By Cole Parkinson
The Town of Vauxhall is continuing to see parking issues along 1st Street.
While the issue was brought to a head in 2012 when council finally decided to carry a motion to not place overnight-parking signs along 1st Street between 2nd Avenue and 7th Avenue, concerns have persisted and were brought to council at one of their regular meetings.
“The bylaw officer was doing his job and a truck was parked there. All he did was ask for him to move,” said CAO Cris Burns. “I told the concerned citizen that council is not trying to chase trucks out of town but they are trying to keep them out of that zone. Nobody needs to be parking north of 3rd Avenue until they get to the parking zone. We can move the concrete blocks out to try and alleviate some of that but definitely, it is 3rd Street to the services at the end that are causing problems. We did get permission to move those blocks so that is an option.”
Council expressed their understanding that truckers may need to park within the town but were not in favour of them blocking areas of vision for drivers.
“When Wendy’s is open, trucks park there to go get food and we haven’t done anything with them there. The biggest concern is when they are double-parked, that is the big issue. They tend to do that in the evening,” added Mayor Margaret Plumtree. “It’s not a parking lot. If they want a parking lot that will be across the highway. It’s a first-come, first-serve basis and once the spots are filled, they are filled. We can’t make it so no one can get down the street including a fire truck or an ambulance.”
“They are blocking the view and you are making the turn, people can’t see,” added Coun. Linda English.
With a truck parking lot coming to Vauxhall on Highway 36 in the near future, council is hoping that alleviates some of the concerns present in town.
So far, the Highway 36 rest area has completed the subdivision process and the road closure has been completed with the detailed design still being worked on.
For now, though, council still needed to look at ways to help with the parking issues.
“One solution would be to put a time limit on parking there. Again, the trucker that is wanting to stop and run into the convenience store or run into Wendy’s, that is fine and good to support the local businesses. You don’t want people using it as a parking lot though, and there is a difference. To me, a time limit on parking would be enforceable,” said Deputy Mayor Richard Phillips.
“I think it is common sense that you shouldn’t park your truck on part of the roadway where people have to pass,” added Coun. Kim Cawley.
Mayor Plumtree highlighted that council wanted to make sure roadways were safe for residents while also allowing tired truck drivers a chance to get off the road for a while.
“I think just being responsible for our residents and making sure our roadway is safe for them. Giving truckers a safe spot to park in if they need to get off the road to nap or stop at Wendy’s to get a bite to eat. Just trying to find that balance.”