Mount Douglas area resident David Poje is bringing the Glendenning Road parking situation to light with rallies at Glendenning on Oct. 17 and 21 at 9 a.m. as well as a delegation to Saanich council on Oct. 26.
Poje represents a group of park users who believe Saanich went too far when it installed no-parking signs along the first 150 metres of Glendenning earlier this summer. Glendenning runs north and ends with a small, five-car parking lot on 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],” Poje said.
Poje said his group has surveyed close to 100 people with most opposed to the ban, though more than half said they would park at nearby alternative parking if necessary.
Saanich applied the no-parking signs to the shoulders of Glendenning Road, citing fire truck access as a reason. But users have been illegally parking along the shoulders of the dead-end road anyways.
What makes the Glendenning Road entrance to Mount Douglas Park stand out is its accessibility to flat trails.
“Families, seniors, dog walkers and people with mobility issues all use this,” Poje said.
Poje has spend hundreds of hours over the past five years removing invasive species with the Friends of Mount Douglas Society and believes with a little creativity five new parking spots could be created by expanding the current parking lot about 10 metres farther into the park. Only snowberry would need to be removed, and not trees. There are other options.
One of the reasons the road was brought to Saanich’s attention was the eroded walking and equestrian trail along the east side of Glendenning. Blenkinsop Valley Community Association brought the trail’s erosion, due to years of cars parking on the shoulder, to the district’s attention.
Glendennng borders the Blenkinsop and Gordon Head community associations.
“Saanich’s right of way for Glendenning Road is actually 66 feet so maybe we can move the trail back and expand the shoulder to allow parking,” Poje said. “Really, we are just campaigning to bring more people into the process.”
Coun. Colin Plant visited the site at Poje’s request and believes there is enough demand to require a solution.
“One of the things we could have done when we installed the parking ban was to install signs indicating where alternative parking is in the neighbourhood, and that will be happening [soon],” Plant said.
“My preference would probably be an economical purchase of some of the private land on the neighbouring [panhandle driveway] that we can use for some spaces. That way we can go without shrinking the park,” Plant added. “The fear I have is if we increase parking it will bring more people to that entrance of the park.”
Poje will be allotted 20 minutes to speak to council under the delegation format. Council does not have to vote, though motions can be put forward.