With new developments popping up in and around Langford, residents are voicing their concerns about parking in the city.
Kelly Shaw, a Langford resident with kids who attend Lakewood Elementary school, has faced a few problems when parking in the city. She walks her children to school, and is often worried about safety as parents park on the sidewalk near the school.
“For kindergarten, parents can’t just drop off their kids, they have to walk them to the front door,” Shaw said. “And they can’t park in the bike lanes on the road, that’s dangerous.”
Shaw said parents at the school received a notice saying they cannot park on the street, however, there are no other options for them.
“I feel for both sides,” said Shaw, who was given a hard time after parking in the neighbourhood adjacent to Westhills Park.
“I was really pregnant at the time… I promised my kids a visit to Westhills Park and the parking lot was full so I parked on the street in front of someone’s house,” Shaw said. “When I got back, I found dog [feces] smeared all over my door handle.”
There were no signs posted that said she could not park there, Shaw said. She also noted she had dashcam footage – which she has since deleted – of someone deliberately smearing the feces on her car handle.
Shaw said she thinks it is because they were unhappy she parked in front of their home and noted that many people are parking on the street in that neighbourhood.
Langford Mayor Stew Young said parking at schools is the provincial government’s responsibility when they build a school in a community. Young said the city usually has to enforce the usage of proper drop-off zones but it is hard to do when adequate parking was not put in at the school in the first place.
“There’s never really been enough of a pullout for parents to drop off their kids in a safe manner,” Young said about Lakewood Elementary School.
“We’re trying to address that right now but that’s just bad planning right from day one…even though it’s a neighbourhood people still tend to drive their kids to school in their car.”
As for other parts of the city and particularly downtown Langford, Young said residents can expect to see more parking become available in the coming years.
“It doesn’t go unnoticed by council or by staff,” Young said. “We know as we grow we need to have more parking opportunities.”
Young said it is important to continue to attract business and jobs in Langford and he noted that ample, free parking is a way to get people to conduct business in the city.
“You’re going to probably start to see in five years some parking right in our downtown core to make it accessible,” Young said.