Bike to Trout Lake Farmers Market for smooth valet parking

Geoffrey Vincent, program coordinator of The Bicycle Valet, at Trout Lake Farmers Market in Vancouver, Canada on May 22, 2010

Next time you shop at Trout Lake Farmer's market, consider going by bike. Parking for cars is  tight around the market, but if you come on two wheels, Geoffrey Vincent will set you up with a free, safe, and secure spot in his enclosed bike lot.

Geoffrey is program coordinator for The Bicycle Valet, run by Better Environmentally Sound Transportation (BEST). This three-year-old program encourages sustainable transportation and all things green by making it easier for families, sports fans, and concert-goers to ride bicycles to events.

Many people in Vancouver used The Bicycle Valet during the Olympics, including Vancouver blogger LeftCoastMama who wrote a great post about her family’s experience parking their bikes.

Taming traffic tension on residential streets

Many people from other neighbourhoods drive to the market, which isn’t the best idea for them or for us neighbours. The parking crunch is even tighter than it’s been in previous years – or at least that’s how it seems to me.

Up til this year, the market was in the west parking lot, closest to Trout Lake Community Centre. But it had to be relocated to the north parking lot this year because the community centre building is being replaced, as I mentioned in this post: What’s up with the Trout Lake Community Centre?

Now people can park their vehicles in the lot by the community centre, just off Victoria Drive, where the market usually is. That’s where Volunteer Michelle is directing market-going motorists – steering them away from the streets beside the new market location.

Michelle is part of a team of parking volunteers assembled by the Trout Lake Farmers Market to ensure drivers obey the parking signs posted by the City of Vancouver.

It was pretty funny to watch drivers ignoring the parking signs and getting called on it right away. On my way home from the market on foot, I chatted with a different parking lot volunteer (not Michelle, in the photo), who had to keep telling people to move their cars. Once every three minutes, a different driver pulled up, hesitated, and then parked right beside the No Parking sign. The polite parking volunteer approached each car and asked the driver to move – and most of them said: “But I just want to run in for a second!”

Cars towed from Lakewood Bridge

Drivers take note: save yourself a big hassle and towing bill.

Do not park on Lakewood Bridge (north of 12th Avenue) when you go to Trout Lake market on Saturdays.

Vehicles were towed from the Lakewood Bridge, which will be an annoying surprise for people returning after the market. The City of Vancouver contracts Busters Towing and the towing fee for cars and light trucks is $70.18 + GST – not to mention whatever violation fees are charged. 

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