Letters: Willoughby parking a problem only for those who abuse it

Dear Editor,

Regarding the ongoing debate in which some insist that there is a shortage of visitor parking in the Yorkson neighbourhood of Willoughby, we have a few particularly vocal Yorkson South homeowners who insist they represent those of us who live in the community. That is not the case.

A petition, simply asked if residents would like parking along 80th Avenue, is highly skewed. They did not only petition the residents along 80th who would be directly impacted by the change in parking regulations, they also spoke to homeowners who do not reside in the immediate area.

In order to provide council with a clear representation of the opinion in the neighbourhood, a proper census needs to be conducted to find out:

• How many people are residing in the single-family homes?

• How many have extended families and/or illegal suites?

• How many have (illegal) personal businesses being operated out of their homes?

• How many people are actually using the allotted three stalls for their intended purpose?

Those questions were not on the circulated petition.

My husband and I purchased our home in early 2012. Never once did the developer or their employees mislead us regarding the parking regulations along 80th Avenue.

In fact, we purposely bought our home on 80th Avenue because we were told there would not be street parking, but there would be bike lanes.

We knew from the beginning what we were buying into, as would be the case for all individuals who purchased Yorkson South homes.

People had the option of paying $20,000 more for a home on 79A Avenue that would have allowed them to have street parking in front of their residence. Those choosing not to take that offer knew full well what they were buying into. They made their choice, and now they should have to live with it.

If they have found they made the wrong decision for their family, perhaps they should move out of the neighbourhood and find one more suitable to their personal needs, rather than trying to change an established neighbour hood.

Each Yorkson South single-family home has a double car garage and an outdoor parking stall.

Many of the homeowners do not use their allotted parking. Some use their garages for storage and/or personal businesses.

There are also residents who have more vehicles than parking stalls. For example, one resident has five vehicles and only uses one allotted spot; the other four vehicles are parked on the street.

There are a couple of homes in the neighbourhood that actually have four allotted spots: a double car garage, a single outdoor stall, and the apron off the garage, large enough to accommodate a vehicle.

I am in favour of the time limited parking along 79A Avenue and 80A Avenue that has been offered as a viable solution by council. They should also include 211th Street.

It is a terrific idea that will force homeowners to actually use allotted parking for its intended purpose, not for storage and/or home businesses. The time limited parking will allow for the “visitor parking” certain residents are seeking.

The fact that they are opposed to this solution and want even more parking makes me think that they are merely out for personal parking.

I believe any changes to the 80th Avenue corridor to accommodate parking for a handful of residents is a mistake. Langley has very few safe cycling lanes, which is partially why we are so heavily dependent on our cars. Parking along 80th would entail eliminating the bike lanes there, endangering the cyclists who use one of the few safe cycling corridors in the Township.

Allowing parking along 80th will endanger the lives of more than just cyclists. You will see a spike in car accidents, particularly at the intersection of 211th Street and 80th Avenue.

There have been several times when construction and personal vehicles have been parked illegally along 80th Avenue. Trying to make a left-hand turn off of 211th Street onto 80th Avenue becomes an absolute nightmare.

Drivers must slowly pull forward fully into the right hand lane so they can see if anyone is approaching in the middle lane.

Given the high rate of speed that many individuals drive along 80th Avenue, it is only a matter of time before someone is seriously injured or killed.

Personal safety must supersede convenience for a handful of residents.

H.K., Willoughby

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