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You’ll still be able to drink alcohol in some Port Moody public spaces this year

The pilot program to allow alcohol consumption in some public spaces started last August.
Port Moody council has approved the extension of a pilot program that started last August to allow alcohol consumption is some of the city's public spaces.

You’ll be able to drink a beer or glass of wine in some public spaces in Port Moody until at least the end of the year.

Tuesday, council agreed to extend a pilot program allowing the responsible consumption of alcohol in designated public spaces across the city through to the end of 2023.

The pilot was first implemented in August 2022 and was scheduled to expire on April 30. It includes the following locations:

  • Rocky Point Park
  • Old Orchard Park
  • Pioneer Memorial Park, but not the labyrinth healing garden area
  • Kyle Centre pop-up park
  • Trasolini Field spectator bleachers
  • Inlet Field bleachers
  • Queens Street Plaza

In a report, Port Moody’s general manager of community services, Anna Mathewson,  said extending the program will give city staff more time to gauge its impact, including a full summer season and roster of special events at some of the locations.

Although, she added, the beach area at Old Orchard Park should be removed from the program to assuage community concerns about broken glass in the sand and Inlet Field is closed for construction of a new turf field facility.

Mathewson said preliminary results of the program have been encouraging.

She said parks staff noted a sharp increase in litter, but that’s been the experience in other cities running similar programs.

As well, bylaw officers didn’t write up any tickets for alcohol related violations and Port Moody police responded to only six calls related to the pilot program.

Mathewson said there were lots of questions from visitors, though, mostly about where exactly they’re allowed to drink.

As a result, she said, additional signage to provide greater clarity on the boundaries where alcohol consumption is allowed is recommended, at a cost of about $1,500 and additional support for park maintenance would cost about $35,000 for a half-time position.

Mathewson said staff will report back to council in the spring with a plan to collect feedback from residents about the program over the summer months, then again later in the year with a final assessment.

SOUND OFF: Do you think allowing the consumption of alcohol in some of Port Moody's public spaces has been a boon or a bother? Send us a Letter to the Editor. Be sure to include your first and last names and city of residence.

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