Following an unbelievable outpouring of community support against the idea of paid parking at CRD Regional Parks, the CRD Parks Committee voted Wednesday against a motion to expand paid parking to the majority of CRD parks. This is a huge victory for the community, and goes a long way to ensuring our trails remain accessible to all.
Furthermore, Director Isitt proposed an alternate motion, which recognizes taxes — not parking fees — as the primary source of revenue for our local parks. The motion passed the Parks Committee unanimously, and is now on its way to the full CRD Board. This is important, because it help avoid a future where our local trails shift to a pay-to-play system.
We’d like to sincerely thank everyone who spread the word about the CRD’s paid parking plan, and especially to the 100+ of you that sent emails to the CRD speaking out against paid parking. The community’s clear pushback against the issue was acknowledged specifically by a number of the CRD directors, and the concerns raised by many of you were cited by the Directors that voted against the original motion.
This 48-hour whirlwind demonstrates the power of a strong, unified community to advocating for our interests to decision-makers, and shows the role that SIMBS can play within that community. SIMBS can move quickly to identify issues, speak at meetings, and highlight issues to the community but ultimately, it takes everyone speaking up to effect change, as happened here.
If you’re not already a member, please consider joining SIMBS to help us work on issues like this, and stay engaged, so that we can keep improving our outdoor recreation jewels for the better.