Unauthorized signage found

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Salt Spring Island can engender a do-it-yourself attitude, with locals taking it upon themselves to repaint fading road lines, build speed bumps and install the downtown busker’s seat in recent years.

The latest stealth infrastructure improvement appeared last week on Fulford-Ganges Road in front of Centennial Park, where an unknown individual or organization decided to assist with parking. Signs explicitly allowing “vehicle and boat trailer” parking Sunday through Friday were attached just below official signs from the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure that ban parking on Saturdays.

A question regarding the new signs sent to MoTi last week produced a determination that these were not installed by the ministry and therefore would be removed. Who put them up remains a mystery.

With a parking lot maintained by the Harbour Authority of Salt Spring Island just adjacent, HASSI manager Jim Heath acknowledged his organization was the prime suspect. He said Friday he had nothing to do with the matter, though, and hadn’t even noticed the new signs.

“I applaud whoever took the initiative, but it certainly wasn’t me,” Heath said.

Heath said parking is a continuing issue in the area and theorized the signs may be intended to discourage motorhomes, which can take up much of the short block of street parking beside the park.

The HASSI lot is itself under pressure and Heath said problems usually come from locals parking long-term rather than visitors. Tickets are available for a nominal hourly charge (which is directed back into community charities), or it’s possible to purchase a long-term parking decal. Heath said HASSI is looking into getting a tow company contract to remove the vehicles of those who don’t follow the rules.

A proposal to get a parking study underway will be on the business agenda at the next Salt Spring Transportation Commission meeting, which takes place this Monday, Feb. 26 at the library program room starting at 4 p.m.

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