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New Westminster should stick wtih back-in angle parking on Columbia: city engineer

City engineer Jim Lowrie has recommended New Westminster stick with its back-in angle parking on Columbia Street and keep the bike lanes on the thoroughfare.

Lowrie’s report to city council Monday said reverse angle parking has become a preferred approach in many North American cities because motorists have better sightlines and are able to see approaching vehicles and cyclists before pulling out. A Pennsylvania study showed it reduced accidents by 25 per cent, as well as by 45 per cent for those with injuries.

“Parking patrol staff has indicated that motorist compliance with the current parking configuration is high ... there is no advantage or compelling reason to change the reverse angle parking on Columbia Street,” said the report.

Although a recent survey by the Downtown Business Improvement Association said 67 per cent of its members want to convert the parallel parking that’s left on Columbia to angle parking which would cut into the bike lanes, city staff recommended council stick with the current configuration.

The lanes are part of the Central Valley Greenway and BC Parkway bike routes.

“Staff believes it would be a regressive step to remove the existing bicycle lanes from Columbia Street at this time,” said the report.

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