May 23, 2017 Blog

Parking your vehicle within the UNA community can sometimes be a puzzling task.

Why do cars get towed rather than receive tickets? How do you get a parking pass for you and your visiting family? And why do parking policies in some neighbourhoods differ from others? As part of our ongoing commitment to communicating with residents, we would like to outline the basics of parking within our community and introduce the next steps in developing our Parking Management Strategy. This is important information for all new or well-established residents, as well as your visiting family and friends.

Let’s first look at the history of roads in our community. You may not know that the roads at UBC are private – owned by UBC. But when UBC decided to develop its surplus land for housing, the roads in the neighbourhoods had to be public. In the absence of a municipality,  The Province gave the jurisdiction for the roads to the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (MoTI). Under MoTI, these roads are considered within the Highway Act; this means that the roads are deemed “common and public highways”. That’s right, our roads are technically highways! Because of this interesting technicality, MoTI only has the authority to tow violating vehicles  and cannot fine drivers by issuing tickets. That’s why on our neighbourhood roads, towing is required in response to all parking violations, even if it’s a first offence.

In 2012, the UNA established a Parking Management Strategy with the assistance of UBC and MoTI, with the goal of providing residents and visitors an opportunity to park their vehicles in UNA neighbourhoods. This strategy was, and still is, meant to prioritize residents, their friends and family, neighbourhood service vehicles, and shoppers in the commercial cores of the community. We began by offering parking passes to residents of Hawthorn Place and Wesbrook Village, and we have been working hard to respond to resident and visitor parking needs since then.[dt_gap height=”20″ /]

So what kind of parking passes are available for residents and their visitors?

First, it’s important to note that all passes we offer are available only for residents of Hawthorn Place and Wesbrook Place. Residents, you are eligible to purchase a Resident Parking Decal that allows you to park your vehicle on your neighbourhood streets. These decals are valid from April 1, 2017 to March 31, 2018. Please note that your Resident Parking Decal is only valid for the neighbourhood in which you reside, and they are assigned to your specific vehicle license plate number. You also have the option of purchasing additional Resident Parking Decals, in accordance to the fee schedule, for your additional vehicles. One Visitor Parking Permit is available for purchase to each UNA household, and allows your visitors to park their vehicles in your neighbourhood. Visitor Parking Permits are assigned to your specific UNA address. We also offer complimentary to UNA residents who need occasional extra parking for their visitors.

all it takes is an easy visit to the UNA Office, located at #202-5923 Berton Avenue, in Wesbrook Village (above the RBC). The UNA Office accepts Visa, MasterCard, Debit, and Cash as your method of payment. Don’t forget to bring appropriate identification as well as vehicle and ICBC insurance information. For full details on necessary documentation, visit www.myuna.ca/residential-services/parking/.

Here are some important tips to remember: always display your valid Resident Parking Decal in the upper left corner of your vehicle’s windshield and inform your guests to display your Visitor Parking Permit or Visitor Day Pass on their rear view . Make sure to renew your pass by March 31st every year. Read and follow the directions on neighbourhood street signs – don’t take any chances by parking over the time limit or without a valid pass, because you will be towed! If you follow the rules and parking signs in our community, parking your vehicle will be a breeze. But if you feel that you have been towed, you may fill out a Parking Violation Dispute Application and submit it to the UNA Office along with your towing receipt and Notice to Tow.[dt_gap height=”20″ /]

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Here at the UNA, we try to make parking in the community as simple and accessible as possible, but we are increasingly faced with a unique set of challenges: our neighbourhoods are expanding, which means our population and number of vehicles are growing; due to daily influxes of students, faculty, staff and UBC visitors who avoid parking at UBC’s parkades, residents may sometimes find themselves without a parking space; and residents of Wesbrook Place are restricted to one parking stall per household under their building’s development permit.

In addition to these challenges, not all five neighbourhoods share the same parking policies and regulations. For example, while the UNA manages and issues parking passes to residents of Hawthorn Place and Wesbrook Place, Hampton Place residents do not currently require permits because there is ample parking both on the street and in the strata buildings. But in Chancellor Place and East Campus, there are hardly any on-street parking areas. Understanding all the different parking procedures in each of the five neighbourhoods can be headache-inducing!

That is why this year, the UNA has begun to develop its Parking Management Strategy in order to align all five neighbourhood parking policies and regulations into one straightforward UNA Parking Management Strategy. Right now, we are in the very beginning stages of developing this strategy. Some other matters we will be looking into include expanding the available car-sharing programs (Modo, Zipcar, Car2Go, and Evo) and extending parking invigilation hours. All five UNA neighbourhoods will be included in developing this strategy, and we will be seeking your input and feedback when we have formulated a strategic and detailed proposal.[dt_gap height=”20″ /]

Sustainability will be our guiding principle in developing this strategy.

We will be working hard on this over the summer because we want the UNA community to be financially, socially, and environmentally sustainable. In the meantime, we encourage all UNA residents and visitors to try and incorporate sustainable transport more deeply into your daily lives. There are many sustainable alternatives to driving your vehicle to and within our neighbourhoods, and they are often much easier and more convenient. And with the weather becoming warm and sunny, there’s no better time to start riding your bicycle or walking in your community.

If walking or cycling is not an option, consider taking our city’s easy and accessible transit. Did you know that there are 4 buses and 2 express buses that can take you to and from UBC and the UNA community? There are also 2 community shuttle buses, the C18 and the C20, offering shorter trips in the area. The C18 runs counterclockwise from the UBC Bus Loop to West Mall near student residences, and the C20 runs clockwise from the UBC Bus Loop to Marine drive, offering stops at St. John’s Hospice and the UBC Botanical Gardens. For all smartphone users out there, we recommend downloading a real-time bus tracker app that can help you plan your trip as well as show bus stop information and GPS bus tracking.

And if you really love to drive but want to take sustainable transport, consider using our community’s car-sharing programs: Modo, Zipcar, Car2Go, and Evo (you can sign up at modo.coop, zipcar.ca/vancouver, car2go.com, evo.ca). Car2Go and Evo are great for short or long trips because they are meant to be used one-way. Simply pick the car nearest to you, and when you are finished driving it, you can leave it at any designated parking locations within the UNA or approved spot in Vancouver. For shorter neighbourhood trips, Modo and Zipcar are perfect because you can use the vehicles in 15-minute increments and park the car in the same spot you picked it up. No more driving around looking for a parking spot![dt_gap height=”20″ /]

We hope that all UNA residents and visitors have benefited and will continue to benefit from the UNA’s Parking Management Strategy.

We look forward to developing this strategy with the goal of improving the lives of all community members, friends, and families. For more information on parking in our community, visit www.myuna.ca/residential-services/parking/. If you have any questions or concerns regarding parking, please direct them to parking@myuna.ca.



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