The Village of Burns Lake has asked local business owners what their concerns are with regards to parking on Hwy. 16.
Staff sergeant Charlotte Peters with the Burns Lake RCMP recently brought this issue to the attention of council, saying the detachment has received many complaints from community members. She said complaints are mostly about the lack of available parking spaces between Home Hardware and RBC Royal Bank – a stretch that many people feel should be reserved for visitors and people who spend money on local businesses.
Last week, village staff met with six local business owners to discuss the parking issues that take place on that stretch of the highway.
During the meeting, business owners said they’ve had issues with day-long parking on Hwy. 16 and in the parking lot from across the street. They also complained about the lack of drop off and loading zones on Hwy. 16, lack of handicap parking and lack of lighting in the parking lot.
Business owners and village staff also discussed the location of sidewalks, parking enforcement and the lack of information available about the public’s parking needs.
A few recommendations arose during the meeting, including establishing loading and unloading zones on Hwy. 16, as well as one to two hour parking zones, extending the size and configuration of the downtown parking lot and improving lighting to the parking lot.
Business owners also suggested surveying the people parking downtown to find out what their parking needs are.
According to Sheryl Worthing, Burns Lake’s chief administrative officer, a staff report will be presented to council with potential recommendations, timelines and costs over the next few weeks.
“Once decisions have been made by council, we will follow up with the business owners,” she said.
According to a bylaw that regulates and controls traffic within the village’s boundaries (Bylaw 483), people who choose to park their vehicles for eight hours along the highway during the workday are technically not doing anything wrong. The current bylaw specifies that parking cannot exceed 24 hours.
Councillor Kelly Holliday, who owns a business on that stretch of the highway, said it makes a big difference for businesses to have available parking spaces in front of their stores.
“If someone is parked in front of your window for eight hours a day, no one can see it when they are driving by,” said Holliday.