If you don’t have wheels, whether for environmental or financial reasons, access to car-sharing is a good thing. The City of Vancouver agrees, supporting car-sharing initiatives as a part of the plan to go green, and anticipating that coop cars will be a ubiquitous feature of urban life.
But in a recent article in The Vancouver Sun, locals voiced their growing frustration over the City bylaw that allows car-sharing companies to park their vehicles in residential permit-parking areas that are already short on parking spaces. In the city’s efforts to push car-sharing, they’ve irked people who already own vehicles.
Val Emerson, who lives along West 1st Avenue near Pennyfarthing Drive, which The Sun reported as Kitsilano, told the newspaper that three car2go vehicles are perpetually parked on their street, sometimes for days, forcing residents to drive around looking for a free space
“We are really strapped for parking in our neighbourhood and that’s all the residents have: that one block,” she said.
Carli Edwards, the city’s manager of neighbourhood parks and transportation, said city bylaws allow the companies to use permit-parking spots as holding bays in residential neighbourhoods where they have a high customer base.
The idea is to reduce the number of private vehicles in the area. “This is going to give people options to their owning a private car and parking it. If a car is going to be on the street, it’s going to be used,” Edwards told the Sun.
Emerson responded: “I’m just so sick of things being shoved down our throats. Where’s the consultation?” she asked. “It’s not very environmentally friendly if you have to cruise around looking for a parking spot.”
Car2go has 14 dedicated parking spaces in Vancouver and two on Granville Island. The car2go website lists 200 cars in the company’s Vancouver fleet, which are parked all over the city, explaining: “In residential areas, members can park and end their rentals in any permit-only parking-spot. Our free floating concept means there is no return time or return location. When you’re done, simply park the car back within the operating area.”
Will the City of Vancouver work with car-owning residents to ease the transition into greater car-sharing? Or does the eco-friendly high ground trump private car owners’ convenience?
Edwards said the city researches requests from the car-sharing companies — car2go, Modo and Zipcar — and grants the parking permits based on where the car-sharing customers live.
What have your experiences with car-sharing and parking been like? Comment below or email me. It’s Taraneh@Kitsilano.ca.
Last modified: May 25, 2017