COVID-19 in Vancouver: VanDusen Garden and golf courses reopen while parking enforcement resumes

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      As Vancouver cautiously moves toward reopening things, some city-run spaces that changed or were suspended during the pandemic are resuming operations—albeit with adaptations to the current COVID-19 conditions.

      In response to decreased traffic and as a means to support essential workers during the pandemic, the city had temporarily suspended parking enforcement on March 30.

      Since April 9, the city began to reintroduce parking enforcement in specific neighbourhoods, including the West End, Kitsilano, and Point Grey, to deter large groups of people gathering at beaches and parks and to allow residents in those areas to be able to get outside without overcrowding.

      In a news release today (April 30), the City of Vancouver reported that the number of complaints from residents and businesses about vehicles being parked for extended periods of time have been on the increase.

      Consequently, the city is resuming parking enforcement as of today.

      The main areas of immediate focus will on metered parking, time-limited areas, and residential-permit parking zones.

      The enforcement of other regulations, such as rush-hour zones, will resume as needed, according to the city.

      Free parking will continue to be offered to essential workers through their employers.

      Signs around the city will raise awareness of updates on parking information, which will also be available at the city’s website.

      Golf courses and VanDusen Garden

      Meanwhile, there’s some encouraging news for those who want to return to enjoying some familiar outdoor spaces.

      Tomorrow (May 1), the Vancouver Park Board is reopening two golf courses—Fraserview and McCleery—and VanDusen Botanical Garden to the public. 

      All locations will have new physical distancing measures in place for staff and users alike.

      At the two golf courses, all bookings will need to be done online (walk-ups won’t be accepted). Golfers will need to arrive a minimum of 20 minutes before tee off and must remain in their vehicles until play (as well as leaving immediately after finishing).

      Tee offs will be staggered at 18-minute intervals (half the normal rate) for a maximum of 12 golfers teeing off each hour.

      Other protocols include sanitization of all golf carts between use (with a single rider policy per cart), no rental clubs will be available, frequently touched items (such as ball washers, sand bottles, shoe blowers, and garbage can lids) have been removed while cup fillers will prevent golf balls going to the bottom of the hole (for ball retrieval without contact of other surfaces), and only contactless pay (credit or debit) will be accepted (no cash).

      A full list of changes is available at the City of Vancouver website.

      The park board had closed three of its golf courses and the garden in March.

      The one golf course that will remain closed is the Langara Golf Course because the clubhouse is being used to prepare meals for people in the Downtown Eastside.

      In addition, pitch and putt at Stanley, Queen Elizabeth, and Rupert parks will remain closed as well.

      For those hoping to visit VanDusen Botanical Garden, ticket sales will be only online (to reduce contact), hours of operation will be modified with a maximum of 30 visitors per hour, some paths will be marked as one-way only, and some features (such as the café and gift shop) will remain closed. 

      More information is available at the VanDusen Botanical Garden website.

      Despite VanDusen reopening, the Bloedel Conservatory at Queen Elizabeth Park will remain closed.

      You can follow Craig Takeuchi on Twitter at @cinecraig or on Facebook.