Letters: Time to pay for on-street parking

This is a device used in many cities in North America and is used to supplement operating funds for the municipality.

Editor, The News:

Re: Maple Ridge gearing for grow op clean up (The News, April 23).

Mayor Ernie Daykin and council, I would like to suggest that Maple Ridge implement on-street parking permits.

This is a device used in many cities in North America and is used to supplement operating funds for the municipality and create safer access for emergency vehicles when neighborhoods 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 alone a fire truck, should one need access.

I know it is human nature to avoid the need to purchase the ability to legally park on the street.

People are more likely to use their driveway or garages in order to negate the purchase of an on-street parking permit.

Those still wishing to park on the street between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m. (overnight parking) would either pay for a permit ($100 a year) or be in violation of this by-law and would receive a ticket issued by bylaw enforcement officers for $100 for each parking infraction.

I only suggest this because I feel it has become more dangerous as most of our neighborhoods contain many secondary suites, which overwhelm the planned parking allotment when the subdivision was first planned.

Many homeowners don’t use their garages for parking. Many use them for storage or a place to put their junk.

Many homes with lane access to driveways don’t use their driveways and 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 operating 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 situations could, in the future, lead to legal hardship for the municipality, which could easily prove that the safety of its taxpaying citizens 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 district. In fact, the municipality will not only make money on this bylaw, but will also have the ability to hire more personnel in this time of austerity.

Kevin Buell

Maple Ridge