Cars line the curb at the South Surrey Park & Ride.

Move to curb illegal parking frustrates at bus loop

TransLink officials hope carpool stalls at the South Surrey Park & Ride will curb the need to tow illegally parked vehicles.

An effort to reduce congestion and illegal parking at the South Surrey Park & Ride has led to the introduction of 13 stalls designated for those who carpool.

But while TransLink officials say the move is hoped to encourage more people to share their ride – and avoid the need to tow vehicles being parked illegally – at least one woman says it will do little to ease the problem at the well-used facility.

“Give me a break,” said Tina Hartnell, a South Surrey resident whose 20-year-old daughter takes transit to Langara College. “You’re assuming that these people are all on the same schedule.”

Hartnell’s daughter was among commuters who returned to the lot last month to find a notice on their vehicle warning they could be towed in the future if found parked illegally. The curbs have since been painted yellow, and warning signs have been installed, Hartnell said this week.

TransLink spokesman Drew Snider told Peace Arch News the initial warnings were issued when it was recognized the problem was growing.

He said TransLink’s customer service has been fielding five to 10 complaints per month regarding problem parking at the lot, including some calls from people who have returned to find their vehicle boxed in. Other illegally parked commuters have actually affected bus operations, he said.

“We’re not about to start towing people, but we have to look at practical solutions to what has become a dangerous… inconvenient situation,” Snider said.

The South Surrey Park & Ride, located near the King George Boulevard exits to and from Highway 99, has 481 parking stalls.

In recent weeks, commuters arriving to find the lot full have taken to parking along the curbs and even the exit lane that leads towards the King George.

Snider said a customer survey – determining 91 per cent of those who use the park-and-ride are driving to and from the lot alone – made further efforts to encourage carpooling a logical step.

While Hartnell suggested the lot be expanded, Snider said that option is not financially viable at this time. He confirmed, however, that negotiations “to develop a longer-term solution” are underway, and include the City of Surrey.

A Nov. 3 email to Hartnell from Surrey’s rapid transit and strategic projects manager, Paul Lee, confirms that city staff have been advised of a future plan to double the lot’s current stalls. Lee also confirms the necessary funding – millions of dollars – has not been included in TransLink’s latest financial plan.

Snider is optimistic the carpooling program will help.

“If you can get more people into each car, it would stand to reason it frees up more spaces,” Snider said. “It’s not going to be the be-all and end-all.”

Those interested in taking advantage of the new system may apply online (www.translink.ca/driving/carpooling.aspx) for a carpool pass to reserve one of the stalls. The spots are available to those with a valid pass who arrive with at least two people in the registered vehicle. If there is more demand than the stalls can accommodate, priority will be given vehicles with the most riders.

A similar program offering 27 stalls for carpoolers is in place at the Scott Road SkyTrain Park & Ride.

Snider said TransLink’s ‘Carpool Hero’ program, which is offering opportunities to win fuel, parking passes and ferry passes, is further incentive for commuters to get onboard.

He acknowledged there is no guarantee that the program will take off as hoped.

“It’s always a gamble. How well did we predict how successful the park-and-ride’s going to be? Almost 500 spaces – we figured that was going to be enough.”

 

Just Posted

Son of slain former Hells Angel is one of two men sentenced for crime spree

Pair’s 2017 series of Lower Mainland robberies stretched from Surrey to Mission

‘Person of interest’ identified after suspicious meat left in North Delta park

Piles of meat have been dumped near the 63rd Avenue trail entrance four times in the last 30 days

Fundraiser launched for South Surrey stabbing victim’s funeral

Paul Prestbakmo remembered for ‘amazing smile, great soul’

Surrey-raised Merkules raps his way around the world

Cole Stevenson opens up about his ‘Scars,’ a hit remix of ‘Old Town Road’ and how he’s pals with Shaq

Disney Plus to launch in Canada in November

Analysts say latest streaming service may escalate cord cutting

B.C. manhunt suspects left cellphone video before they died: family

Family member says Kam McLeod, Bryer Schmegelsky recorded final wishes

Okanagan bus driver assaulted for asking patron not to smoke

59-year-old in hospital with non-life threatening injuries

Mouse infestation hit Langley hospital’s kitchens

Droppings and urine were found by Fraser Health inspectors in the spring

B.C. sets rules for ride hailing, same minimum fee as taxis

Larger operating areas seen as threat by cab companies

Two hiking families team up to extinguish fire in B.C. backcountry

Children and their parents worked for three hours to ensure safety of the popular hiking region

B.C. mom mourns 14-year-old son whose fatal overdose was posted online

Chantell Griffiths misses the son she hadn’t seen much in recent years

Vancouver man arrested after pregnant woman’s SUV stolen, then crashed

Police are recommending charges against a 22-year-old Vancouver man

Most Read

l -->