FVRD director Taryn Dixon tried to reassure residents of electoral area H on Monday who were upset about the perennial parking problem that resurfaced along Columbia Valley Road.
Hundreds of vehicles reportedly lined the road along Cultus Lake over the weekend, prompting safety concerns and complaints to be posted on Facebook group pages like the Columbia Valley group.
“Something needs to be done Columbia Valley Road is fricken ridiculous,” one commenter posted.
Another poster urged locals to report the vehicles parked in no-parking zones to RCMP.
“This is beyond ridiculous that this is being tolerated,” they posted. “They need to be inundated with calls to get this stopped. Let’s not wait until there’s a death, peeps.”
Dixon responded to residents in a Facebook message to say that provincial Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (MOTI) officials plan to block off parts of Columbia Valley Road once again with tall orange pylons in the no-parking zones.
“MOTI confirmed today they are meeting with Emil Anderson and the orange pylons will go up Wednesday or Thursday,” Dixon posted. “There is funding for more of a long-term solution however, it won’t happen for this summer.”
Jurisdictional issues are one of the reasons why there is no perfect parking solution. The FVRD does not have the authority to ticket or tow vehicles.
Ministry of Highways and Infrastructure ( MOTI) is the body that manages rural roads, and Columbia Valley Highway is a rural road, Dixon underlined.
”MOTI gives RCMP the authority to ticket or tow. However, RCMP must hand the ticket to the person, much like a speeding ticket.”
She pointed out that the RCMP officers on duty in the Cultus Lake area are part of a seasonal policing effort, meaning there are only eight to 10 officers assigned to Cultus, Harrison, and Chilliwack River Valley. They work shifts so not all eight officers are on duty at once, and RCMP makes its own operational decisions about where officers are needed most.
There is a day pass pilot project currently at some BC Parks but not at Cultus Lake Provincial Park, Dixon wrote, and not this summer.
“Cultus Lake continues to be considered however implementing is complex because we have people living on the other side of the park. BC Parks continues to look at systems that would work well for the Cultus Lake situation,” Dixon said.
“I know none of this is perfect and that the weekend was super busy. Hopefully the orange pylons will ease things a bit but I recognize more work needs to be done,” she added.
Dixon is asking for anyone with photos or video of the parking problem to send them to her.
Send by email or text to Tdixon@fvrd.ca or 604-819-7000.
Anyone with concerns about traffic safety are asked to call RCMP non-emergency number 604-792-4611. and/or email Chilliwack-Kent MLA Kelli Paddon at kelli.paddon.MLA@leg.bc.ca
“Thanks for expressing your concerns,” Dixon concluded.
*A previous version of this story had an incorrect email for the MLA Kelli Paddon. It has since been corrected.
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