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Real-time parking updates coming for two Metro Vancouver parks

Pilot project is now underway, while another allowing alcohol at Centennial Beach starts June 28
A pilot project happening this summer at Boundary Bay Regional Park aims to let drivers know in real time how much parking is left at the Centennial Beach parking lots.

People planning to visit Centennial Beach in Delta this summer will be able to see online — in real time — whether there's anywhere for them to park.

Metro Vancouver has launched a pilot project at Boundary Bay Regional Park that allows park users to see whether parking lots are full or approaching capacity before they leave home, information they can use to better plan when to visit the park, whether they should take transit rather than drive, or even if they should consider heading somewhere else.

“As summer approaches, we are preparing for what will undoubtedly be a busy time at Metro Vancouver’s regional parks and beaches. We hope that helping visitors make informed decisions about how and when to access these two parks will improve their outdoor experience, minimize disruptions for park neighbours, and reduce traffic congestion,” Metro Vancouver board chair George Harvie said in a press release.

During the pilot, which is also taking place at Iona Beach Regional Park in Richmond, pole-mounted video cameras at the entrance to each park count vehicles entering and leaving, and the resulting parking lot capacity information is displayed as a constantly-updated percentage on each park’s website (Boundary Bay:; Iona Beach:

The regional authority stresses the cameras do not collect or store licence plate numbers or any other personal information.

Once the project is complete, Metro Vancouver plans to look at whether other regional parks could benefit from this technology. Project results will also be used to inform how the regional authority manages demand across its parks system.

“Metro Vancouver is always looking for ways to make it safer and easier for residents to connect with nature,” John McEwen, vice-chair of Metro Vancouver’s board of directors and chair of its regional parks committee, said in a press release. “This new tool reduces the frustration of trying to find a parking spot in a full lot. It also contributes to our climate-action and sustainability goals by reducing emissions from idling and extra driving time.”

Park visitors are encouraged to carpool, take transit, cycle or use alternative ways of getting to parks during the busy season, noting Boundary Bay Regional Park is accessible by bus, by bicycle and on foot.

Meanwhile, Metro Vancouver is also launching another pilot program this month that will allow visitors to consume alcohol in designated areas of Boundary Bay and other regional parks.

Starting Friday, June 28, ​​​​​​the picnic area at Centennial Beach (the lawn between the beach, Centennial Parkway and the north and south parking lots) and a portion of the​ beach immediately to the east (from about the north end of the pond to the mid-point of the south parking lot) will be designated for open alcohol consumption during regular park hours, from 7 a.m. to 10 pm. until Sept. 2.

Alcohol-allowed areas will also be created at Iona Beach, Campbell Valley and Derby Reach regional parks in Langley, Capilano River Regional Park in North Vancouver, and a portion of the Brunette-Fraser Regional Greenway in New Westminster.

Pilot locations will remain in effect until Monday, Oct. 14, after which Metro Vancouver staff will review the project and report back to the regional parks committee and board of directors in early 2025.

A public feedback form will be available on Metro Vancouver's website starting June 28. Before that, members of the public can provide comments by emailing​​​​

James Smith

About the Author: James Smith

James Smith is the founding editor of the North Delta Reporter.
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