Parking Follies III

An occasional series featuring parking problems from a pedestrian and cyclist viewpoint.

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What: A car parked in a bike lane.

Where: Near the intersection of Gorge Road West and Gorge View Drive

When: February 17, 2014. 1:59 pm.

Comment: This happens all too often on roads in the Victoria area – a seemingly unaware driver thinks that a bike lane is actually an on-street parking lane, forcing cyclists to merge into the motor vehicle traffic lane to get around the obstruction, often at some risk to their safety. What makes this case particularly egregious is that both nearby driveways (in the foreground and the background of the picture) were empty, meaning that the driver had access to off-street parking. Half an hour later, I passed this spot on the bus, and saw a police car parked behind this car, presumably writing a ticket.

The relevant portion of Saanich’s Steets and Traffic bylaw reads: “7.10 Except when necessary to avoid conflict with traffic or to comply with the law or the direction of a peace officer or traffic control device, no person shall stop, stand or park a vehicle… (r) On or over a bicycle lane.” The fine that Saanich levies for this offense is, according to section 11.03 (b), a minimum of $30.00.

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3 Responses to Parking Follies III

  1. Al Lindskoog says:

    I happened to pass by this same vehicle a little later the same day. Besides causing undue hardship on bikers ( and definitely creating a safety hazard for them), it also forces vehicles into the other lane in order to get around them. Some people just have no sense of anything but their own comfort!

    Meanwhile it also speaks to issues of planning and foreseeing the need for parking spaces, but not providing them.

    And I wonder why there aren’t appropriate curb markings (yellow paint) to remind drivers!

    • vincentgornall says:

      I hadn’t realized it was affecting motor vehicle drivers too, but now that I look at it, that makes sense.

      I disagree with you on “foreseeing the need for parking spaces,” since both adjacent houses had empty driveways with enough space for two cars during the half hour or so between the time I saw this car and when the police officer was apparently issuing a ticket. Since driveways are part of municipal zoning controls, the need was foreseen and provided for. For visitors to the area and users of the adjacent park along the Gorge, there’s a public parking lot less than 200 meters away from where the car was parked. If anything, parking in this area is oversupplied, with parking lots serving businesses at two of the four corners of Gorge and Tillicum as well.

  2. vincentgornall says:

    The more I think about this, the more it makes me angry. If the car had been blocking a motor vehicle lane, it probably would have been towed. The $30 fine also seems disproportionately low.

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