City crews have blocked off unsanctioned but popular parking area for day users at the corner of Canyon Trail and Hwy 3 in Fernie. (Scott Tibballs / The Free Press)

City crews have blocked off unsanctioned but popular parking area for day users at the corner of Canyon Trail and Hwy 3 in Fernie. (Scott Tibballs / The Free Press)

No (more) parking: City blocks off unsanctioned parking lot north of Fernie

The parking spot is popular, but too close to the highway intersection according to staff

The City of Fernie is making some changes to the turnoff from Hwy. 3 onto Canyon Trail, blocking off an unsanctioned but popular parking area.

New concrete blocks have been placed along the side of Canyon Trail, on the south side, preventing vehicles from parking by the road in an area which the city said was originally created for snow storage.

“While this area was created for snow storage, we have seen it increasingly used as a staging area for summer activities,” said the city’s Director of Engineering and Public Works, Dustin Haeusler.

“It isn’t safe given its location next to the highway, and we have been receiving reports of conflicts and minor accidents,” he said.

On a typical summer day, the gravelled area can accommodate as many as half a dozen vehicles right next to the busy intersection.

“We removed access before a serious incident occurs,” he said, adding that the change had been timed to go along with the increase in parking available at the nearby Visitor Information Centre, which now has 49 stalls (up from approximately 26), with the added stalls now available for use thanks to a re-design of the car-park.

Another change on the north side of the intersection has been made too, with the sidewalk temporarily blocked by the city moving concrete blocks last week (pictured).

As of writing, the blocks have been moved back to allow access using the sidewalk without having to step over the barrier or walk through the gutter, but Haeusler said that the sidewalk access would be widened further to improve ease of access, as per the city’s Active Transportation works.

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scott.tibballs@thefreepress.ca
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