(Black Press Media file photo)

(Black Press Media file photo)

School parking problems plague Oak Bay residents

Need exceeds official requirements for parking at St. Michaels school

Oak Bay staff suggest a two-hour parking zone could be in order near the St. Michaels University School (SMUS) junior campus at 820 Victoria Ave.

There have been parking changes on the site, including a portable classroom taking up some spaces, but the elementary school still meets municipal requirements of one parking stall per classroom: 14.

However, there are more staff than classrooms and neighbours say staff are parking on nearby streets during the day, according to a staff report coming to Oak Bay council’s June 21 committee meeting.

Municipal staff prepared a traffic control order in 2020 to address parking issues in the area, but opted to wait until the current school year was over to present it to council. In the meantime, the district engineering department received a petition from residents on nearby Falkland Road.

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The petition, signed by 23 people listing Falkland Road addresses, calls on Oak Bay to have SMUS remove its Falkland Road pedestrian gate, or impose residential only parking restrictions on that road.

The petition cites preference for gate removal, which residents say invites staff to park on Falkland and use the gate to access the campus.

The least-preferred option is two-hour parking, as residents figure it would only invite student pickup and drop off and “require residents to constantly police the parked cars and obtain guest passes.”

Residents cite potential dangers with changing parking rules on Falkland, noting it is a narrower thoroughfare with visibility and safety issues. Doing so could also impact garbage collection, reduce parking for residents and increase traffic and noise.

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“We believe that all parking should occur on SMUS property and/or – less desirably – remain on Victoria (Avenue) where it has been for … decades,” the petition states. It notes that Victoria is wider and has sidewalks, making it more suitable.

The item was deferred to the June 21 committee meeting for discussion. Meetings are streamed online at oakbay.civicweb.net/portal and usually start at 7 p.m.

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c.vanreeuwyk@blackpress.ca


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