Don’t expect the parking ban to be lifted along Glendenning Road.
Public support for the ban is one of the key findings found the study of public access points to Mount Douglas Park (Pkols).
Saanich Parks is releasing the survey findings and draft recommendations at an open house tonight, from 5 to 8 p.m. at Gordon Head Middle School (1671 Kenmore Ave.).
The study was born out of a 2015 citizen response to the parking ban, which surprised users who regularly accessed Mount Doug from the Glendenning entrance. The parking ban ended parallel parking along Glendenning, thereby limiting automobile access to the small parking lot of five spots.
“It’s a bit of a mixed results on Glendenning, with quite a few people who indicated they’ve adjusted to the situation,” said Gary Darrah, manager of Saanich Parks planning and design.
Despite enforcement through parking tickets on Glendenning, people still park in the no-parking zones.
One of the report’s recommendations is to create four or five parallel parking spots on Glendenning close to the Mount Doug entrance. That will take Saanich Fire Department’s permission, and would maintain a parking ban along the rest of Glendenning.
“Something interesting that we found was of the six main areas, Glendenning and Churchill Drive (the latter of which is a main parking lot on the base of Mount Doug) are the two most commonly full, but it’s not all the time,” Darrah said.
Signs now suggest visitors to the Glendenning entrance park at nearby Blenkinsop, Churchill and Cordova Bay roads. Winchester Road has parking and is also nearby.
The rest of the survey worked to confirm what Parks already suspected. The summit parking lot was the only other lot to fill, also at specific times.
No parking spots will be added at the summit of Mount Doug, however.
With 72 per cent of respondents opposed to converting parkland into parking spaces, that ruled out an expansion of the Glendenning, summit and Churchill parking lots, which are all within park land.
The survey also confirmed that Mount Doug’s beach parking lot is rarely over 25 per cent capacity, and that doesn’t take into account the lots’ unassigned stalls.
In the end, the biggest changes will be to Glendenning, which was where the study began in the first place.
Following the 2015 campaign by concerned resident and Mount Doug Park user David Poje, as well as others, council asked staff to study all the park entrances instead of Glendenning alone. Council also asked set a November deadline to have the draft report come back to them.
While some blamed the ban on Saanich Fire’s desire to have park access, it was actually a combination of a few things, Darrah said.
“From a Parks perspective, we were concerned environmentally and recreationally.”
Excessive parking had eroded the landscape along the east side of Glendenning, and a big stretch of the trail that runs there has now blended into the shoulder of the road. The trail is well used by equestrians and pedestrians, as well as a connector for cyclists. Once Engineering and Saanich Fire voiced their concerns, the ban was put in place.
Overall the park is served well for parking, though some users clearly have their preferences.
Eighty-eight per cent of respondents said they are aware of other parking spots besides their preferred while only a very small minority said they would actually turn around and leave Mount Doug if they couldn’t park at their preferred area.