Cultus Lake residents say lives are endangered by visitors who ignore no-parking zones

In a Facebook letter, a resident says emergency crews can’t get through to answer distress calls

People living at the southwest end of Cultus Lake are running out of patience with visitors who park where they shouldn’t.

In an open letter posted to Facebook and accompanied by a video, Katrina Clow said beachgoers who ignore posted no-parking zones are putting lives in danger.

“The no-parking zones on the sides of the road may seem like an easily ignored inconvenience to many of you who can’t find space in the lot at your beach of choice,” she wrote. “However, for those who call this area home they’re an important lifeline.”

Clow explained that there is only one road leading in and out of communities at that end of the lake, and those routes need to be kept clear so emergency vehicles can quickly respond to calls. The shoulders of the road are supposed to be available for vehicles to pull over and let emergency crews through, but when the shoulders are lined with parked cars, ambulances and fire trucks can find themselves stuck.

READ MORE: Cultus Lake closes trouble spots on Main Beach docks

READ MORE: With 18 drowning deaths in B.C. this year, advocates urge caution

“It can take upwards of one-and-a-half hours for emergency services to reach people in need,” Clow wrote. “Now consider if it was your parent having a heart attack or your child had a bad fall? Perhaps your loved one went for a hike or swim and required immediate help from search and rescue? How would you feel knowing the help they need is unlikely to reach them in time?”

This isn’t a new complaint. In her letter, Clow claimed the no-parking zones have been in place for 20 years, but they’ve never been enforced.

“The parks cannot ticket, both highways and RCMP will not attend because it’s in provincial parks and the Fraser Valley Regional District has been trying in vain to get the power to ticket or tow,” she wrote.

Responding to Clow’s letter, Fraser Valley Regional District (FVRD) Area H director Taryn Dixon said she recently wrote to the RCMP Superintendent, Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (MOTI) and B.C. Parks and had positive responses from all three.

“The Superintendent has assigned an RCMP officer to get to work on this and improve things,” Dixon said. “He will be working with other RCMP officers, MOTI, FVRD, City of Chilliwack, B.C. Parks, Soowahlie First Nation and the Cultus Lake Park Board to try and create a long-term plan that will work.

“It’s not about shutting the park down and not allowing visitors but I do think it’s about being realistic in how many visitors/guests the park can safely manage. The road needs to be safe for drivers, cyclists, pedestrians and for emergency vehicles that need to get places. Sometimes in emergencies, seconds matter.”


@ProgressSports
eric.welsh@theprogress.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

chilliwackCultus Lake

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Council gives OK to Abbotsford’s first four cannabis outlets

Three must still get provincial government approval & government-run stores have face delays

Suspect escapes after police pursuit through Surrey, Langley, Abbotsford

Police chase involved two stolen vehicles, including one taken in Mission

Rotary Book Sale moves from Chilliwack Mall to Heritage Park

The hugely-popular book sale is going ahead Oct. 25-31 with pandemic protocols in place

Several Abbotsford schools record COVID-19 exposures in October

Two secondary schools, one middle school and two elementary schools have virus exposure

Fraser Valley Bald Eagle Festival cancelled – for good

Organizers say the event was so popular that too many people were attending to be sustainable

Green leader Sonia Furstenau promises to convert BC Ferries back into Crown corporation

Promise comes Monday afternoon with five days left in campaign

Police watchdog concludes Mounties didn’t shoot Surrey teen at strip mall

IIO finds tragic death of teenager ‘not the result of any actions or inactions’ by the Surrey RCMP

Canada ‘yet to see’ deaths due to recent COVID surge as cases hit 200,000

Much of the increase in case numbers can be attributed to Ontario and Quebec

Human remains found in recycling bin floating near Vancouver beach

Police asking nearby residents to see if their recycling bin has gone missing

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Trial dates set in White Rock manslaughter case

Proceedings against Ross Banner, 71, set for June 2021 in Surrey Provincial Court

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Glasgow found not guilty of trying to murder transit cop in Surrey

Transit Police Constable Josh Harms was shot Jan. 30, 2019 at Scott Road SkyTrain Station

Most Read