Wake Up Vancouver!

    Citizens for a Better Vancouver

A Concerned Citizens Letter Regarding the Spanish Banks Pay Parking

To concerned resident,

Yes, on the most obvious basic level, cost-benefit analysis support not putting up metered parking.  The cost of just one meter ranges from $1,000 to $8,000 depending on the type of meter, with labour installation fees on top of that.  Further, the on-going operating costs of emptying and maintaining these meters, ticketing and administering ticket-fee collection is in the multiple tens of thousands per year (Google these costs yourself as I did).  The fact that many Petition signers have stated without reservation that they will have to stop going to Spanish Banks entirely, and certainly not by car, due to the pay parking will limit substantially the revenue (Parks Board has said $200,000+ per year) that it hopes to get from these meters.  I would love to be able to see the cost-benefit analysis for this project, if one was even done, which I doubt.  I suspect that the numbers are picked out of the air, especially since these beaches have always been free, so where is any relevant data coming from for this project.  Let's see the numbers and their justification.  As well, based on what we pay in property taxes and the continuous raises in these taxes, where  is our money going, and why has the City of Vancouver reduced funding to the Parks Board?  It is insanity to reduce funding for the maintenance of green space, when Vision claims that it is creating MORE of this green space in the City, such as all the new grassy boulevards and increased park area on Point Grey Road.  MORE green space means MORE money for maintenance, not a reduction.  And, the cost of everything, including labour, is going up, not down, so why is the City allocating less money to the Parks Board rather than more -- this simply does not make sense.

Considering the vast physical and mental health benefits, that are priceless, of more people using beaches with increased access due to free parking compared with the relatively minor $200,000 monetary intake, that is projected, not proven, this $200,000 intake for park maintenance is not justifiable because the sacrifices far exceed the intake.  Seniors, the disabled, families with babies, low income people, large gatherings for weddings and barbecues, athletes who have water-sport gear, all of whom regularly go to these beaches need cars to come to Spanish Banks -- they simply cannot walk or bus there and cannot pay to park.  Those who can afford to pay will simply choose not to on principle alone or to use their money more wisely on other things rather than parking fees, especially in Vancouver where we are taxed to death.  Or, they will stay for a much shorter period of time.  So where is this $200,000 going to come from in parking fees? The Vision-led City Council and NPA-led Parks Board say they want Vancouver residents to "go green" and be more fit and healthy, but they are limiting these options for those who need them most.

Read this Petition Posting 3 hours ago by a concerned citizen:

"When I visit my 92-year-old mother in Vancouver, we sometimes take a drive and park the car in one of the Spanish Banks parking lots.  We're usually only there for half an hour to do some people and dog watchin, notice the seagulls and sky, observe the freighters (they are always counted), and enjoy the panorama of the mountain skyline.  From the house that she had lived in for close to 65 years, she could see the mountains.  She can't see them from her seniors' residence apartment.  Needing a walker makes it impossible to fully experience the beach so it seems very wrong to charge for parking.  For much of the year, these lots are not full of vehicles so one of the purposes of having parking fees so that people do not stay long certainly does not apply.  When the Parks Board should be encouraging people to enjoy the outdoors and to get exercise, charging for parking at every beach does not make sense. . .[K]nowing citizens are already contributing to the costs of upkeep of Spanish Banks [through their taxes], it seems unfair to charge a user fee, which in essence is what user fees are, when for most it is not a community park, nor is it easy to access."

I feel for this woman, as I too took my mother (in her 80's) everywhere by car, including to Spanish Banks, because she could not walk far having head both knees operated on and having Alzheimer's.  One of the few joys left to her were these car trips with her daughter, but I would not have taken her if I had to pay for parking every time.

- Another concerned citizen

'Absolutely shocking': Pay parking coming to Spanish Banks

Last Parks Board Meeting Vote