Buntzen Lake parking pilot successful in reducing traffic congestion, improving safety
ANMORE: BC Hydro’s free pilot parking reservation system for Buntzen Lake ended on September 5 and successfully reduced traffic congestion in Anmore this summer.
“Buntzen Lake is one of the most popular outdoor areas in the Lower Mainland, particularly during the summer months when the weather is sunny and warm,” says Rick Glumac, MLA for Port Moody-Coquitlam. “This year, nearly the same number of people visited Buntzen as in recent years but the parking reservation system eliminated the frustration of showing up and finding the gate closed.”
Traffic congestion has been an ongoing concern from Anmore residents in the summer. The pilot project began June 27 and ran until the end of the Labour Day long weekend. During that time, more than 82,000 online parking reservations were booked. About one-third of those reservations were considered no-shows. The parking lot was closed once for a brief period due to a capacity issue, compared to 27 closures in the summer of 2021. Vehicle lineups at peak periods in 2022 were under 10 per cent of peak lineup lengths in 2021 without the reservation system.
“The reservation system was a game changer for our community as it helped to address the serious safety and traffic issues we were experiencing,” says John McEwen, Mayor of Anmore. “In previous years and even right up to the weekend before the reservation system was in place, access to and from our Fire Hall was frequently blocked, excessive traffic congestion turned Sunnyside Road into a parking lot, and there was illegal parking throughout the community, including on private property. We look forward to hearing more about what was learned in this pilot project. We appreciate the work BC Hydro has done to test solutions to what had become a serious concern for our community.”
TransLink increased bus service to Buntzen Lake this summer which increased access. Nearly 210,000 people visited Buntzen Lake between June 27 and September 5, 2022. There were 252,000 visitors during the same period in 2021 and 203,000 visitors in 2020.
“We are committed to the safe use of our recreation sites and we also want to be a good neighbour to the residents in Anmore,” says Chris O’Riley, President and CEO, BC Hydro. “This parking reservation system helped ensure emergency access for first responders, ease traffic impacts on nearby communities and maintain free access to the site for everyone to enjoy.”
BC Hydro monitored the pilot program throughout the summer to make improvements. For example, an all-day pass was added – in addition to the previously announced morning and afternoon passes – after hikers expressed that more time is required to use trails. BC Hydro also worked to increase awareness of the rules after observing that some users were not complying with time restrictions.
In the coming weeks and months, BC Hydro will review information collected during the pilot and stakeholder feedback and will provide information on plans for the summer of 2023.
Currently, no reservations are required for vehicles to enter the parking lot. For more information on Buntzen Lake, visit bchydro.com/buntzen.
BC Hydro Media Relations
p. 604 928 6468