Victoria bylaw officers hand out warning tickets to Dallas Road van campers

Victoria bylaw officers hand out warning tickets to Dallas Road van campers
WatchDallas Road has become the centre of a heated debate over the growing number of vans and RVs parking overnight in the capital city. Now, officials are cracking down on those parking illegally after a pushback from the neighbouring community. Jasmine Bala has the latest.

Victoria city officials are enforcing bylaws on Dallas Road by issuing warning tickets to people parking in vans overnight.

“The bylaw officers have made their presence known,” said Tyler Ray, who lives in a van and occasionally parks on Dallas Road. “I know on Dallas Road and just kind of throughout the area, there’s been people receiving tickets.”

This comes after pushback from homeowners in the neighbourhood and an online petition asking for city council to limit the abuse of Dallas Road parking.

“To say you were going to allow a bunch of people to camp there on a regular basis just doesn’t quite fly,” said Brian Lepine, a homeowner. “That becomes a little exclusive and that’s not what a park is.”

However, not all residents living on the road share the same view, including Brendan Innis. He started a counter-petition, asking the city to let the overnight parkers stay.

“I don’t see the people parking in their vehicles overnight as a problem and I think that suspending or not enforcing the bylaw is a reasonable response to the housing crisis,” said Innis.

Innis added enforcing the bylaw on Dallas Road isn’t actually going to do much.

“Telling them they’re not allowed to sleep in their vehicles overnight doesn’t change the fact that they’re going to be sleeping in their vehicles,” he explained. “They’re going to find somewhere else in the city to park.”

Whether people living in RVs choose this as a lifestyle choice or live this way out of necessity, they’re now feeling more vulnerable than ever.

“I think the real push-back has really affected people’s mental health where people are having to go park some places that there’s people yelling all night [and] there’s some sketchy things, whereas they had a safe place [before],” said Ray.

The tickets issued so far have just been warnings but penalties according to the bylaw are upwards of $40. City officials are also introducing a new 3.5 hour parking limit on Dallas Road.

Jasmine BalaJasmine Bala

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