Parking rules soon to be enforced in Chester
CHESTER - The days of leaving your vehicle along Chester's waterfront while you vacation on Tancook Island for a week will soon be over.
Municipal Councillor Brad Armstrong said police and the bylaw enforcement officer will soon begin handing out parking tickets to enforce parking restrictions in place on Water Street.
"Chester has had a parking issue literally for 30 years," said Councillor Armstrong. "The issue is we don't have enough parking when the summer comes for the tourists."
He said sometimes vehicles are left for a week on both sides of the road.
"We couldn't get a fire truck or ambulance through there so that's a problem in the summer," he said.
A couple of years ago the complaints were coming from downtown merchants saying that tourists were leaving their vehicles for days in front of businesses occupying what little parking was available in the downtown T area. He said RCMP were powerless to do anything because there were no signs. So as a result, signs were installed limiting parking to four hours.
On Water Street there are 12 spaces available for permanent Tancook residents. An additional 12 spaces are now limited to Tancook and Chester visitors for a period of 12 hours.
Councillor Armstrong said the 12 shared spaces between Tancook and Chester tourists are in effect from May 15 to October 15. The remaining 12 will stay permanent year-round. After October 15, islanders are once again welcome to use all 24 spaces on Water Street.
Councillor Armstrong said there are parking options for visitors and residents of the islands. He said a few years ago the province purchased the Valley Road parking lot for long-term parking for Tancook residents and visitors to use free of charge. But he said the 10-minute walk seems to be discouraging people from taking advantage of it.
"Now we're going to be enforcing the parking rules so we're hoping that they will start using the free parking lot," said Councillor Armstrong. "We can't have people leaving their vehicles for a week and we can't have the intersections jammed. ... It's a safety issue."