Christmas parking approved in Willoughby

Holiday street parking has returned for residents of the Yorkson area of Willoughby, as residents again complained about a lack of space for cars.

“We live in a car-dependent community with no future plans for transit,” Levy Manuel told Langley Township council Monday night.

Manuel and several of his neighbours began lobbying for street parking changes last year, when they first asked for parking along 80th Avenue east of 208th Street.

They were granted temporary on-street parking last year and council voted for the same plan this year, between Dec. 15 and Jan. 5.

The stretch of road, roughly between 208th Street and 212th Street, is four lanes wide, one of only a few sections of major road in the area fully built out.

Manuel said that some visitors have to walk up to half a kilometre to see friends and family, due to the lack of street parking.

He also pre-emptively defended the neighbourhood against the criticism that some residents are not using their garages and are filling up the street parking.

“Yes, there may be a home or two with only one car in the garage,” said Manuel. The residents have the right to own boats and skidoos and other items, he said.

Mayor Jack Froese spoke against the idea.

“We’re really going against our own bylaws,” Froese said. He and Councillor Angie Quaale voted against the temporary parking.

After months of requests for more parking and a study of the issue, the Township decided last month against permanent on-street parking along 80th Avenue.

The are will eventually be a major travel lane, comparable to 208th Street or 200th Street, said Paul Cordeiro, the manager of transportation engineering for the Township.

Staff recommended leaving the street with four travel lanes plus bike lanes, over a number of other options.

The council did vote to ask nearby residents to consider switching to time-limited parking, which would prevent people from parking permanently on 79A and 80A Streets, and to consider a $50,000 temporary gravel lot at 212th Street and 80th Ave.

The issue of parking and fears of lack of adequate visitor spaces have been raised a number of times, notably when new developments are added next to existing ones in fast-growing Willoughby.

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