Deep Cove, B.C., residents say town has 'lost its magic' because of traffic

Locals say Deep Cove is in deep trouble because there are too many cars and not enough room.

Residents of North Vancouver tourist hotspot want council to fix parking problem

North Vancouver District council is looking at new ways to address traffic concerns in Deep Cove. (Christer Waara/CBC)

Deep Cove, B.C., might just be too pretty for its own good.

As soon as the sun comes out, people from all over the Lower Mainland flock to the North Vancouver waterfront to soak up the sun, paddle around in kayaks and snack on doughnuts.

The problem is many of those people insist on driving, and tiny Deep Cove was not built to accommodate heavy traffic. 

"The cove has lost its magic — a magic that should be shared and protected for generations to come," business owner Megan Curren said.

"Over the years, single vehicle traffic and monster tour buses have been eroding our sense of community."

Even on a weekday afternoon, parking spots are hard to come by in Deep Cove. (Christer Waara/CBC)

Summer is coming

Curren and longtime Deep Cove resident Sari McCall appeared before District of North Vancouver council this week to lay out their frustrations.

They say the bumper-to-bumper traffic makes it difficult for first responders to get to emergencies and forces residents to battle with tourists over parking spaces.

They asked council for more parking options for residents, a full-time bylaw officer to enforce parking and smoking restrictions, and a crackdown on litterbugs who frequent the popular hiking trail to Quarry Rock.

"We feel that immediate action is needed before the summer," McCall said.

"We are fully aware that these are full-time solutions. We hope that we will at least slow the bleeding."

Vehicle traffic has been an issue in Deep Cove for many years, but Curren and McCall say it has become much worse over the last couple of years.

Deep Cove Rowing Club board member Wendy Moore says she sympathizes with everyone affected by the traffic, but she points out that not everyone who drives to the area is a tourist.

"We have people who come in and out and don't spend a lot of time there," she said.

"We have some staff who work there longer than just a couple of hours at a time, so we have to make sure there is a provision for people who work there."

Deep Cove residents want to see full-time bylaw enforcement in their community. (Christer Waara/CBC)

The fix

The district is well aware of the traffic issues and planners have been quietly working for weeks on solutions.

"Some of the suggestions are shuttle buses down to the cove, maybe getting people to park farther away from Deep Cove and a suggestion that I came up with is a shuttle ferry," said Coun. Lisa Muri.

"Right now, there are so many people coming down to one tiny, small place that it's not enjoyable."

Muri says the district is also expected to introduce several measures that could be in place as soon as the Easter long weekend.

"There will be timed parking within the parking lots and then, we'll be looking at some flag people who'll be able to direct traffic," she said.

"We don't want people sitting in traffic waiting for a parking spot that's not there."

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