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

Eighteen unattended cannabis plants discovered near Saanich trail

Plants cannot legally be grown in public spaces

Area residents concerned about aftermath of McKenzie interchange construction

Ministry says neighbours’ concerns being heard, will be addressed

More than $800,000 in suspected cocaine seized from ship near Victoria

RCMP Dive Team suspects more narcotics had been stored below ship’s waterline

Three active COVID-19 cases on Vancouver Island

Since July 24, Central island has had five new cases, North one, South none

One man in hospital with severe injuries after small fire in Victoria apartment building

Man was found by firefighters responding to multiple 911 calls about smoke on third floor

Teachers to get 2 extra days to prepare for students’ return, now set for Sept. 10

Students will first start with orientation and learn rules of COVID-19 classroom policies

SFU to drop ‘Clan’ varsity team name

The ‘Clan’ name is shortened from ‘Clansmen,’ and was introduced roughly 55 years ago

New Tory leader must build a strong team in Commons and for the campaign: Scheer

Scheer marked his final day in the House of Commons today as leader of the Opposition

B.C. to hire 500 more COVID-19 contact tracers ahead of fall

Contract tracers add an ‘extra layer’ in the fight against the novel coronavirus

Feds commit $305M in additional funds for Indigenous communities during COVID-19

Money can be used to battle food insecurity and support children and mental health

We were a bit tone deaf: Hobo Cannabis renamed Dutch Love after backlash

Hobo Cannabis has various locations in Vancouver, Kelowna and Ottawa

Man accused of killing Red Deer doctor says he does not remember attack

Appearing before a judge, Deng Mabiour, 54, rambled about being sick and needing a doctor

Andrew Scheer likely marking last day in House of Commons as Opposition leader

Today’s Commons sitting is one of two scheduled for August

Deaths feared after train derails amid storms in Scotland

Stonehaven is on the line for passenger trains linking Aberdeen with the cities of Edinburgh and Glasgow

Most Read