Ucluelet chamber puts parking limits in effect

Ucluelet’s chamber of commerce sees a big tourist season on the horizon and has restricted parking outside its downtown office to accommodate the expected visitors.

The centrally located lot—1604 Peninsula Rd.—had served as a small parking haven open to all drivers but is now a 15-minute-maximum affair with its spots designated for visitors centre, and chamber, business only.

“We did find a lot of locals were using it to park, sometimes for the day, and using other businesses in the area. It was just convenient for them,” said the chamber’s executive director Sally Mole.

“But now that summer’s kicking in, and we’re getting a lot of visitor traffic through, we felt we should put a limit out there.”

New 15-minute-max. signs were installed in the lot last week and Mole said the chamber’s board made the decision because of an anticipated abundance of tourists.

“Our (visitor) stats are already up and Destination BC is predicting a record year for tourism numbers,” Mole said.

“We do want to make it convenient for visitors and we know that we’re going to get a really busy summer this year.”

She does not expect the move to be met with much criticism from locals who she believes understand why the restrictions were needed.

“I think everyone understands this is what we’re here for: primarily to serve the visiting public and people that want to come in and talk chamber business,” she said.

“We have talked to some of the surrounding businesses and they’ve been great…I don’t really see it becoming a problem (and) if it becomes a problem we would look for some way to make it work.”

She said Ucluelet’s streets are starting to fill up and parking is becoming an issue in town but suggested some parking areas remain underutilized.

“It’s getting to the point that, yes, we are getting a little concerned about parking. But I also think we’re not utilizing some of the things that we have,” she said citing an often-vacant parking lot across from the Ucluelet RCMP detachment on Cedar Road as an example.

“I don’t see that being fully utilized. So there are areas where we can send people to park,” she said.

 

Andrew.bailey@westerlynews.ca