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Letter: North Shore developers getting away without providing enough parking

It’s more profitable to build condos without parking
Numerous street signs line Lonsdale Avenue near 15th Street, as heavy traffic pours by a curbside seating area. | Nick Laba / North Shore News files

Dear Editor:

Re: Move On: Why are intersection sightlines getting worse?

I really enjoyed reading your article in the Jan. 3 North Shore News. It seems to me that one of the reasons parking has become such a problem on the North Shore is because developers are being allowed to get away with minimizing parking spaces while maximizing their profits.

The question of parking came up at a public meeting hosted by a development company. The developer assured the audience that they were going to provide 1.5 parking spots per unit. This was odd because I don’t know anyone who drives half a car. We were also told that the new building would not affect street parking.

Unfortunately, it certainly did because most adults in family units own cars, which means at least two cars per unit. This not only meant many more cars on the street but also cars parked in designated guest parking spots on other nearby rental properties.

While scouting out another new highrise on the North Shore, the question of parking came up again. This time we were told that there was no underground parking planned for that development at all. Residents would just have to park on the street, or better still, sell their cars and ride bicycles.

Of course, that’s a brilliant idea until it pours rain or it snows. There are many other times when public transit just isn’t as convenient as a car, such as when going shopping for a load of groceries, or taking the little ones to daycare or school, or commuting to a distant workplace.

We were also told by the developers that they would make sure the transit authorities arranged bus routes and bus stops that would accommodate the new residents. Unfortunately, they never did that. From this we learned that developers, like politicians, will promise the public whatever they want to hear, but they rarely deliver.

I see the responsibility for the reduction in parking spaces as resting squarely on both the development companies and the city planners who let the developers get away with doing what profits them most. After all, building a parking garage costs money and doesn’t bring in nearly the profits as will building a few more units in that space.

Peter B. Raabe

North Vancouver