls will have widespread impact, especially on small businesses. Currently Yaletown is a successful business district, so business owners are concerned about such a radical change, especially after receiving such large tax bills.
O’Shea emphasizes that Yaletown has a multitude of businesses beyond just restaurants and boutiques, including some medical practitioners. “We have a specialist in pre- and post-natal care. If you have a newborn, you’re not taking them on transit.” The businesses not at street level have customers and suppliers that often rely on parking spaces.
A public information session will be held on February 22nd. If you have any questions about congestion issues or upcoming decisions that might affect property values, let’s get in touch!
Image Source: Vancouver Sun