Know before you go: Metro Vancouver launching real-time parking pilot program

Online real-time parking updates will be coming to Iona Beach and Boundary Bay regional parks.

The Boundary Bay Regional Park parking lot in 2022. | Mark Booth

Visitors to two busy Metro Vancouver parks will be able to check online if there’s parking available before setting course thanks to a new pilot program being launched by the regional government.

Metro Vancouver will be installing cameras at Iona Beach and Boundary Bay regional parks this “late spring” to analyze parking lots and thus provide online parking availability updates for prospective park visitors, according to a parks management report.

“This will allow the public to make better decisions about how to access the park, when to access the park, or to consider alternate destinations if parking lots are full,” wrote parks manager David Leavers to the parks committee.

The data collected by the parks department will be used for future parking and traffic planning. 

The report hints at expanding the pilot project, which has yet to secure a vendor for the required technology and its installation.

Overcrowded parking lots at Metro Vancouver parks have become more frequent in recent years. In 2021, a $2-per-hour fee was introduced at Belcarra Regional Park and a $3-per-hour fee was introduced at Lynn Headwaters.

Considerations for a paid reserve parking system at Boundary Bay (Centennial Beach) have not come to fruition.

gwood@glaciermedia.ca