The VanPoli Group
Started 2 petitions
Say NO to citywide parking permits and road pricing
The least affordable city in Canada with tax increases 4x inflation and the most costly to drive with the highest gas taxes and highest parking meter rates in the country, but the city wants to squeeze even more out of you and make mobility more difficult. Time to say NO. The plan to implement citywide permit parking is falsely described in almost Orwellian terms. You will love this new tax because it will make parking easier, address climate change and allow for more greenspace and patios, but none of these things are actually true. Where permit parking is necessary, like around hospitals or the West End, we already have permits in place. For probably 75% or more of residential streets, parking is not a problem at all, with plenty of space for residents and visitors, and when pressed, the city admits it has no idea how it will work with visitors, but hopes to figure something out. You can be sure that it will make mobility and visiting people more costly and complex. Further, city staff climate lead, Matt Horne said on CKNW that the intent is to start the tax lower, likely around $40, but increase it steadily to “market rates”, so don’t be fooled. West End permits went from $78 to $360 not too long ago. During the pandemic we have seen numerous street patios built in parking spaces and street corners and yet we are told that we need citywide permits to do exactly what we are doing already. Encouraging the use of fuel efficient vehicles or EV's is good, but this is not the city's business as it can and is being handled at the provincial and federal levels through existing tax and incentives. Instead of complex citywide permits, just tack on additional pollution charges when you renew your license sticker every year. This is a solution looking desperately for a problem. The other major proposal is the plan to create a vehicle charging zone to enter Vancouver north of 16th. This road pricing plan will be another huge cost for anyone who needs to go downtown, but also along Broadway, to VGH, St Paul’s, to the north shore, to the West End or just traverse the city from say Kits to Commercial Drive. City staff falsely compares Vancouver traffic to London and Singapore, which is ridiculous. Climate issues are real and need to be addressed, but effective and meaningful action should not be confused with these greenwashing measures. The city has a Talkback survey about permits, but nowhere in the survey do you get the opportunity to say you don’t want this, so we need to let the mayor and councillors know how you feel. There are two ways: 1. Sign this petition. We will use this to keep the heat on and to garner public interest.2. Write to the mayor and all councillors pledging your promise to make your next election vote contingent upon how candidates vote on these issues. The second option is especially powerful because most councillors were elected by a margin of only a few thousand votes. Mayor Stewart won by only 957 votes, so it doesn’t take much of a shift to make a real difference to how our city is governed. Click here to send your own email to mayor and councillors. Here is a sample message, but an original message is always best so feel free to use this as inspiration: I am writing in opposition to the proposed citywide parking permits and road pricing plans. I feel strongly that these additional charges will only exacerbate the affordability problem in this city while not achieving the stated goals pertaining to climate or ease of mobility. In other words, a lot of costly greenwashing in what is already the most expensive city in Canada to live, rent, own drive or park. These two issues demonstrate a huge lack of sensitivity and understanding for the real issues residents face in this city and as such, you can be assured that a candidate who has voted in support of citywide permits or road pricing can count on losing my vote in the coming election. If you feel that citywide permits and road pricing are a bad idea, let the mayor and council know by signing this petition.
Keep Stanley Park open for all!
Widely considered one of the most beautiful urban parks in the world, a motion is being presented at the Park Board to “Explore Options to Reduce Motor Vehicle Traffic in Stanley Park”. This could mean limiting access for people who choose to, or must, access the park by car in favour of a second bike route. Exactly how these restrictions could be realized is not clear, but it’s important to send a message to the Park Board now. Changes to access could mean that the able bodied would be better served at the expense of anyone who can neither bike to the park, or walk the considerable distance to popular destinations within the park. Why? The temporary and sensible closure of the park due to Covid-19 was meant to be just that, temporary, however some Park Board commissioners are responding to the positive feedback from cycling users who enjoy the park free of motor vehicles. It is a very nice bike ride on the road, and one which, in fact, has always been available as well, but it is also more strenuous and does not afford all the same views as the seawall, which a TripAdvisor review described as, “Fantastic place to cycle around, even if you're not confident at cycling, is flat and there are dedicated cycle lanes away from vehicles.” To some, this is just not good enough. So who are the people who would find restricted access a barrier? Obviously the mobility challenged, most elderly people, but also anyone coming from afar who would find using public transit and walking through the park, too difficult to be practical. Also anyone who is visiting with beach gear, picnic, chairs, etc… Many families come to the pool and Third Beach laden with items which would be very difficult to bring by transit. Impossible? Maybe not, but these are all barriers for families and anyone who is not as able bodied as cyclists. Some advocates speak of getting cars off the road or use hyperbolic language about how fumes and pollution from cars “ruin” their park experience. This, despite the thousands of online reviews extolling the beauty, serenity and access of Stanley Park. New York’s Central Park is sited as an example of a car free urban park, but it is a narrow strip with numerous access points all around the park, served well by roads and transit. Stanley Park is like an island and getting to certain destinations on foot would be a prohibitive walk for many. Refining the park experience, making it safer and more enjoyable is a good thing, but creating a barrier to others is not the way to do that. It’s also worth noting that parking revenue generates $4 million annually to help maintain all our parks. Please sign this petition to urge Vancouver’s Park Board to keep this jewel easily accessible to all. Even better, please write to the Park Board to tell them how you feel about keeping the park accessible to all. You can leave feedback on this webform. or contact commissioners directly by email at PBcommissioners@vancouver.ca Keep Vancouver’s most beautiful park accessible to all. Listen to Park Board commissioner Tricia Barker discuss this issue on CKNW