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OPINION: Goard Way Gridlock

Nov. 20 from sony hd 025

As BCIT students who drive know all too well, finding a decent parking spot is always a challenge. This fall, a massive construction project on the East side of campus has made the parking problem even more of a daily nightmare.

The project is called The Goard Way Infrastructure Renewal Project. Big name for a big project. Basically, the current hydro receiving station in the old white cinder block building on Goard Way with the red doors is as old as it looks. It was built in the 1950’s and really needs an upgrade.

The project has only just recently broken ground.Nov. 20 from sony hd 023 But the area has been roped off and unavailable for parking since the beginning of the school year. So far, the work area has chopped 170 student parking spots out of an already meager supply. Then there’s the additional, albeit short term, elimination of another 29 spaces on the north side of Goard Way at Carey Road. Add it up and we have a serious parking shortage for all of us paying students.

And it doesn’t stop there. Once the new Campus Hydro Building is complete, it will be permanently taking up the space in the parking lot in question of at least 28 student parking spots.

Gary Holtz is the project manager of the campus upgrade. While he understands the inconvenience to students during this construction phase, he emphasizes that the future hydro capacity for BCIT is of huge importance. It includes a fairly forward-thinking streetscape social gathering & pedestrianization of the spot where the old hydro building now sits. It comes complete with a sustainable storm water management & bio-filtration system. It’s definitely worth checking out – you can see a link to the plan here.
Nov. 20 from sony hd 019

Oddly enough, no staff parking has been affected. And the overflow parking lot at the farthest most southern part of campus is so far from the heart of BCIT that I couldn’t even access my BCIT Wi-Fi out there.

The total cost of the project is 11 million dollars. The cost to BCIT students who park – priceless. Yeesh.