Sooke resident Randy Welters standing at the edge of the no parking zone near a trail next to the Prestige hotel.

When a no-parking zone is a parking zone

Parking remains a controversial issue on West Coast Road near Prestige hotel in Sooke

When Sooke resident Randy Welters was driving by the Prestige hotel one day, he noticed a young woman walking into the middle of West Coast Road to get around a parked truck – moments later, a car came from behind, missing her by mere inches.

It’s a common sight along the notorious stretch of road, as everyone – from baby strollers, to disabled scooters, to joggers and cyclists – use it to on a daily basis.

Given what he’d seen, though, Welters is adamant this is an accident waiting to happen.

“The car was coming up from behind her which all of a sudden realized what was going on and pulled out into the middle of the road to pass her. You just know what could have happened next,” he said.

Concern from nearby residents and other Sooke residents poured through District of Sooke’s doors in July, which led to a no parking zone and the addition of a trail and parking lot, accessible through the bottom of Maple Avenue South. Council also passed a no-parking bylaw, along with a $50 fine and possible vehicle impoundment.

The no parking zone runs between the Prestige hotel parking lot entrance and the trail leading up to the outflow parking lot. No signage or regulation has yet been implemented for the remaining stretch of road leading up to Maple.

Despite some high volumes of trucks and boat trailers in the Prestige hotel area during the summer, no tickets have yet been issued since the bylaw went into effect, said District of Sooke chief administrative officer Teresa Sullivan.

“We weren’t issuing tickets [during the summer] because we have a lot of fishing derbies and tourists in town and we didn’t want to leave them with a bad taste in their mouth,” she said, adding that before tickets are issued, people will first get a warning.

“Our approach is going to be first-warning tickets and we’ll try to educate our public with respect to the additional parking that’s available on Maple Avenue South and also some signage at the Prestige we’ve already put up,” Sullivan said.

Sullivan acknowledged the district received several complaints from people who live nearby that trucks and boat trailers are parking too close to driveways and blocking visibility, in which case the RCMP has jurisdiction to issue tickets and get them towed.

Improved signage is something the district will continue to monitor, said Sullivan, hoping everyone will follow the rules and use the new parking lot.

As far as enforcement, big fines and towing would only be considered as final measures.

“If it’s a hazard on the highway, then we can tow it away, though there haven’t been any situations where someone needed to be towed in that area,” said Sooke RCMP Staff Sgt. Jeff McArthur.

“We don’t weigh in on parking very much, but it could happen if someone continues breaking the rules,” he said.

Still, residents like Welters aren’t convinced the extra parking lot and trail will stop people from parking or walking along the road, allowing scenarios like the one he’d seen recently to keep on happening.

At least, until one day.

“Someone will be walking along there and a logging truck or a car will come along and kill them … then maybe everyone will take notice,” Welters said.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Lamborghini driver slapped with nearly $1,000 in fines while speeding in Central Saanich

Vehicle impounded by Central Saanich police, 11 points issued

South Island Transportation Strategy looks to reduce reliance on personal vehicles

EV charging stations, bike lockers, new park-and-ride stalls among solutions in Capital Region

BC Transit finishes wave of replacements with natural gas buses in Victoria

Average fleet age drops a few years with new buses added in 2020

New crop of hand-crafted hearts popping up across Saanich

Community arts program promotes wellness, sends message of caring from people of all ages

Hospital foundation president praises generosity of Peninsula residents

Karen Morgan said support during COVID-19, financial and otherwise, has been touching

QUIZ: Do you know what’s on TV?

Fall is normally the time when new television shows are released

White Rock’s namesake spray-painted with Black Lives Matter slogan

Vandalism occurred sometime between Friday and Saturday

B.C. VOTES 2020: B.C. Liberals vow to eliminate sales tax for a year

From 7% to zero, then back in at 3% to stimulate economy

Vancouver Island couple’s sheep farm dream disrupted by high lumber price

The solar powered farm project in Sayward will be set back by three years if the lumber price continues to remain high

The holiday everyone needs this year: Vote for your favourite in Fat Bear Week 2020

Voters will get to decide who gets to take home this year’s most coveted prize

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Canadian ski resorts wrestle with pandemic-vs.-profit dilemma as COVID-19 persists

Few are actually restricting the total number of skiers they allow on the hill

A (virtual) walk around the world by 88-year-old B.C. man

George Doi says it’s simple: ‘I like walking’

End of CERB means uncertainty for some, new system for others

As of a week ago, the CERB had paid out $79.3 billion to 8.8 million people

Most Read