A proposal that would increase available parking by safely reducing the no-parking zone around fire hydrants could add much-needed spaces in one of the City’s busiest shopping areas, DLBA executive director Teri James said. Dan Ferguson Langley Times

B.C. city wants to reduce parking distance from fire hydrants to add spaces

Shrinking the no-parking space around hydrants could free up “hundreds” of parking spaces, study says

A proposal that would increase available parking spaces by reducing the size of the no-parking area around fire hydrants is attracting interest from Lower Mainland municipalities.

The current five-metre limit could be cut in half with no problem, according to a University of the Fraser Valley (UFV) study carried out by Surrey Fire Chief Len Garis, who is also an adjunct professor in the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice and associate to the Centre for Social Research at UFV.

Tests carried out for the study show that reducing the no-stopping zone to 2.5 metres would increase the availability on-street parking “without impeding fire ground operations or public safety” and could create hundreds of additional parking stalls in larger communities.

Where hydrants are located in the middle of a city block, it would would allow space for an additional parking stall.

Teri James, the executive director of the Downtown Langley Business Association (DLBA) said anything that adds parking space in the downtown core would be helpful.

“I actually did wonder on more than one occasion why there was such a huge amount of space on either side of the fire hydrant,” James said.

Rick Bomhof, the Langley City Director of Engineering, Parks and Environment said reducing the clearance space around fire hydrants would likely free up a handful of parking spaces around the Kwantlen Polytechnic University campus for students and add a few spaces in the downtown core.

“Parking is always at a premium in the downtown core,” Bomhof said.

“It would be nice to have more.”

In Langley Township, where complaints about a perceived lack of parking spaces is a perennial political issue, there was cautious interest.

“We’d have to do a bigger review before we go down that road,” said Fire Chief Stephen Gamble

“We’d have to take a closer look at it,” Langley manager of transportation engineering Paul Cordeiro said.

Township mayor Jack Froese said the municipality would be looking into it further.

READ MORE: Yorkson parking report blasted by residents

The UFV study said the original reason for the existing five-metre no-stopping zone was to make it easier for fire trucks to spot the hydrants.

“With the advancement of geographic positioning systems (GPS), CAD (computer assisted design) maps in the fire trucks, and other related technologies, along with the driver’s awareness of hydrant locations, this is not widely seen as an issue any longer at least in the compact urban setting” the report stated.

The proposal has been endorsed by the association representing B.C. fire chiefs and the Regional Engineers Advisory Committee in Metro Vancouver.

The report by Garis and co-authors John Lehmann, an assistant fire chief for the City of Surrey and Alex Tyakoff, the strategic planning analyst for the City of Surrey Fire Service was released in January of 2017, but did not get a lot of attention until this week, when some engineers and managers in Lower Mainland municipalities, including Surrey and Coquitlam, started publicly discussing it as a potential solution to a shortage of parking spots.

Coquitlam councillor Craig Hodge said the city has 1,800 mid-block fire hydrants that are taking up “twice as much parking as fire chiefs say is needed,” which could be used create new spaces.

Hodge said parking has become a pressing issue because of housing prices that are leading to the creation of more secondary suites as mortgage helpers.

“Parking is the number one complaint when it comes to secondary suites,” Hodge said.

The report said shrinking the no-parking zone will require an amendment to the BC Motor Vehicle Act followed by the introduction of new local government bylaws to reflect the new provincial standard.



dan.ferguson@langleytimes.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter


:


Just Posted

Kelowna students awarded for their heritage research

The Okanagan Regional Heritage Fair was held April 24

Kelowna dragon welcomed to the den

Lane Merrifield is the new dragon on Dragons’ Den

Lake Country man facing assault charges

A woman was seriously injured after an alleged aggravated assault on April 22

State of emergency issued for Mill Creek

Risk of flooding increases as runoffs from higher elevations reach the valley bottom in Kelowna

Send us your spring pics for a chance to win

The Capital News is collecting photos of you taking advantage of this nice weather

VIDEO: B.C. ‘escapologist’ stuns judges on Britain’s Got Talent

Matt Johnson says televised water stunt was closest he’s come to death

WATCH: Moms Stop The Harm respond to opioid crisis

Someone asked her if she does the work for her son. McBain said: “No, actually. I do it for your son.”

Haley Blais tackles social norms through music tour

Haley Blais encourages people not to be discouraged by social norms and to be who they are

Been a long day? Here’s cute puppies in training

Group is training next batch of assistance dogs at Vancouver International Airport

B.C. skydiver lands safely after cutting away main chute

Greater Victoria emergency services called after witnesses saw spiralling chute

78 Mexican farmworkers displaced after fire tears through building on B.C. farm

Flames broke out Thursday morning in building that housed up to 80 workers at Abbotsford farm

3 year-old golden lab from Calgary missing after car accident east of Revelstoke

The car that Abbie — a three year old Golden lab was driving in — flipped over and ended up in a ditch early this morning

Inmates, machines adding muscle to Oliver flood fight

Inmates are packing 250 sandbags a day, but RDOS says newly acquired machine will push 6,000 an hour

Cartoonist captures public mood following Toronto, Humboldt tragedies

Cartoonist said he was trying to find a bit of positivity with an image that has garnered attention

Most Read