Kevin Costello, who requested community support in his effort to convince the City of White Rock to incorporate resident-only parking on Best Street, may have bitten off more than he can chew.
“It’s snowballed quicker than I thought. It’s actually getting a little bigger than what I can handle,” Costello told Peace Arch News Wednesday.
Costello contacted PAN last week to express his frustration about the parking situation on Best Street. He said his street has been used as “an extension of the Peace Arch Hospital parking lot,” and he has frequently watched hospital employees – dressed in scrubs – leave their vehicles on the road for hours on end.
Last week, Costello started a petition and requested that people call him if they’re interested in signing.
A PAN article explaining Costello’s frustration was published Wednesday. By around noon that day, he explained, he had already received nine calls from “disgruntled” residents, and decided to shut off his phone after the first dozen.
“I just don’t have the time in the day to start running around with petitions,” he said.
Costello, who lives in the 1300-block of Best Street, said he’s received calls from residents living on Fir and Merklin, as well as South Surrey streets, each expressing frustration over hospital staff taking street parking spots in their neighbourhoods.
However, Costello said, he would like to keep his focus on resident-only parking for Best Street.
“People on Fir Street have different issues, there are some hospital people but they also have a lot of construction going on,” he said. “I’d like to say I’m concerned about people in that area, but that’s a whole different issue.”
Among the calls Costello received, two seniors – one who has lived on Merklin for 20 years, and another who’s lived on Fir for 30 – called with similar concerns.
“The problem is, they’re older. They can’t walk back to their building. They can’t find a parking spot. They can cram into their underground – if they’ve got it – or they’ve got to walk. You can feel for them because that’s senior citizens,” he said.
Costello said he has read comments on the online article about his concern, but says he doesn’t want to get political.
“I don’t want to go down that road. Now they’re talking politics and what this present council stands for. Right now, I’m not really interested in politics.”
Costello hopes he will be given an opportunity to address city council members for five minutes at their May 14 meeting.
In addition, he said he plans to bring his concern to South Surrey-White Rock MLA Tracy Redies.
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