District of North Vancouver councillors have agreed to open a dialogue with East 29th Street residents after Councillor Lisa Muri brought back the issue of removal of on street parking to last night’s council meeting.
In a unanimous vote, council asked staff to report back on the issues and solutions highlighted by the residents of East 29th Street at an upcoming council meeting on July 22. Council also asked staff to hold a public input meeting with the residents of 29th Street and surrounding neighbourhoods to discuss the impacts of the removal of parking.
Coun. Muri acknowledged that that residents have been caught off-guard and were left frustrated with the direction taken by the council.
“The original report written by Steve Carney in DNV’s traffic department contemplated a holistic approach of shared bike lanes and improved intersections. At no time during the two public input sessions did complete removal come up,” Muri noted.
She said that if council wanted to remove all parking from arterial roads, then they need to understand the impact such a decision would have in area like Delbrook and Deep Cove, where residents have no option but to park on the street. Protecting pedestrians and cyclists is a priority of the current council, but it needs to take a holistic picture of how people get around in the district, she said.
“If a safer more user friendly road network is to succeed, then we need to have users and neighbourhoods working together to come up with solutions. We should be balancing, and listening to the needs of all users of our roadways, not dividing our community,” she said.
Mayor Mike Little supported opening a dialogue with residents but made it clear the roads can’t be allowed to use as storage for private vehicles in the future. He said he was willing to solutions such as a pull-out space or short term parking solution, but the arterial roads are too valuable to be used for private parking.
“The real estate from curb to curb is a really valuable space, and I’d have great concerns spending money on the roads which are being used for private vehicle storage,” he said.
He had support in other councillors as well. Councillor Matthew Bond said the district needs to prioritize safe movement of people and there is a need to change the way things have been done. Hanson agreed with Little that going forward arterial roads can’t be used for parking. “I am interested in parking mitigation, but not in investment for private storage of vehicles,” he said. Councillors Megan Curren and Betty Forbes were sympathetic to the residents but said cycling and transit needs would have to be considered on arterial roads.