Your newspaper has recently printed letters, a column and an editorial regarding the District of West Vancouver's Traffic and Parking Bylaw. One letter writer made reference to Section 8.18.2, which states: "No person may cause or permit a vehicle to move from one location to another in the same block to avoid the time limit regulations specified in that particular block." We wanted to take the opportunity to provide some information on this section of the bylaw.
Municipalities regulate parking in this manner to prevent vehicles from being moved within the same block to avoid time-specific parking regulations (such as two-hour limits). This practice results in parking congestion and makes it harder for the public to find parking in busier commercial areas. It affects both customers seeking a place to park and business owners who rely on a flow of customers who can park near to their businesses.
We receive complaints from businesses that cars have been parked longer than allowed, and that their customers are unable to find parking. If we did not enforce this bylaw, drivers could park on, say, Marine Drive and simply move their cars every few hours within the same block to avoid the time limit restrictions. This would significantly reduce the amount of parking available for the general public, who seek to use the services of those businesses, and would also negatively affect the businesses. Both the City and District of North Vancouver (and other municipalities) have similar bylaws intended to deal with this practice.
Prior to the district acquiring Licence Plate Recognition Technology (LPRT) last year, it was common practice for motorists to wipe chalk off tires or roll the vehicle backward/ forward to hide chalked tires, in an effort to park in restricted spaces for longer than allowed. The LPRT photographs licence plates, the vehicle's wheel position and location of vehicles in the parking space, to determine whether the vehicle has been moved within the same block.
If anyone feels that a ticket has been issued incorrectly, they can call our Bylaws Department to ask for more information and seek information on how to dispute the ticket through the district's adjudication system. All of our most frequently referenced bylaws are online at westvancouver.ca/bylaws and are viewable by the public 24/7.
Mark Chan Director of Lands, Bylaws, First Nations & Legal Affairs District of West Vancouver
(Editor: Complaints to this paper about the bylaw reference three things: the rule is not signposted; bylaw personnel "advise" against fighting the ticket; the bylaw is not posted on the municipal website. Staff advise - and we accept - that the updated bylaw with the relevant clause is, in fact, posted. However, this paper has duplicated the experience of residents and been unable to read 8.18.2 of the updated bylaw on both a Mac and PC using two different browsers. This would appear to be an issue of web accessibility. We will publish one further letter Sunday on the topic of whether the bylaw does what it purports to do.)