Parking reservation system returning to popular lake in Metro Vancouver

Apr 27 2023, 8:39 pm

After some mixed reviews last year, BC Hydro is bringing back the free parking reservation system at one of Metro Vancouver’s most popular lakes.

But this year, Hydro says there will be some improvements to help visitors plan their trip and reduce traffic congestion in Anmore when it comes into effect next month.

“The reservation system proved to be effective last year in eliminating long waits for parking spots. With some new improvements, people will once again be able to use the system to plan their visit to Buntzen Lake,” says Rick Glumac, MLA for Port Moody-Coquitlam.

Hydro says the free parking reservation system pilot project successfully reduced peak traffic congestion to just 10% of what it had been.

Reaction to last year’s parking program

The free parking reservation system was touted as a “success” by BC Hydro and politicians alike, but some locals in the area told Daily Hive last year that it impacted their access to the area and there were often empty spots when no passes were available.

Riti Chrea is an avid hiker who lives in Port Moody. He wakes up at 5 am and usually gets an early start to his weekend adventures. But parking reservations at Buntzen open up at midnight, and Chrea said he can’t stay up that late to snag a spot.

“There’s two types of people. One that lives away from the Tri-City area, and they want to make sure that when they go to Buntzen Lake they have a spot. Which I get… But then there are cases like us where we definitely want to go but because of this reservation policy it’s harder for us.”

In a news release last year, BC Hydro admitted that approximately one-third of all reservations last summer were no-shows.

The Buntzen Lake parking lot was only closed once last summer because it was at capacity, compared to the 27 times the gates shut in Summer 2021.

How do you book a spot?

If you’re looking to be prepared to head to Buntzen this year, keep in mind reservations are required starting on May 15.

You can make a vehicle reservation online, starting at 7 am the day before your visit.

According to BC Hydro, you will have the option of booking a pass to access the parking lot for a morning, afternoon or all-day timeslot.

Reservations are connected to vehicle licence plates and mobile phone numbers, and are non-transferable.

The good news? You won’t need a pass if you’re using transit, biking or walking to the park.

With files from Megan Devlin

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