Letter: the irksome fact of paid parking in Vancouver parks

I received the following as an email in response to my earlier column on Mayor Robertson’s legacy. I agree with everything that she says. I know that the Vancouver Park Board has had its budget slashed by the Vision Vancouver city council, which is one reason they are resorting to paid parking in our parks. These are destinations for families from across the region. The next Vancouver government would do well to consider scrapping parking fees in areas such as Spanish Banks.


I read your article in the courier and have been thinking about the term “eco- elite”.

I have been trying to advocate. This is not something that I usually do as a 68-year-old retired nurse manager who has just gone through surgery and treatment!

Indeed it was in November that I had the surgery and it took weeks to recover.

In that interim I learned the Parks Board Commissioners decided to impose metered parking for Spanish Banks starting April 1. I am horrified that the eco elite allowed this to happen. I am astounded that there has not been a huge outcry!

Spanish Banks is where young families go for free recreation in the summer.  Not only West siders… but east siders, the aged for walks, whose doctors told them to exercise, the infirm, the poor, the disadvantaged. So I am horrified.

And Vancouver is such an expensive city to live in!

I contacted the Parks Board and received a letter in return — “A yearly Pass can be bought for $97 … how absolutely elitist!! …How can a family that budgets to the last centime afford this?

This is an issue of democratic accessibility. Not everyone can pay $3.50 an hour.

I wonder how to stir up some discussion in trying to revoke this money grab decision. Nearly every suburb has parking meters. For those of us who have not been well, and need to park, there is a meter tax on us when we need to run an errand…to buy a bread for example.

And this illustrates also that some of this fair city’s citizens cannot use a bicycle to get around!

The Park Board and City need to find a new model for funding recreation. Taxing people going to the beach creates a divide as to who has free accessibility….The eco elite …who live nearby (  as there is not even good transportation to Spanish Banks.

There is only a small shuttle bus that Services Point Grey / UBC). Do we think that owners of multimillion dollar homes in the area will allow big city buses near their front doors? I, too, don’t agree with that…and so much for a relaxing time at the beach when instead, people will be anxiously watching the time so that they don’t get ticketed by the meter police…

I wonder if you are able to bring attention to this issue?  I am not sure that people even realize what is happening. I have little experience in writing for a newspaper and enjoyed your article.

Thank you so much! I look forward to your response.

Ellen Becker

Spanish Banks feature photo credit: Violet Nesdoly