Downtown Smithers. Access Smithers (AS), an organization focused on improving accessibility and inclusivity within the town, is requesting the Town conduct an Accessible Parking Assessment. At their Nov. 26 meeting council voted unanimously to refer the request to staff for further consideration. (File photo)

Council refers accessible parking assessment request to staff

Access Smithers recently sent council a letter expressing concerns over accessible parking in town

An advocacy organization is parking its concerns about accessible spaces in Smithers on council’s doorstep.

Council recently received a letter from Access Smithers (AS) — an organization focused on improving accessibility and inclusivity within Smithers — requesting the Town conduct an accessible parking assessment.

READ MORE: Access Smithers shares its community improvements

At their Nov. 26 meeting council voted unanimously to refer the request to staff for further consideration.

The request comes after AS and four contractors put together the Smithers Age Friendly Assessment & Action Plan in 2016.

AS is asking the assessment include things like mapping of all current parking and identifying areas that lack accessible spaces, with reccomendations for improvement.

“As a committee we have concerns about the efficiency, safety and number of accessible parking spots, and agree that it would be prudent and beneficial for the Town to support an accessible parking assessment to be conducted.”

The process would also include assessing van-accessible designated parking and signage, with AS noting many challenges currently associated with these spaces.

“Although there is a perception of safe accessible parking in our town, location of some of the designated spots [are] not appropriate, placing consumers who use them at risk to disembark from vehicles with need to travel to adjacent curb cuts to allow sidewalk access,” the letter continues, noting at times people are forced to travel behind parked vehicles on the street to reach their destination.

To the above points, the letter is also asking council to consider changing the location of certain spots to remove potential hazards.

READ MORE: A place to sit

“Some spots may need to be changed to remove hazards and improve functionality. We ask that you consider our request in your upcoming discussions and 2020 budget allocations.”

During the meeting director of development services Mark Allen noted one of the big challenges for the Town is where they can place accessible parking spots.

“That’s something we can bring back [to council] along with what the cost is per accessible parking space and then that can be referred to budget,” he said.

“There are obviously other locations where they could be installed but we … cannot place accessible parking spaces on parallel parking spaces only angled or perpendicular.”

Currently most parking lots in the town have between two and four accessible spaces.

Allen also said, in response to a question from Coun. Frank Wray about consultant costs, that the assessment would have to be outsourced.

“I don’t think we could have it ready in time for for the 2020 budget [but] I’m confident we could for, say, the 2021 budget.”

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

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

Just Posted

Annual bird count thrills organizer

Count took place over 48 hours

B.C. government eyes antlerless moose harvest increase in bid to save caribou

Antlerless moose hunts reduce predation for threatened mountain caribou, says ministry

Major paving projects announced

Extends west of Smithers to east of Houston

Hatchery expansion project gets underway

Goal is to get structure to ‘lock up’ stage

With wildfire season approaching, here are some tips to be ‘FireSmart’ this year

Q & A with Lindsay King, FireSmart Educator for the Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako

If Trudeau won’t stand up to Trump, how will regular people: Singh

Trudeau did not directly answer a question about Trump’s actions amid protests

VIDEO: Internal investigation into aggressive arrest by Kelowna Mountie

A video allegedly shows a Kelowna Mountie striking a man several times

22 new COVID-19 test-positives, one death following days of low case counts in B.C.

Health officials urged British Columbians to ‘stand together while staying apart’

John Horgan says COVID-19 restrictions won’t be eased regionally

B.C. Liberals urge ‘tailored’ response based on infections

Feds get failing grade for lack of action plan on anniversary of MMIWG report

‘Instead of a National Action Plan, we have been left with a Lack-of-Action Plan’

Introducing the West Coast Traveller: A voyage of the mind

Top armchair travel content for Alaska, Yukon, BC, Alberta, Washington, Oregon and California!

B.C. ranchers, lodge operators say Indigenous land title shuts them out

Tsilhqot’in jurisdiction affects grazing, access to private property

As two B.C. offices see outbreaks, Dr. Henry warns tests don’t replace other measures

Physical distancing, PPE and sanitizing remain key to reduce COVID-19 spread

Greater Victoria drive-thru window smashed after man receives burger without mustard

Greater Victoria Wendy’s staff call police after man allegedly rips Plexiglas barrier off window

Most Read