[Shared letter sent to Maple Ridge Mayor Michael Morden and council]
I would like to suggest that Maple Ridge implement an on street-parking permit.
This is a device used in many cities in North America and is used to supplement operating funds for the city and create a safer access for emergency vehicles when neighbourhoods have become plugged with street parking.
My neighbourhood for instance, between the hours of 6 p.m. and 6 a.m. is hard for even one car to navigate the street, let along if a fire truck should need access.
I know it is human nature to avoid the need to purchase the ability to legally park on the street. They then would be more likely to use their driveway/garage in order to negate the purchase of an on-street parking permit.
For those who still wish street parking between the hours of 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. (overnight parking), they would either pay for a permit ($100/per year) or in violation of this bylaw would receive a ticket issued by bylaws enforcement officers for $100 for each parking infraction.
I only suggest this because I feel it has become more and more dangerous as most of our neighbourhoods contain many secondary suites, which overwhelm the planned parking alloted when the subdivision was first planned.
Many homeowners don’t use their garage for parking, many use them for storage or a place to put their junk.
Many home with lane access to driveways don’t use their driveways, opting to park in the front of their homes instead, adding to the ongoing problem.
These people would be more apt to use their driveways if they were presented with the idea that they would need to purchase a permit to legally park on the street.
These methods are currently in use in White Rock and Vancouver.
Between the cost of permits and the issuing of fines, this bylaw could generate an adequate amount of funds that would fund the hiring of new personnel required to staff this bylaw enforcement, and with a considerable amount to go into the city operation budget.
Lastly, I would like to amplify the fact that we are reaching a dangerous situation that could affect the ability of fire trucks and ambulances from reaching a house fire, a heart attack victim in need of intervention by EMS, or a child needing medical attention.
The legal issue of the municipality failing to correct these situation could, in the future, lead to legal hardship for the municipality that could easily prove that the safety of its taxpaying citizen were neglected.
Please give this serious consideration and please see the need for this suggestion and how it can be instituted at no cost to the city. In fact, the city will not only make money on this bylaw, but will also have the ability to hire more personnel to enforce these new bylaws.
Thank you for listening.
Kevin Buell, Maple Ridge
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