Regional District of Nanaimo staff has been tasked with investigating whether parking spaces at Gabriola Commons can be used by Huxley Community Park users.
The parking situation was raised at the June 6 Area B parks and open spaces advisory committee meeting. The RDN board then voted in favour of a motion that directed staff to explore parking options at the Commons at their July 26 meeting.
“The skatepark is very, very popular, and we have extremely limited parking,” Area B Director Vanessa Craig said at the July 7 electoral area services committee meeting, noting there are five spaces for all Huxley Park users whether they are accessing the skatepark or other amenities such as the playground or tennis courts.
“When the parking lot is full, park users need to park their vehicle further from the park including on the roadsides and in various parking lots in the Gabriola Village area,” Yann Gagnon, manager of parks services, told the Sounder. The RDN is not aware of park goers parking their vehicles in prohibited areas.
Laura-Jean Kelly, co-chair of the Commons board of trustees, told the Sounder in late July that the Commons had not been contacted by RDN staff yet; however, “when, and if, the RDN approaches the Commons, the Commons community looks forward to a robust and interesting conversation around the issues of parking and the Huxley Park.”
Asked whether the RDN is discussing active transportation strategies to ease the demand for parking spots at the park, Gagnon said not at this time, but noted the RDN-led Village Way Path “is a good example of a successful active transportation project that increases public access to public amenities to non-vehicular modes of transportation.”
The 2013-14 park master plan for Huxley Park describes including parking for a minimum of 12 vehicles.
Rachelle Stein-Wotten, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter/Gabriola Sounder via The Canadian Press