The municipal government is currently in the process of reviewing all of its services in an effort to focus only on its essential priorities during the coronavirus crisis.
During Friday’s City of Vancouver press conference, City Manager Sadhu Johnston said the direction of moving away from non-essential work “includes not enforcing parking bylaw.”
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He added that parking enforcement officers could be redeployed, potentially to assist with other critical functions of the municipal government.
But this is not to say there will be free parking on the curbside and at city-owned parking lots, nor can there be a disregard for parking regulations.
In an email to Daily Hive clarifying the municipal government’s position, the city says there will always need to be some parking enforcement “to a certain extent.”
Beyond checking the elapsed time on parking meters, the city says parking enforcement is an essential part of the city’s ability to ensure public safety, such as keeping streets passable and safe, especially for emergency vehicles.
“Parking enforcement provides services beyond parking meter payment, including keeping streets passable and safe, maintaining access to disabled and commercial zones, and responding to citizen requests regarding blocked driveways and intersection obstructions,” stated the city.
The city is expected to release further information to share over the coming days, especially as parking regulations in residential neighbourhoods could affect the ability for residents to remain at home and practice self-isolation and physical distancing. Currently, residents are advised to continue to adhere to parking regulations and pay for parking where required.
Over the weekend, the Vancouver Park Board banned parking at Kitsilano Beach, English Bay, Queen Elizabeth Park, Stanley Park, and VanDusen Botanical Garden to help deter the large crowds that were seen gathering at the parks and beaches and on the seawall.
Curbside parking within retail districts across the city are becoming largely empty, with an increasing number of residents staying put at home, performing essential trips, and ordering meals from restaurants online for delivery.
Out for my #dailywalk #41stAvenue #Vancouver first time in recorded history #Parking available #amwritingfantasy #amdoingDayJob I have 2x normal deadlines this month 😲🍁#script too pic.twitter.com/K3B6gwBJhM
— Cat Girczyc (@Cat_WritesSFF) March 19, 2020
Dear @kennedystewart @CityofVancouver , will you be varying 2hr time-limit zone parking so folks can stay home from work and effectively self isolate without getting parking tickets? @CKNW @MelissaDeGenova @LisaDominato pic.twitter.com/LxGD1lQg2E
— Keivan Hirji (@KeivanHirji) March 17, 2020
Great to see that @CityofVancouver parking enforcement folks continue ticketing people who exceed posted two hour parking limits in the bustling area of Oak and 20th during a global pandemic. pic.twitter.com/vQHfgqbe5y
— Kevin Cherney (@kcherney) March 17, 2020
— Melissa Garmatz (@MGarmezzie) March 22, 2020
@kennedystewart During the current provincial State of Emergency, when members of the public have been asked to stay home….the City of Vancouver feels it’s “absolutely necessary” to give out parking tickets and potentially spread the virus. #COVIDー19 #Vancouver pic.twitter.com/Kt67NTfBun
— Jamie Hyland (@JamieHyland) March 21, 2020