Parking reservations to be required for common recreation web site Buntzen Lake

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High demand and limited supply of parking in the Buntzen Lake area, a popular outdoor recreation area in Anmore, BC, has prompted a new parking reservation system to reduce traffic congestion.

BC Hydro, which manages the lake, has set up a free park reservation system that will be in effect from June 27th to September 5th. All drivers must make a reservation a day before their visit, with the option to book parking in morning or afternoon time slots.

BC Hydro spokesman Kyle Donaldson said employees on site will review parking reservations.

“Unfortunately, if you don’t have a reservation, the staff will turn you away,” he said.

Donaldson said it’s not uncommon to see long traffic jams as drivers attempt to access the parking lot, which often fills up early in the morning.

In 2021, the parking lot had to be closed more than two dozen times because it was reaching capacity limits, sometimes as early as 8 a.m

Anmore Mayor John McEwen welcomed the new system, saying traffic congestion reached a point where emergency vehicles could no longer navigate the streets, while enforcement was costing the city thousands of dollars annually as RCMP officers were hired to monitor the situation over the weekend .

“There was a significant problem,” he said, a problem that was exacerbated as more people sought outdoor entertainment during the pandemic.

“It was absolutely unbelievable what demands were placed on this lake.”

According to BC Hyro, more than 700,000 visitors use the hiking trails and swimming areas at Buntzen Lake each year. Almost 116,000 visitors reached the area by vehicle last July, up from 83,000 in the same month in 2019.