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Could it be time to end three-hour parking limits in Port Moody?

Staff will report back to council in six to eight months about the effectiveness of a new enforcement strategy of Port Moody's current street parking rules.
Port Moody's senior bylaw officer says disputes over parking spaces on the citys residential streets is straining his department's resources.

The meter may be running out on three-hour limits for street parking in parts of Port Moody.

During a meeting of council's governance and legislation committee last Tuesday, Nov. 21, Coun. Diana Dilworth suggested the current limitation could be lifted in residential neighbourhoods far from the city's commercial areas and transit stations if they continue to be weaponized by residents in turf wars for street parking spots in front of their homes.

In a report, Patrik Kolby, Port Moody's senior bylaw enforcement officer, said while the city currently limits street parking to three hours to discourage commuters or drivers of commercial vehicles from parking for extended periods in business areas or neighbourhoods near transit stations, in residential areas further afield the rule is only enforced when people complain.

He said that occasionally strains the city's resources.

"Situations where a resident files a bylaw complaint that a car is parked abutting their property are increasing."

Kolby said responding to such complaints requires at least two visits from a bylaw officer — one to chalk the parked vehicle's tires and a second to confirm the violation and issue a ticket.

In an effort to rein complaints in, councillors agreed the three-hour limit in residential neighbourhoods would be limited to the regular work week — between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., Monday to Friday.

But Dilworth suggested lifting the restriction in those neighbourhoods altogether might have the same effect of freeing resources to better enforce restrictions and encourage turnover of parking spots in the city's busy commercial areas.

"This could be the next step to getting rid of that three-hour parking limit," she said, referring to the limited enforcement.

Mayor Meghan Lahti agreed.

"We should put restrictions in areas close to transit," she said. "But there is no reason people should feel like they own the property in front of their homes."

Jeff Moi, Port Moody's general manager of engineering and operations, said staff had considered such an option but it may be too much too soon.

Instead, Coun. Samantha Agtarap suggested council could revisit the idea in six to eight months after staff report back on the effectiveness of the new enforcement rules.

📣 SOUND OFF: Do you think the city should lift the three-hour parking time limit entirely from residential neighbourhoods away from commercial areas and transit stops? How much of a problem has street parking been in your neighbourhood? Send us a Letter to the Editor to share your thoughts. Please be sure to include your full name and city of residence.