Parking ban limiting recreational access

Council should consider compromise of adding additional spaces to lot at Glendenning

Saanich is blessed with an abundance of parks and greenspace for its residents to enjoy. But sometimes just getting there can be an adventure in itself.

At least that’s the view of a number of Mount Douglas area residents who will be staging rallies over the coming days to protest the parking ban on Glendenning Road near Mount Douglas Park.

The issue first surfaced this summer when the District of Saanich installed no-parking signs along the first 150 metres of Glendenning Road from the southwest corner of Mount Douglas Park.

“From 9 to 11 a.m. there’s about eight cars parked here illegally every day, I’ve estimated 18,000 visitors come to the park from [the Glendenning entrance],” said David Poje, one of the organizers of the rallies.

Judging from the letters to the editors found on the pages of this newspaper over the past few months, it’s obvious the parking ban does not sit well with a host of Saanich residents, who have voiced objection to the ban for a variety of reasons. But opposition is far from unanimous. Earlier this summer residents in the area attached leaflets to cars parked in the area, advising them of the ban and expressing concern about issues such as access for emergency vehicles.

While Poje is scheduled to bring the issue before council on Oct. 26, he has already caught the attention of at least one Saanich councillor. Colin Plant has visited the site and said one potential solution is to install signs indicating where alternate parking is located. He suggested purchasing a small portion of nearby private land that could be used for parking.

“The fear I have is if we increase parking it will bring more people to that entrance of the park,” Plant.

Plant’s proposal seems like a good compromise. And if the additional parking brings more users to the area, improved park access that’s popular with the public doesn’t seem to be the worst problem a municipality can have.