The bright black and yellow barriers in front of the flowerbeds and large concrete curbs. (Peninsula News Review Staff)

Confusing parking lot blamed for cars tipping into flowerbeds at Peninsula Canadian Tire

Tow and repairs cost thousands, engineer says drivers’ responsibility, Canadian Tire stay quiet

Since opening, the parking lot of the North Saanich branch of Canadian Tire has been the venue for a rash of unusual auto crashes.

Over a dozen drivers have suffered similar incidents, in some cases, causing thousands of dollars worth of damage to their cars.

ALSO READ: Central Saanich police respond to variety of crimes in May, from murder to mischief

Local resident David Fisher, was visiting the store on Victoria Day to pick up some fertilizer, when he had his incident. He drove forwards into a parking bay and then hurried into the store, braving a downpour of rain. Shopping completed, he got back in his car and seeing the parking bays in his side window clear and the bay in front of him seemingly empty, thought he could drive forwards to get out. As he drove slowly forwards he heard and felt a double crunch. His front wheels had gone over an unseen concrete curb lining a drainage ditch. His car was now see-sawed over the curb, which had firmly dug into the underside of his car. The car needed towing and has, so far, cost $9,000 to repair.

“I was only driving slowly but I didn’t have the reflexes to hit the brakes. There’s no vegetation there, no bushes or trees, or a sign. If there had been, then you’d realize you couldn’t drive forward and what would happen if you did. There was no warning whatsoever, as far as I’m concerned.”

Unfortunately his experience hasn’t been unique. Towing companies and local bodyshops confirm many cars have suffered the same fate at the parking lot.

ALSO READ: Green Party calls Salish Sea ‘free parking lot for world’s largest container ships’

Since opening, extra barriers, painted brightly in wasp yellow, have been placed in front of the curbs, although Fisher points out because they are smaller, and similarly shaped to ramps, could possibly act as steps. Soil and young trees have also been bedded, suggesting the ditches, which dot the parking lot, could be turned into large flowerbeds.

“I talked to Canadian Tire twice. The first time I talked to the woman on Customer Services and she went ‘Oh yeah, you’re not the first, here’s a list of tow-trucks.’ She had them to hand, which suggested it was a fairly common occurrence, as far as I could see,” said Fisher.

The towing company told him they had pulled out a number of cars since the store opened and Fisher says a passing customer even pulled over to say she had experienced the same thing a few weeks before. When he got home he called Canadian Tire and says he was told by a manager they were fully aware of the problem but it was the responsibility of the property owners.

The company that built the parking lot confirmed it was built to code and passed all bylaws. Ryan Lesyshen, a mechanical engineer of Kerr Wood Leidal said he was not aware of the exact number of cars damaged but admitted, “My client has received complaints regarding cars driven over curbs and into the raingardens [flower beds].”

ALSO READ: Rules grounding high flight crews for 28 days likely to be challenged

He said the owner of the building and parking lot is “hopeful that the addition of some taller plantings in the gardens [flower beds] will assist drivers with spatial awareness,” adding, “Spatial awareness is a driver’s responsibility.”

Fisher questions if it solely the driver’s fault if the same type of accident keeps happening. He has now been without his car for four weeks, had to pay a $300 deductable and is worried his clean driving record of 20 years is now at risk of increased insurance premiums.

As of Monday, Canadian Tire hadn’t replied to requests for comment on any of the issues raised and the North Saanich branch was unreachable by phone.



nick.murray@peninsulanewsreview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Some of the flower beds have young trees growing from them, others have no vegetation. (Peninsula News Review Staff)

Just Posted

Langford bike park rolling along to completion

New park a tribute to Jordie Lunn’s legacy

Rare white orca spotted hunting off shores of Alaska for first time

Tl’uk seems healthy and strong, says researcher

Mental health challenges add to youth stress load

Part 2 in a Black Press series on Youth Homelessness

Mount Newton Centre pivots to keep serving seniors

Peninsula non-profit in need of iPads to stay connected

Langford theft investigation leads to national crime ring

More than $250,000 in stolen goods recovered, $67,000 in cash seized

VIDEO: Greater Victoria police officers try bhangra dancing with social media star

Gurdeep Pandher leads bhangra lesson on front lawn of the BC Legislature building

Captain Horvat’s OT marker lifts Canucks to 4-3 win over Blues

Vancouver takes 2-0 lead in best-of-7 NHL playoff series with St. Louis

Widow of slain Red Deer doctor thanks community for support ahead of vigil

Fellow doctors, members of the public will gather for a physically-distanced vigil in central Alberta

Taking dog feces and a jackhammer to neighbourhood dispute costs B.C. man $16,000

‘Pellegrin’s actions were motivated by malice …a vindictive, pointless, dangerous and unlawful act’

Racist stickers at Keremeos pub leaves group uneasy and angry

The ‘OK’ hand gesture is a known hate-symbol

VIDEO: World responds to B.C. girl after pandemic cancels birthday party

Dozens of cards and numerous packages were delivered to six-year-old Charlie Manning

Expected fall peak of COVID-19 in Canada could overwhelm health systems: Tam

National modelling projections released Friday show an expected peak in cases this fall

Hundreds of sea lions to be killed on Columbia River in effort to save endangered fish

Nearly 22,000 comments received during public review were opposed, fewer than 200 were for

Most Read