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Summer parking problem around Cultus Lake requires stakeholder solution, says FVRD rep

‘Please call in complaints to RCMP non-emergency line rather than posting on Facebook,’ reps asks
Plans are in the works near Cultus Lake to deal with the summer traffic and vehicles parking in no-parking zones along Columbia Valley Road. (MOTI)

Plans are in the works to deal with the traffic congestion and parking issues created by the influx of seasonal visitors to Cultus Lake.

Taryn Dixon, electoral area H director for FVRD, is asking local residents to please call the police non-emergency number to report any vehicles parked in no-parking zones like on Columbia Valley Road.

“I have been told that they will respond if there are specific calls about single vehicles creating issues,” Dixon said in her May report.

RELATED: 100s of vehicles in no-parking zones last year

As it stands provincial officials decide where to place personnel on busy days.

“Resources are scarce and they put them where the need is the greatest,” Dixon said.

The challenge is that the regional district does not have jurisdiction over policing, the road, or traffic management, which falls to RCMP and the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (MOTI).

Last year the extra parked cars created safety issues when fire department vehicles could not get through the congestion.

The FVRD has to share summer policing staff with the communities of Chilliwack River Valley and Harrison Hot Springs.

“The stakeholders will be meeting shortly to determine what we will be able to do this summer to try and manage the large number of visitors,” Dixon said.

They had applied for a $20,000 grant from the province for a pilot project to fund extra RCMP officers, a towing company and an education campaign over the three long weekends of summer 2023 to find out what impact RCMP and towing would have had on the traffic congestion issue.

“Unfortunately the request was denied,” Dixon said.

Over the past few years, B.C.’s Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure staff have put orange pylons along the roadway to discourage visitors from parking on the shoulders. Sometimes the pylons were pushed aside by those wanting to park anywhere, and get down to the lake quickly to cool off.

Anyone who spots a vehicle parked in a way that impedes traffic is asked to call it in to the RCMP’s non-emergency line at 604-792-4611, with the make of the vehicle and the licence plate.

“They may tell you to ‘contact Bylaw’ and you may need to let them know it’s rural provincial road, and there is no bylaw,” Dixon added. “Make sure you get a file number and if possible, the name of the person you speak with.”

The FVRD rep said there was a Jeep parked on the road by Maple Bay last weekend. She saw a post about it on Facebook, went down, took a video and called it in.

“Please call rather than posting on Facebook. Even removing one vehicle can send a message.”

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Jennifer Feinberg

About the Author: Jennifer Feinberg

I have been a Chilliwack Progress reporter for 20+ years, covering the arts, city hall, as well as Indigenous, and climate change stories.
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