By Jeff Leigh
The Vancouver Sun has posted an editorial about the controversy regarding the proposed Kits Beach Park bike route, “Don’t Wreck Kits Beach Park with Unnecessary Bike Lane
Leaving aside the quip about chanting anti-car slogans (the advocacy group I work with has as a guiding principle respect for all transportation stakeholders – there aren’t winners and losers), there are numerous fallacies presented in the op-ed piece.  Starting with the title.  The proposal is for a low-speed path, not a bike lane.

Cyclists, on the hand, cannot safely ride through the throngs of pedestrians on the existing path — although many try — and want a route that allows them to complete a seaside circuit without interruption or the inconvenience of vehicular traffic.

We agree that riding through a throng of people walking on the existing shared path isn’t safe.  But diverting people on bikes (especially families with children) to a busy street and through a parking lot, particularly in summer, isn’t about inconvenience.  It is about safety.  It is about respecting the principles established in our city for movement, with people walking at the top of the pyramid, and people on bikes next.  Not last. And certainly not behind preserving all of the space for cars that is being championed here.
This is about park planning.  Note the photo the Vancouver Park Board use on their web site:

The matter was supposed to be decided at a Vancouver Park Board meeting this past Monday, but the board voted to refer it back to the engineering department for further study.

The construction of a bike route wasn’t supposed to be decided by Park Board Commissioners.  The recommendation by Park Board staff was simply for staff to work with City transportation engineering staff to advance designs, and develop budget cost estimates, in preparation for a full public consultation.  The Park Board Commissioners did not refer it back to Engineering, as Engineering isn’t a Park Board department.  They failed to refer it back.  They left it in limbo.  References were made in the meeting to next year’s Park Board commissioners dealing with it.

Considering that a bike lane through this park has been debated for five years or so, one might have thought that all the study would be done. But the total cost, the number of trees to be lost and other details are still unknown.

All the study was not done as Park Board staff did not start work on it until late in 2017, in response to community pressure to deal with a worsening problem.  That pressure came from the cycling community.  But also at the table with Park Board staff were local residents and representatives of various park user groups.  The costs and potential tree impacts are unknown because that work hasn’t been done yet.  The staff recommendation was for that work to be done. Park Board staff will struggle to do it without hiring outside expertise, or working collaboratively with Engineering staff, who had offered to help.

The route from Balsam Street and Cornwall Avenue in the west to Ogden Avenue and Maple Street in the northeast would result in the loss of about 930 square meters of green space, roughly the size of two basketball courts. Demonstrators before the meeting carried signs reading: “Is concrete the new green?”

There are many options that reduce that impact, and offsets that result in no net increase in paving if that is desired.  Those options are open to the Park Board. Utilizing existing pavement would be the first way to answer the concern.  That means dealing with the question of retaining all existing parking, designing a safe route down the existing service lane to the restaurant, and so on.
But if the goal is to remove paving, fine.  Should we start with the tennis courts, the basketball courts, or one or more of the three parking lots?  Or should we instead simply find a way not to encroach further. A basketball player and a tennis player holding signs saying “No Paving in the Park” may be inclined to opt for the latter.
Lowering the tone of the debate doesn’t help. Why is a safe path through the park called a cycling speedway?  Why the references to the Tour de France by path opponents? There is already a Seaside Bypass route on the street, for faster cyclists, just as there is along Charleson Road in South False Creek, and along 1st Avenue near Burrard.  Are the tennis courts in the park a Wimbledon venue?  Are the basketball courts a professional arena?  Or are all of these simply park amenities, used by people enjoying the park?
A little more balance, please.  Vancouver has a wonderful treasure in our Seaside Greenway, and the bike paths around Stanley Park, around False Creek and the length of the Seaside Greenway are heavily used and widely appreciated.  They are a tourist draw. Kitsilano Beach Park, and both residents and visitors who want to use our bike paths, deserve better than this.
 
Jeff Leigh is the chair of the Vancouver UBC Local Committee of HUB Cycling.

Comments

  1. They are a tourist draw.
    I think this is an underappreciated point. While I don’t have hard stats, it’s certainly been my anecdotal observation that quite a few of cyclists on the Seawall in Spring-Summer-Fall are tourists who have rented bikes for the day and are exploring the city.

    1. If you’ve ever been at Denman and Georgia during the Summer, near the bike rental shops, it’s quite clear that cycling the seawall is a signature Vancouver experience for many tourists.

    2. This is the thing. The solution to people cycling by too close to people walking is not to ban cycling in parks. Tourists will come here from other places and (not imagining such an absurd things as prohibiting cycling in a park) will rent a bike and cycle around. The park design will put them in conflict with people walking. This will not be a solution.
      The solution is to design paths in parks so that there are no conflicts between travel modes.

    3. As of Monday afternoon, I am watching people walking and people biking along the newly improved South False Creek Seawall, which opened an hour ago. Separate spaces, as Adanac says. That is how we minimize conflicts.

  2. This post has really changed my thinking around the tradeoffs in moving people, preserving a parks integrity and recognizing how discussions like this are key to educating us all in the planning necessary for functional cities to blossom from the old norms that in the past just happened because there were no public discussions.
    My wife and I walk in Stanley Park about twice a month and we come from Delta to do so. The use of the seawall (and path) from Kits Beach and around to the Rowing Club in Coal Harbour and the other park trails are an incredible resource and use by us and tourists is plainly evident by just listening to conversations, people watching and observing the diversity this brings to our province.
    Parking can be a challenge and is expensive, especially when you have to drive more than a half hour in two directions. We would take transit, but it is currently not that convenient. At both ends, the wait for buses and transfers would make the trip a full day affair. But that stretch of water in Vancouver and the associated parks need preserving and the removal of parking and an increase in transit services are the obvious solutions to making Vancouver (the lower mainland) a more livable and viable place to live.

    1. How is the removal of parking going to benefit people like yourselves who, for good reason, choose to arrive in a car? You won’t be able to do that if there is not adequate parking, especially when you say that it’s already a challenge, so then what?

    2. How is the removal of parking going to benefit people like yourselves who, for good reason, choose to arrive in a car? You won’t be able to do that if there is not adequate parking, especially when you say that it’s already a challenge, so then what?

      1. “…and an increase in transit services are the obvious solutions to making Vancouver (the lower mainland) a more livable and viable place to live.”

      2. I suspect that Shepsil is considering the greater good, which is either a reduction or no parking lots in parks. This is a noble thought.
        If I were Park Board, I would simply increase parking fees during busy times so that there is always a vacant spot available. City should charge for parking along Arbutus as well and coordinate pricing with Park Board. They could even remove some spots and charge an even higher parking fee for remaining spots.

        1. Let’s get that increase in transit before we even talk about reducing parking, but in any case, there really has to be an appreciation for the fact that while it may be “noble” to desire a car free city, people do need to get places by car for any number of reasons, especially Kits beach which is not so easy to bike to for many given the extremely steep hills and the fact that people come there with beach gear, bbq’s and less able bodied people too.
          So no, the greater good is not to deprive those people of a means to enjoy the beach. That’s the opposite of greater good. And charging more for parking only means it’s less affordable for many, so again, not the greater good. The beaches should be easy to access no matter how you arrive and not prohibitively expensive. Enough in Vancouver is too expensive, so let’s not suggest that we are doing people a favour by pricing them out of our beautiful parks and beaches.

        2. I have only heard such a suggestion from those who oppose alternative transportation. Never from those who are in favour of it. (I’ve heard of course of wanting a few car-free spaces within a city though. Different thing entirely.)
          I suspect either that people think that a bit of change will lead to a take over or they are intentionally trying to discredit those in favour of it in order to scare people.

      3. Every person that is encouraged to travel to our parks by bicycle is potentially one less car. That leaves more parking for those who need it.

        1. Do you think that people who own cars and bikes (like me) need to be encouraged to use their bike? Or could it be that we are able to make our choices and we do. We bike sometimes, because it’s pleasurable, and we drive other times, like when I am taking someone less able bodied or bringing beach gear which doesn’t fit on my bike.
          I just resist the idea of this bike evangelism which is promoted to encourage people to see the light, ditch their cars and get on bikes, as if they wouldn’t otherwise. Really, how many people in HUB just wouldn’t be biking if you hadn’t encouraged them? I think barely any.

        2. If you look at the studies of who rides a bike all the time, who never does, and the large group in the middle of those two extremes, you find a segment that researchers have described as “interested but concerned.” They say they want to, but are intimidated by traffic. They don’t feel safe. The number one thing we can do for that group is provide safer infrastructure. This isn’t rocket science, it is well understood.
          There is no interest in converting people to cycling who have no interest in it, as far as I can tell. That just seems like a lot of work. That is why evangelism is not an accurate description. It is much more about enabling those who have already expressed a desire.
          I recall a conversation (along Cornwall) with a person on a bike who didn’t support the York bike lane. They stated that they didn’t need it, that it shouldn’t have been built. I pointed out that it wasn’t built for them. They disagreed vehemently, saying they rode a bike, so of course it was built for them. No, I responded, you are happy riding on the road. That’s fine. It was built for those who aren’t currently riding.
          Maybe you aren’t the one cycling advocates are advocating on behalf of.

        3. I would suggest that the “interested but concerned” group may be far smaller than you imagine. Most people tend to ride a bike because for the most part, our streets are really safe and easy to ride with even using any bike infrastructure. Most of our streets are quiet residential streets and run parallel to busier roads. I often ride east west from Kits and use 13th or 14th and rarely pass a moving car, apart from cross roads, which exist with bike paths as well.
          My wife is a very cautious cyclist and she looks at me quizzically when I suggest that she needs a dedicated bike route to get from Kits to say, Granville, where she sometimes rides. Going downtown is different, but she is still not inclined to do that even with the bike paths, so there is an example of the middle ground who rides or doesn’t ride irrespective of bike infrastructure. I suspect she is a good example.

        4. “I would suggest that the “interested but concerned” group may be far smaller than you imagine.”
          Look at the seawall and seaside trails on a busy weekend and to me, it is obvious that the “interested but concerned” is a significant sized group.
          To me, it makes no sense to have a great, highly used seaside path, then a short gap where people have to fend for themselves that does not safely connect for families and the less brave to Point Grey Road. This area is the missing link.

        5. David, you suggest that the Interested but Concerned segment is very small. The research doesn’t support that premise. Three separate studies discussed in the following link have it in between 52% and 60% of the population. Lots of research is available if you would like more info.
          https://www.citylab.com/transportation/2016/01/the-4-types-of-cyclists-youll-meet-on-us-city-streets/422787/
          The people riding regularly, the group you refer to, tallies around 15% riding to work in Kits, and up to 2 or 3 times that if we count all the people who ride less frequently, but say that is due to their concern over risk. Now add in the ones who don’t ride at all, but say they would like to.
          One third respond No Way, No How. They aren’t the target audience for improved cycling infrastructure. But they do tend to try and apply their own perspective to impact other people’s choices and options. That is a problem.

  3. The big issue for many is not a resistance to a safe bike route, it’s a bike route which seeks to remove and pave busy and much enjoyed, and limited, green space. Why is HUB so insistent that a bike path needs to be within the park rather than astride it? A separated path on Arbutus would afford stunning views and if a cyclist wants to get closer to the beach, they should get off their bike and walk with it, like everyone else. I don’t expect to drive my car along the beach, I expect to park it, get out and walk. Same thing when I bike to Kits beach. I lock it up.
    As far as the seeming contradictions around paving for bikes or paving for a tennis court, yeah, I get it, it’s all paving, so I guess it follows that anyone who supports the tennis courts being there has no right to object about any further paving? Can I like the tennis courts and not support doubling the parking lot? I think so, but it also doesn’t mean I advocate getting rid of all paving of any sort. With the bike route, there is an option which does not destroy green space, so why the resistance? I like the swimming pool.
    I’m fine with the tennis and basketball courts and the parking so that people who need to arrive by car have a place to park. I also cycle to the beach myself and I support safe cycling, but it seems HUB is strongly advocating for a path within the park, so since Jeff Leigh is here, I ask you, Mr. Leigh, as HUB chair, would you be okay with a safe, separated bike route which does not go in the park and does not take out green space and trees? If not, why? If so, please tell everyone else on HUB and then maybe all interested parties can come together to get this done.

    1. How about Robotboy44 tells us why we don’t remove the asphalt parking lots. It isn’t a seeming contradiction. It is a contradiction.
      Why are motorists favoured over cyclists?

    2. “I don’t expect to drive my car along the beach, I expect to park it, get out and walk.”
      Except… the parking lot is on park land. So you are doing exactly the opposite: you are driving onto paved greenspace for your own convenience.

      1. A city for all please. Not just for (rich) bikers.
        Some actually drive to various points of the park, and have a smoke or a break or a snooze or read a book while enjoying the view, from their car.
        Not everyone is a fitness aficionado, folks !

        1. Too funny Thomas. All those poor poor motorists in their $10k/year cars smoking away while those who can’t afford a car are denied the same access. I don’t think the word “pathetic” really covers it.

        2. Yes, Biker Uber Alles.
          No more smoking in cars, or snoozing, or reading a book. It must all end.
          I see from the far too many comments on this tiny tiny project that the bike lobby is way uber-represented here on pricetag.
          More diversity please. Mothers with kids, for example !

        3. Yes, let’s hear it from those mothers with kids who want people driving through precious green space so they can sit in their car and have a smoke. I’m sure there are a lot of them.

        4. More gender equality please. Let’s limit bike lanes use and blogging on this blog to 50% men.
          Isn’t this the new Canada we allegedly all strive for ?

        5. “More diversity please. Mothers with kids, for example !” OK, Thomas, I’ll bite. I’m a mother of two young children. Do you want to know how I get around town with them most of the time? By bike – a long tail cargo bike, to be specific. I’m not rich — my bike was expensive, but it’s a heck of a lot cheaper than the car I’d need if I didn’t have it. I fully support the proposed bike path. It would make Kits a lot more accessible to me and my family, and I know lots of other families with young children who feel the same.

    3. I think I explained it pretty clearly. Motorists are not favoured over cyclists. There should be adequate parking for bikes as well. Both should be served. No one is looking to build a road through the park to drive cars along. Parking is necessary and there is no other place for car parking. A bike path which rips up green when it can be built adjacent to the park and not remove green is possible and logical. Why is that such a horrible option?

      1. It’s not a horrible option. Remove parking along the park fringe for a protected bike lane. Remove a row of parking near the tennis courts for a protected bike lane.
        Watch the hysterical fireworks emanating from the motoring crowd,
        So it’s not a horrible option. Motorists will never allow it. We’d debate it for a century. That’s what those in opposition want anyway.The car-centric status quo.

    4. I can envisage a safe cycle path through the park which does not affect trees and affects very little in the way of grassy areas. Remove some parking spots and there would be zero net pavement and more park area to be enjoyed by families with kids, people of all ages and abilities and tourists from around the world to enjoy a slow bike ride through this magnificent park. This experience would be the highlight of a ride along our world famous Seaside Greenway. Let’s take this opportunity to do it right.

    5. “Why is HUB so insistent that a bike path needs to be within the park rather than astride it?”
      I would use the word outside, not astride, but I get your point.
      First, we would look at the different types of riders. People commuting to the Burrard St Bridge have Cornwall (dangerous in spots) and York. This path isn’t about them, unless they want to slow down and enjoy the park.
      Families travelling along the Seaside Greenway are not comfortable mixing it up in traffic along Arbutus and Cornwall. They, and other low speed riders, are the focus here.
      One of the principles in the PB staff report relates to ensuring a park experience. The PB use a photo to illustrate this, on their web page about planning in parks. That doesn’t mean a bike path should go anywhere. It needs to reach towards key destinations (the beach, the concession, the washrooms, the restaurant, etc) but not go through congested areas like along the sandy beach, or in front of the concession stand (where the bike racks are – that is close enough people can walk from there).
      Locking up bikes out on Arbutus is an invitation to bike theft. We are better off with bikes closer, and eyes on them.
      Along Arbutus, there are options. We agreed with the path being along Arbutus, just not as a painted line in the street, as some suggested. We could get a park experience for people on bikes by constructing a new path abutting the green space. The extent to which that could be built near the current west sidewalk along Arbutus is what PB staff asked for permission to go investigate, with City engineering. We supported that. It could be built on the road ROW, which is currently lawn. It could be built next to that, but then the as built street needs to be narrowed. That could entail removing parking on one side, and/or making it one way. Lots of choices. It would have been nice if commissioners had supported their staff working with Engineering to figure this out.
      Robotboy, does that answer your question? Would you like to meet and discuss further?

      1. Jeff, thank you for answering. I appreciate the dialogue. I’m David, by the way (my WordPress handle was created ages ago!). Despite your points, HUB have certainly asserted the idea that the route should be through the park, through the trees and green space. That’s what we fought against a few years ago and it’s back on the table again. I’m glad you feel otherwise, but how about getting HUB to take the “in the park” options off the table so that we are then discussing what you describe without the backlash of people fighting against the other. That would help.
        A park experience for this cyclist means I bike to the park, I get off my bike and I lock it up, usually at the heavily used rack by the Boathouse, and I enjoy the park/beach experience. Why does a cyclist have to be cycling to enjoy the park? Do you have to cycle in the pool to enjoy the pool?
        Why can’t a cyclist park and walk to the concession stand or washrooms? Is it really so horrible to get off your bike for a moment and to just use your feet in a park?

      2. Hi David. Yes, I know.
        The pressure that the cycling community put on the park board over the past year resulted in a broad group working together. Local residents, representatives of HUB, and also at the end, representatives of sports groups at Kits. I would say that the residents and the cycling community had a lot in common.
        We have pushed back on the Kits Park Coalition who stated that people should ride bikes in the street. Howard, in particular, doesn’t differentiate between the built street (as it is today) and the road allowance, which includes more than the current street, but is not in the park.
        You can’t take the park options off the table without a fulsome discussion on the complete route, from the Maritime Museum to Balsam. Cornwall isn’t an option, due to the transit stops, just as an example. There was broad agreement between the stakeholder groups on using the existing path along Cornwall, dedicating it to people on bikes, and asking the City to build a sidewalk at the street for people to access transit stops. Everyone agreed. And that path is in the park. So I would ask you not to take all the “in the park” options off the table. It just blocks progress in discussions and creating solutions.
        We were not advocating for expanding the current MUP along the water. We wanted to take bikes off it, and put them back next to Cornwall, along that stretch. It would have been a significant improvement IMO.
        You reference the well used bike racks near the concession. One thought expressed was to take them out and put them near the corner of Arbutus and Cornwall. That would have been a step back. As it would be to instruct people on bikes to walk from York St, another proposal from a special interest group.
        If the goal is no net increase in paving, great. Let’s start with a paving inventory. Then let’s see how much of that paving is valued.

        1. Jeff, you make very reasonable points. I agree that we have to look at the whole route and honestly, so much of the hostility has come from the desire, which is still on the table, to have the bike route go right through the park, 12′ wide. If that’s now not something HUB is advocating, then I agree that we can look at the whole picture and support an option which is safe for cycling, but also does not compromise the park area and without impacting on parking as well, which I feel is also very important, or other existing amenities. I resist the notion that paving of any kind in itself is in conflict with park enjoyment, but a paved bike route is different than anything else because you have moving bikes along it, and that impacts the use of the park in a different way.
          I support safe bike options, but I really value the existing space at Kits Beach and want to stop it from being paved further than it is when there are other options. I like the idea of building a sidewalk on Cornwall and making a bike path where the present walkway is. I maintain that if a cyclist wants to enjoy the park, within the park, it’s no great hardship to get off your bike and walk it. That’s what I do.
          Unfortunately, the way HUB and the park board dealt with this five years ago meant that many people are predisposed to be very defensive. Remember, “it’s a done deal”.

        2. Because a park is for parking, right Robot? Your bias is so ingrained you don’t even see it.
          How do you suppose the cars get into their parking spaces without moving? Does somebody beam them there? Then why not just beam the whole family and their BBQs as well?
          Let’s summarize: Parks are not for fitness and health if that involves two wheels. But parks are fine to drive into with four wheels and a massive polluting engine. Might as well smoke as Thomas advocates. The car is doing it anyway.

        3. David, the cycling community never advocated for a 12 foot path through the middle of the park, as I recall it. That phrase was an invention of an organized opposition. There are a few clues to that. Firstly, staff designs at the time used metres. It was the opposition who coined the term 12 foot bike lane, but they actually called it a highway. Secondly, the Park Board had an RFP out for a design team. See the documents. They wanted to hire a team to design it. Opponents suggested it was already designed, and used a conceptual alignment to lay down a plastic tarp across the middle of a field in a bit of theatre. The opponent’s expressed lack of trust in PB and city staff and PB commissioners caused it to go downhill fast. And opponents decided that anyone who didn’t buy into the theatrics wanted to pave a highway through the middle of the park. That characterization wasn’t helpful then, and isn’t helpful now.
          But the problems the last project were designed to address have never gone away. If anything, they have worsened. And with the completion of sections of the Seaside Greenway on either side of Kits, that will become even more evident this summer.

        4. Oh Ron vdE, it’s not about bias, it’s about everyone being able to go to the park and that some people need to get there by car. Do you really have no empathy for others who are not as able or just plain don’t desire to navigate the steep hills in Kits to get there? For those who wish to bike, let’s make that work, but be reasonable about it in terms of the whole picture of park users. It’s facile to suggest that anyone is against people on bikes enjoying the park and as I have pointed out, I am one of them as I often ride my bike there, so please raise the tone of your discussion.

        5. Jeff, the 12′ path was a simple conversion of metric to imperial. We still buy bananas by the pound and so many relate to 12′ easier than 3.5 metres. Nothing more than that. As far as calling it a highway, there were heated words from both sides, so let’s not go down that rabbit hole (why just look at the comment above courtesy of Ron vdi), but having said that, there are real safety concerns about a bike route right through an area where children are kicking a ball or running around. That’s a valid concern, even if calling it a highway is a bit overdone.
          The lack of trust was because of words like, “this is a done deal” from park board commissioners. There was no imagining it when it is stated on the record like that. There was also the fake consultation which was used to support the plan, so people were rightly up in arms about it. It was going to happen until the public resisted and took the city to court to stop it. The lack of trust was well founded, especially from a then Vision dominated park board, given Vision’s well known history of lack of consultation and dishonesty (and Gregor himself acknowledged that they don’t listen on the eve of the last election).
          I agree it needs to be addressed, but just as you say that hyperbole from opponents isn’t helpful, I feel that aggressive positions by HUB and other advocates doesn’t serve the broad cycling community. If it had been approached more reasonably five years ago, there might have been a path now, but people did not want it going through the green space and taking out the north parking lot and trees, and they still don’t.

        6. Well Mr. Robot. I think it is fair to say that many many people are “against people on bikes enjoying the park”. That’s the whole point of this backlash. Maybe that has escaped you.
          On the other hand, nobody is seriously suggesting removing a lot of parking (except maybe you). Yes I do have empathy for those who are unable to get to the park/beach by other means. Admittedly very little empathy for those who can. Addiction to one’s motor vehicle is unhealthy for all of society so I don’t promote it.
          What I can’t understand is your persistent justification of a blatant double standard: cyclist are not being “reasonable” but driving into the park and leaving your car in what could otherwise be green space all day is a birthright. It is able-bodied people driving to the park that make it difficult for frail people to find enough parking. It has nothing to do with cyclists.

        7. Sorry Ron vdE, but you are clearly not aware of what was proposed in 2013, which was that the bike path go right through the north parking lot, so yes, loss of parking. You insist on characterizing car users as victims of addiction which does nothing to help address the needs of all. You are just so caught up on your political dogma and anger towards others who choose a mode of transport you feel is evil and it’s really tiresome. Sorry, I’m not going to engage anymore in such extremism and selfishness because you are clearly set in your ways and have no time for looking at this from the perspective of all. Sadly, that’s why we are here, because of those intransigent attitudes.

        8. Mr. Robot, I said nobody is seriously suggesting removing a *lot* of parking. Any fair minded person would acknowledge that a balance between modes is desirable. You, on the other hand, see no room whatsoever for space for bikes in the park while huge swaths of asphalt dedicated to motor vehicles is entirely appropriate.
          If you interpret that to be political dogma on my part I’m not sure how I could avoid continuing with my sarcastic tone.

  4. “Why is a safe path through the park called a cycling speedway? ”
    Because that is the reputation the Vancouver Spandex cyclists have – particularly around the Olympic Village and all along the Sea Wall.
    The recent fashion of cycling in Vancouver is seen as training for some endurance test on $5,000 bikes.

    1. Indeed too many bikers are frequently far too fast and too inconsiderate of others, at traffic lights, at stop signs or where there are slow pedestrians and especially, kids ! As such, this park point needs a bike lane FAR AWAY from water, say on road with angled parking on one side of Ogden and Arbutus.

    2. I winced when I read this. When I have my kids out on the Greenway I can never take my eyes off the oncoming cyclists. Every day there are encounters with foul mouthed cyclists who do not understand that this is a common path through a city park, but rather their personal transit highway. It’s so bad that I now carry a GoPro around with me.

        1. Are you inferring that I’m lying?
          Is that really how you want to make your point?
          Right?
          GoPro Hero Session 4 BTW. It’s a much better solution than pulling your phone out and affecting the developing scenario.

      1. Okay, so that’s your irrational fear. It has nothing to do with reality. If someone is coming towards you on a path and you’re scared of that, why is that?
        If you and they are too close to each other it’s not your fault or theirs, it’s the fault that the path is too narrow.

        1. And how wide would that path have to be to keep out a cyclist that is determined to be in the pedestrian area? Perhaps we need a separating concrete barrier?
          You guys are like Monty Python without the laughs.
          Before the Greenway was paved myself and others had met with Jerry Dobrovolny and discussed the possibility of solutions such as a meandering path to break up speed or even having the cycling path moved to the street in wider areas so as to preserve the aspect of having an open park safe for kids. We were BS’d with assurances of “temporary tarmac” and obviously feel cheated.
          Based on what happened to us, I would recommend the Kits Point residents to oppose any changes as energetically as possible. And to realize if your concerns are not addressed at the outset they will not be addressed at all.

        2. It should be least 4 Metres wide for the cycling part. This would allow two-abreast cycling (important so that you can converse while cycling with a friend.) and have someone pass you and for people riding two-abreast from the other direction. That’s how wide. Any less and people will be forced to move over onto the walking side (as you’ve seen and have developed theories as to their motives for that.)
          So you carry the false belief that people are cycling too fast, then you had unworkable suggestions like a meandering path and then when your bad suggestions aren’t taken up you feel cheated. I think you need to learn way more about all of this.
          If a concern is going to be addressed it has to be based in reality. If the true motive is to believe in bogeymen who are out to get you then nobody can help you with that.

        3. So 4 metres for bikes, let’s say 1.5 for pedestrians added on so 5.5 metres (or 18 feet). And that’s not including a soft surface jogging track. We could easily be talking a 25 foot wide swath here.
          I honestly cannot tell if the opinions being expressed here are comedy or not.

        4. “And how wide would that path have to be”
          That depends on the expected volume, whether it is uni directional or bi directional, whether it is walking only, cycling only, or a MUP, and so on. There are published guidelines (See TAC, for example).
          The South False Creek seawall was recently rebuilt with a number of sections at 3.0 m for the bike portion, the older (existing) portion was then dedicated for people walking. There isn’t a bark mulch path, since people can walk or run on the grass if they want to.
          Note that at Kits Beach Park there are more existing paved paths than are needed, and some actually bisect the green space. Dedicate paths to each mode where possible, build as little new as possible, and take up unused or underused concrete and make it green.

        5. Frequently bikes come from behind at high speed, super close. The awareness (especially of the male, sub 30 type) is often lacking, namely that other people in the world don’t have as many hormones, walk slower or might even take a step to the left or right, right into their path. Many don’t even have a bell.
          Don’t let me even get started on lack of obeying traffic laws, as simple as stopping on a stop sign or a red light.
          More consideration please.
          Especially in busy areas with lots of kids, such as Kits Beach / Kits Point park area.

        6. Thomas, you should be thankful those sub-30 males aren’t in a car where they could do real damage.
          Don’t let me even get started on all the drivers (not just sub 30 males) ignoring traffic laws like stopping at stop signs or red lights. And what about speeding? How many actually follow speed limits? Precious few. How about speeding past parks and schools? Focus your condemnations where they’ll do more good.

        7. Thomas, they probably have no choice but to be too close. That’s why the paths should have sufficient width and if there are many people that use it to have separate paths. These are standard design principles that work all over the world. We don’t have to start accusing them of lack of consideration since it’s the designed space that’s making them be too close. Blame the design not the users.

        8. sanlitun- The Arbutus Greenway is a transportation corridor, not a park. For the final design, city is looking at walking and cycling paths and also a future streetcar. I agree that there is little space, but we should make sure the cycling path is at least 4m wide and the walking path at least 3m wide. Proper design makes for improved safety for everyone.

        9. The point that there is some sort of binding contractual obligation for the city to apply a particular use to The Greenway was debunked long ago. This is spin cooked up by planners like Dale Bracewell who want to ride their bikes through residential neighborhoods regardless of the opinion of the locals.

        10. It’s 15m wide and 9 km long. Sounds ideal as a transportation corridor to me. Thankfully nobody is proposing a freeway although it has been considered. Maybe bikes don’t seem like such a bad thing.

        11. Sanlitun – It does not help in this discussion to insult city staff.
          I have been involved in the AG process for well over 10 years and have attended countless consultations. The current situation is due to the federal Railway Act which stipulates how railroads get de-commisioned. CoV could have gone through this process but it would have been costly and have caused delays, so they simply purchased it from CP as a railway. Railway act stipulates that it must continue as a railway but a streetcar line would suffice. City is simply following the Railway Act.
          I know lots of people who live near the AG who love it! However, this is also a city wide and even a region wide resource (it is listed on the TransLink Regional Cycling Network). Everyone should have a say, and I suspect that a majority like what the city is doing.

        12. I would have to call you to task on this if you have a current reference to site regarding the CP sale.
          I am aware that there is a large amount of variance in the decision process regarding decommissioned railways, usually do to environmental factors. But telling points come from a former Minister of Transport:
          “Firstly, neither the National Transportation Act, 1987 nor the Canada Transportation Act contain provisions relating to the removal of track assets from the abandoned right-of-way lands or its future uses. Secondly, once a rail line has been discontinued it is no longer a line of railway under federal transportation legislation. Therefore, the abandoned right-of-way lands are subject to the same provincial land laws and municipal zoning by-laws and ordinances as the lands abutting the rail lands.”
          As for Dale Bracewell et al. I have nothing against them save for their lack of imagination.

        13. Sanlitun: There is a binding contractual obligation with respect to the future use of the Greenway, and it is to share the revenue with CP if the City decides to sell off the property and develop it. It is an insurance clause, essentially, for CP, who wanted to develop it themselves.
          The current use is defined by the zoning. The Supreme Court upheld the right of the City to determine that zoning.
          Is there some reason that people should not be able to ride their bikes through residential neighbourhoods?

        14. Jeff Leigh: This is what I am aware of as well. However there is no provision as to the surface or nature of any path, straight, meandering, mulch or tarmac. Or any path indeed at all.
          You must admit, there are many who are bending the truth to portray it otherwise.

        15. I think there is a lack of understanding. I believe we have just agreed that there is a contractual obligation with respect to the Greenway, the one related to disposing of all or part of it for development.
          It is zoned as a transportation corridor. That means any or all of the transportation modes IMO, but the City has defined Greenways as being focused on active modes (walking and cycling). There is the potential to include a streetcar as well, but IMO that has to do with attachment to the idea of the old Steveston interurban line, not with modern rapid transit. If it is called a streetcar, I can’t see why it wouldn’t go in the street, and replace the trolley bus. I don’t see any connection to the Railway Act personally.

        16. Sanlitun – Nothing your wrote in your post contradicts anything I wrote. The point is that CP sold the land to CoV as a railway and the city decided not to go through the railway abandonment process. This corridor is still governed by the Railway Act, hence the continued nod to a future streetcar line.

        17. My point being that the future uses of the Greenway are often portrayed as being set in stone when they are not.
          The city has many future options in that could be pursued through decommissioning and zoning.

        18. Sanlitun said “The city has many future options in that could be pursued through decommissioning and zoning.”
          Actually, that is not really true, as their is a contractual obligation between CP and the city. So, it can’t be decommissioned without the authorization of CP and the federal government.

        19. You see what you see. I see people protecting their privilege by keeping the scourge of uncouth, speed-demon, lazy, layabout, poor, foul-mouthed, rich, smelly, uncaring, dangerous, dominating, lying, corrupt parasites out of their oh-so-precious neighbourhoods.

        20. Lisa, It wouldn’t matter to you if it was Mother Theresa. You’ve already made very clear how much you despise HUB or anything to do with cycling.

  5. Once an area is bisected by a bike path then cycling becomes the dominant activity.
    Parents have to watch their kids in the same manner as they would crossing a city street. Certainly this is the lesson learned from the placement of the Arbutus Greenway tarmac. Certainly this is my personal experience.
    When I read your post Mr Leigh it seems rhetorical and prejudicial to the point of being cringeworthy. It’s as if you cannot fathom that there are other persons who want other uses to a public park area that do not involve bicycles at all.
    Paving precious free space into another de facto road when we already live in a sea of roads is ridiculous. Again I feel the cycling community is barking up the wrong tree by pursuing this and should instead look at gaining access to space that is already paved.

    1. Once an area is bisected by a bike path then cycling becomes the dominant activity.
      This assertion is not supported by any data. Data which exists and is accessible to the public.

    2. sanlitun – There are many parks which have cycling paths with are safely used by families with children and by people of all ages and abilities to enjoy our parks by bike. Examples include Stanley Park, Jericho Park, Locarno Park, Spanish Banks Park, Balaclava Park, Vanier Park, Memorial Park. Why leave out Kits Beach Park? I see people walking and cycling and enjoying the park in many ways. Parks are an excellent place for children to practice ridiing a bike. Why deprive them of this?
      There is already a narrow path through the park which is shared with people walking and cycling. Is cycling the dominant activity? Are you comfortable walking on this path? If not, then why not have separate paths for walking and cycling?
      Re Arbutus Greenway, cycling is separate from walking. This is similar to path around Stanley Park. Would you rather revert back to the railway which had an narrow informal shared path?

    3. “Once an area is bisected by a bike path then cycling becomes the dominant activity”
      That is an interesting assertion. At Kits Beach Park, the bike path along Cornwall doesn’t bisect the park. The paved paths in between Cornwall and the pool (and there are many of them) do bisect the park, and break up the green space. They are posted for no cycling. How about if we take a few of them out?
      https://www.google.ca/maps/@49.2732743,-123.1570943,343m/data=!3m1!1e3!5m1!1e3
      There is no need for a net loss of green space in Kits Beach park with a safe bike path, away from the water but in the park.

    4. My personal experience with this area speaks to the issue. Trying to get two East Side kids from our neighbourhood to the nearest (Kits) beach in summer, without using a car. Biking was out of the question due to the gap in safe cycling infrastructure between Vanier Park and Kits Beach. I’ve ridden that area and was not going to risk the lives of children (one of which was not mine). We took the bus. It took forever and meant a lot of walking.
      If the path had been in place we could have ridden on bike paths and safe cycling routes from start to finish.
      Nothing I have heard from the opponents to this improvement has been based on making a nice part of the city more accessible to the un-monied. They embarrass us all with their regressive approach to public space and make us look like rolling-coal Canadian hicks IMO. Thanks for that.

      1. Chris is right. We must pave all the parks.
        You want grass – then go to a golf course.
        You want trees – then go to a forest!
        Asphalt Forever!

        1. Yes, that is my exact position. Thanks for paying such close attention. I was afraid the my support for a small path for all ages of cyclist might be mis-construed as simply what it is, rather than a thinly-veiled communique from Big Asphalt.
          Why do I scare you?

      2. I agree. What is missing from this discussion is that families, seniors and many find that separated paths are much safer for both cyclists and pedestrians. That is why the separation of pedestrians and cyclists on recently completed section between Cambie and Burrard was so well received during public consultations. Walkers heavily favoured separation.
        Mixing meandering pedestrians and families with young cyclists is not a good or safe mix. Building this safe missing link can be accomplished with very little lose to green space.

  6. Such incredible hypocrisy on this issue. Let’s be bold. Let’s propose a plan that removes ALL pavement from the park. Beginning with that let’s add paving as required. Let’s see where that goes.
    I also hear a pathetic refrain that people need to drive because of all the gear they need to bring. They don’t. They choose to.
    Another is that parking should be free because Vancouver is so expensive. So people who cycle because they can’t afford a car should subsidize parking for those who can.
    How many people are killed or seriously injured by cyclists? How many by cars? Roads slice up our entire city including lots of parks. Where is the outcry?

    1. Very silly proposition. Yes, people need to drive, but it’s all about you, isn’t it? If you don’t need to drive, everyone else can deal with it. Very selfish and narrow to only consider your needs and no one else. You “choose” to bike, and that’s fine, but you don’t have a right to deny others their choices just because you have so much hatred car use. I don’t cycle because I can’t afford a car, I cycle because it’s pleasurable and I know many who share the same view. Your arguments are so simplistic and narrow.

      1. So bikes should not be permitted in the park but cars should be? It’s not about me. It’s about the health and well-being of everyone. More bikes and fewer cars benefits everyone. Some people can’t afford a car. But, for you, it’s all about those who can. Obviously.
        So what is the silly proposition?

        1. I bike to the park now and my bike is permitted in the park. Please stop with the silly drama. Fewer cars able to access the park denies those who need to get there by car, but clearly you will just never get that.

        2. Well let’s add more parking spots then. After-all, on busy days you can’t find a spot. People are being denied their birthright to drive and park in the park. (A very terrible thing.)
          What you seem to suffer from is status quoism:
          You hate the idea of a safe, kid-friendly bike path through the park. You think adding parking would be absurd. You think removing parking is a horrible idea. The whole world should just stop and stand still exactly the way it is today. La-lala-lala.
          The world changes Mr. Robot. You either guide positive change or you stagnate or there is revolution.
          Remember Critical Mass? An organic movement that grew to huge disruptive proportions because those who wanted to ride bikes were not taken seriously, treated equally as taxpayers nor provided with safe infrastructure to do so. It could happen again if the belligerence that caused it in the first place persists as it seems to here.

        3. It’s increasingly clear that the politics of compromise and concession does not work for active transportation. The only strategy that works, it appears, is moving the Overton Window yet again, so that a few bike lanes here and there seems like a milquetoast position instead of a radical idea.
          Critical Mass worked. Food for thought.

  7. Walking the Stanley Park seawall is not too congested yet, but it is clear that the leading edge of congestion there is the bike path adjacent to the walking path. The funneling of bikers just before Siwash Rock to a sign that tells bikers to disembark and walk that narrowed section is an interesting case in point. I observed bikers here for 15 minutes ignoring the sign and riding their bikes instead. Only 1 in 10 bikers walked this section. Probably a precursor to the Park Board banning bikes from the seawall altogether. Heavy use by either user will bring heavy changes. But then if there is free transit throughout the park, cyclists on the trails won’t be complaining their access has been lost.

    1. If I remember correctly, cyclists are not required to dismount at Siwash Rock. So it’s not surprising that few of them did. If the seawall is not congested but cycling is the leading edge, maybe the cycling path needs to be widened and the pedestrian path narrowed.
      I see motorists ignoring traffic signals every single day. Shepsil, can you tell me if you’ve ever brought that up in a blog? You must observe it too, or be willfully blind. Cars kill. Where is your outrage?
      The parks board did ban cycling on the seawall. It didn’t work. The city did ban cars on Granville mall. It didn’t work.

    2. That would be a worthwhile post, Stanley Park issues. On the list. The PB recognized the issues around Siwash Rock six years ago. A solution was proposed. They have the funds. It doesn’t impact green space. Maybe we could get some action there.

    3. I suspect the zone you are referring to is at the lighthouse.
      Here is the issue. What creates danger to people walking and people on bikes is a speed differential. It isn’t riding in and of itself. It is riding fast when people are walking. The solution isn’t a speed limit sign as the Park Board had at Kits Beach (not enforceable, as bikes aren’t required to have speedometers). The attempted solution of “dismount and walk” doesn’t have good compliance, in the real world. So, we can complain about people breaking rules, or we can focus on the real issue. What has worked, most notably along the seawall when the Dragon Boat festival is on, and the paths are busy at the foot of Ontario, are signs that say “Cyclists – proceed at walking speed – Pedestrian Priority” or something similar. We have recommended the same to the Park Board. Why not use what we know works?

    4. Park Board developed a cycling plan for Stanley Park over 5 years ago which would have made cycling in the park much safer. Unfortunately, the implementation plan is not forthcoming. It is possible to build safe cycling paths in parks, but some effort should be put into design. Banning cycling is so unfair and backward looking.

  8. Several requests for responses from me. Thank you. Plans are for more posts. First is likely to be how to create a bike path without a net loss of green space, since we didn’t get to present that point of view at the PB meeting when the staff report was not voted on. The second is likely to be on lessons learned from the new South False Creek Seawall paths. Any more ideas out there?

  9. Jeff, you say “(the advocacy group I work with has as a guiding principle respect for all transportation stakeholders – there aren’t winners and losers”. Motorists were definite losers on Point Grey Road, just as motorists will definitely lose when a lane of traffic is removed from the Cambie Street Bridge. That’s just a meaningless platitude.

    1. I suggest that all people driving were not losers on Point Grey Road. All the people who need to drive to and from their homes along that stretch can still do so. The “losers” if we want to identify them are those who were inappropriately using a local road as an arterial, often at high speed. Now, they are on 4th. Which is just as direct, and is designed to handle that type of driving speed and volume.

      1. What are you talking about Adanac? You do realize “reallocate” is just a planner safe word to disguise the fact one southbound lane is being taken away from motorists don’t you?
        “By reallocating one southbound lane to people on bikes we can use the excess capacityto create a bridge that is safer and more comfortable to walk and cycle on without slowing down how quickly southbound motor vehicles exit the bridge.”
        http://vancouver.ca/files/cov/cambie-bridge-boards-2017-11-30.pdf

        1. “…without slowing down how quickly southbound motor vehicles exit the bridge.”
          Thank you for clarifying Bob.

        2. Bob, p-lease explain to me that given there was no trip time change for motor vehicles after curb lanes were upgraded to cycling only, you predict longer trip times for Cambie Bridge upgrade? Also, please explain to me why congestion will not actually reduce because of more people choosing to cycle over the bridge? and less people driving?

        3. And in other news, a group of vocal protestors claim that the latest proposed bike lane is going to cause traffic mayhem… this time for sure. The spokesperson for the group was shocked at being labelled a spokesperson. “It’s a conspiracy”, she said.
          “I don’t know where the traffic goes. It seems to to… just… disappear. Doesn’t that scare the hell out of you? Who’s investigating this? Have they infiltrated the police too?”

    2. There was no change in trip time for drivers using the Burrard Bridge. I have heard from some that the bridge is now better for driving. Certainly safer. I hope the city does before and after trip times for Cambie Bridge. I predict no change. So, safer for cycling, no change for driving. Safer and more convenient for cycling so more people will ride bikes, less people driving, less congestion, win-win all around. I do care about the poor, beleaguered drivers and suggest that it is not the person riding the bike in the bike lane is the problem – rather it is the driver ahead of you. With improvements to cycling infrastructure, that person will be encouraged to cycle more and then the road is yours!

    3. Capacity on bridges is usually determined by the intersections. Currently, Cambie Bridge bottlenecks southbound due to the traffic lights at 7th and 8th Avenues and not due to bridge capacity. The capacity at these intersections will not change, as the number of lanes at the intersections will not change. Therefore, I don’t see how motor vehicle traffic will be negatively affected by the changes.

  10. Lots of misinfo in this self serving piece. Where do I begin?
    1. “Low speed”. That’s a joke. Any separated 12 ft asphalt bike lane through the park means speeding cyclists. Maybe not all but it only takes s a few speeding to put people in danger. And a 12 ft separated asphalt bike lane is not a “path”, but a road.
    2. The initial discussion with the KPRA, Howard Kelsey and his beach user coalition only started because they specified that they would only come to the table with HUB if the separated bike lane was to go on the road beside the park – Arbutus St, McNicoll & Maple. Jeff Leigh knows this. (I was not involved in ANY of those discussions). Ask Howard or the KPRA for further clarification. From what I understand in talking to Howard and representatives of the KPRA, the discussion originally started with Hub and City Transportation Dept with the plan to put the separated route on the road. Then the PB staff got involved and took it over and included options through the park as well including fixing the parking lot problem and entrance hot spots etc.
    3. The KPRA & the beach user coalition wanted to take the options to the community for consultation after their initial talks with the Park Board, but HUB pushed the staff into presenting the Park Board staff’s choice of options to the Commissioners BEFORE community consultation. The staff CHOSE an option through the old grove of trees rather than on the road, and on Arbutus St or “within” the park BEFORE designs & consultations, not after. There was a huge backlash from many in the community about putting the bike lane through the old grove of trees, considered a sacred and quiet spot — one of the 2 remaining old groves in Kits. There were also concerns about the route along Arbutus St possibly being “within” the park and how much of that section would be paved over, how many trees would be lost etc. You don’t make a decision as to a route BEFORE designs or consultation, which is what the PB staff did. That’s not public consultation that’s a public con.
    4. Yes, the parking lot route is unsafe and should be changed. The PB looked at 3 options for that area and chose only one of these – again prior to design and public consultation.
    5. The Park Board proposal was considered by the Commissioners to be “too nebulous” to vote on and was referred back to the staff for designs, consultation and costing. They will be doing this for all the options, both within the park and along the road, working WITH City Engineering as they have been all along. City Engineering said their work on the road route would take a year anyway and they are going ahead with that work. That was made very clear at the meeting on March 12..
    6. Nothing is left in limbo. The PB manager Malcolm Bromley assured me that there will be public workshops as part of the design process, which would have happened anyway, but the public will have all the options to consider not just one preselected by the staff & HUB.
    7. The pressure to “do something” came from HUB not the neighbourhood or “community”.
    8. There’s nothing to stop the PB staff from hiring outside expertise if that’s needed as part of the design & costing process.
    9. Putting a 12ft asphalt bike road through the middle of the eastern section of the old grove of trees would render half of that grove useless for anyone else — considering a 12ft safety buffer zone on each side to keep kids and people playing games etc out of the danger zone of — yes – speeding cyclists.
    10. There are only 2 parking lots not 3. The PB doesn’t want to lose parking income. Furthermore, sure, if you want Kits Beach to be the exclusive preserve of those who live in Kits, can cycle to it, or are on a decent bus route, than by all means take out all the parking. This is a daft idea, and not worth a serious response.
    11. The signs and our intent is “no NEW bike lanes in park”. I’m not against cyclists using the shared paths, but of course that means going slow and dismounting in some areas. Cyclists already go wherever they want to on the grass, on the shared paths etc and no doubt many will continue to do so. The Park Board rangers don’t have ticketing authority other than for smoking, only the police can give out tickets for other park board by-law violations. I can’t imaging the cops chasing after cyclists in the park. Or maybe we could have a few good chase scenes with the cops in their buggies and the cyclists. LOL.
    12. So HUB now wants to get rid of basketball & tennis so they can cycle through the park. Wow ? Please!! What arrogance. Ridiculous argument that seems to have become another HUB “talking point”. Cyclists can go anywhere in the city. Tennis & basketball only have the parks. Basketball is on a tiny square. Should we put the courts on Burrard Bridge or Point Grey Road instead?
    13. I’m all for removing the Boathouse, or downsizing it to a concessions stand. Or maybe replace it with a velodrome.

    1. How about removing all the parking? If the park were asphalt-free today and the proposal was for paving a bike lane or providing 5 times as much asphalt for parking, which would get the thumbs up?
      Let’s not use the status quo as an excuse. Rip out the parking lots. They are the biggest offenders.
      Sheesh, it’s impossible to rational with people who live in fear of bikes but think cars are benign.

    2. Hi Elvira
      The discussion that Howard started a few years back was to use Arbutus road itself. That plan went nowhere. City staff worked up options, and had explained to the original proponents what the issues were. Now flash forward to 2017. Significant community desire for a process to address this problem was expressed. Commissioners said they now wanted to deal with it. Staff were assigned. PB staff met with various groups. Howard said he didn’t know why this had come up again. It was explained to him. After the meeting, Howard called the proposal to look into Arbutus “very reasonable”. His position changed some time after that. Staff went forward with a recommendation that didn’t meet all of the requirements of every group, and tried to push it ahead, with something all could live with. The groups generally agreed with that approach. Until the PB meeting. Yes, I was at all the joint meetings prior to that.
      We did not push the PB recommendation deadline. That was PB leadership. Ask staff.
      The Kits Beach coalition pushed for no public consultation. They wanted a back room deal, to be decided then and there. It was the Cycling community that was pushing for a full public engagement. We generally get better results that way, for all. Lots of attendees to check with on that point.
      It was a conceptual route alignment, and to focus on exact locations prior to design work is to make the same mistake as several years back.
      There are three parking lots. Two of them are public. The private lot behind the restaurant is what complicates deliveries. If the trucks could turn around, then it would be easier to accommodate the bike path there on existing pavement. That could save the whole stretch along Cornwall from Yew to Arbutus.
      I think you will find the issue with enforcement relates more to the signs not being aligned with the bylaws and survey info. I have watched Park rangers deal with issues in Stanley Park.
      I’m not against the existing courts. I do note the hypocrisy of a tennis player and a basketball player standing on “their” pavement and demanding no pavement in parks. I wouldn’t put the courts on the bridge. I would put them on school property if they had to be moved. But I think it is better to focus first on removing unused pavement, not the courts.

      1. Well, that’s not the story that I heard. In a case of he said, she said, I choose to believe Lynne Kent, Adam Smith and Howard on the exact sequence of events and the desire for public consultation PRIOR to presenting the proposal to the Commissioners. In fact Lynne confirmed that to me and others in an email yesterday. I believe her, not you.
        The Park Board did focus on exact designs — and too soon. They specifically chose Option 5 instead of presenting both option 5 + 6 to the Commissioners. Option 5 is unacceptable to non-HUB beach users. It’s a sacred and quiet old grove of trees. The Arbutus St section was left more vague which was a problem as well. We don’t want a new bike lane along Arbutus that takes out green space in the park.
        The staff parking lot behind the Boathouse is not a public lot, so it’s misleading to say there are 3 parking lots
        The staff chose one of 3 options for the south end of the park, instead of presenting all 3 options to take to the public. All of these 3 options have pros and cons and can be worked out as things go along over the next year – with the public, engineering and design teams weighing in. I’m really not interested in going into all that now. I’ve spent too much time on this issue already and have a lot to do. I just wanted to correct your misinfo, which I’ve done.

    3. Well, there we now have the main thing behind all of this in Point 9. The notion that cyclists are a danger to others. This is of course nonsense but all sorts of quite elaborate belief systems have been based on much less so there ya go.
      I think decisions should be evidence based. Then people and their crazy ideas won’t be able to get very far.

      1. Speeding cyclists are a real issue, whether evidence based or not. Many times I have walked with friends around the Olympic Village to both the west of the Community Centre as well the east around Science World. We, and others, have to carefully look around because speeding cyclists weave across and around the same space that people walk. It is stressful, dangerous and wrong.

        1. I agree that there may be a few inconsiderate people riding bikes. But perhaps it is the way the paths are laid out? Perhaps there is confusion over what is the cycling path and where people are supposed to walk? Perhaps paths are not well marked? There are many parks in Vancouver and around the world where people can safely enjoy the park by bike. Surely we can do the same.

        2. How many people have been killed by cyclists Barb? How many by cars? Could you tell us again what is “stressful”? What is “dangerous”? What is “wrong”?
          Have you ever written to a blog about speeding motor vehicles? About them rolling through stop signs, ignoring “no right turn on red” signs? Texting?
          I’m having a really hard time understanding the enormous angst surrounding bicycles. Maybe you could explain.

        3. Yes, it’s stressful and disconcerting when you’re just having a nice walk and get whizzed by you of course, that’s a valid concern but it really is just perception and not a real danger. Anyone going even slightly faster than you (jogging for example) can be disconcerting.
          Having said that though, wanting a nice walk without annoyance is valid which is why there’s a push for not mixing walking and cycling like was done in the past. A decent civil society designs its pathways to not put people in conflict.

        4. Arno and Adanac; Would you please explain to Ron, he says he doesn’t get it. Perhaps as enthusiastic cyclists yourselves you can expand his limited understanding and enlighten him. Maybe equate it with the irrational fear of spiders, flying or heights. He’s thinking like an engineer instead of a human that also has bona fide emotions.
          The constant reference to cars and, “Look at what he did” argument reminds us of what children say when caught being naughty. It too is childish. We’re talking about a hard-track bike speedway across a grass park, through a grove of mature protected trees.

        5. I agree that it’s an unproductive approach to the discourse. There is the reality in the culture and media that someone can kill someone else using a car and other motorists are not considered also guilty yet someone whizzes past someone else while on a bike and it seems that all cyclists are guilty not only of that but of doing things that didn’t even happen. So that situation is unfair and needs to change.
          My position is that both are undesirable. (The order of “harm” is entirely different though and that’s what Ron is probably pointing out. One is unsettling and can be scary but no real harm yet the other is real harm.) Both are bad and we should design things to prevent both.
          Remember also that the idea that it’s a bike speedway is a propaganda term by those opposed. It’s not what is being proposed.
          I’m not an enthusiastic cyclist.

        6. I’m in the middle on this. We should allow visitors to the park and people riding on the Seaside Greenway to cycle through the park. This can be done safely with no loss of greenspace. As I mentioned in another post, there are many parks in Vancouver where families with children and people of all ages and abilities can safely ride in a park. Parks should be primarily for nature and recreation and cycling is a great form of recreation.
          Ron may be a bit extreme but using terms like “hard track cycling speedway …” does not help to find a solution. We are talking of a low speed cycling path. A safe path through KBP would be the highlight of a ride along the Seaside Greenway – why deny people this experience? Note that there is already a shared walking/cycling path through the park. In the interest of safety, PB wants to make this walking only and add a cycle only path. This is as much a project to add a walking path as it is to add a cycling path.

        7. Lisa, we all suffer when important decisions are based on emotions instead of data, evaluation and best practices gleaned from elsewhere. Five years later we still don’t have a safe separated cycling facility along Kits Beach Park because of irrational fears instead of good design based on rational evaluation. How helpful is that?
          As long as emotions rule the day people are at risk because cyclists will ride through the park, on the narrow congested path full of the elderly and kids. Or they’ll be forced onto the street with multi-tonne vehicles driven by sometimes distracted, almost always impatient drivers paying more attention to finding an empty parking space than watching out for kids on bikes. You can crush a kid at 5 km/h. Did you ever (ever) think of it from the cyclist’s point of view?
          Pedestrians lose. Cyclists lose. Motorists lose.
          All because of irrational fear. If that’s the way you live your life so be it, but don’t force your irrational fears on others. Arachnophobes don’t harm others. Those who resist safety improvements do. And if you want to go the “look what he did” blame game you ought to know that the meme emanates from the motoring crowd. Cyclists just throw it right back because it is just so absurd.

      2. If you install a bike path in a pedestrian area it creates a demand of vigilance and unfairly robs persons of relaxed enjoyment of that area.
        In fact the threat of the danger can actually be worse than the immediate danger, it bears a chronic nature and can unfairly impact an entire neighborhood.
        Here’s a photo of the Arbutus Greenway that I can comment on to show my point: https://i.imgur.com/0uH3S2k.jpg
        Shortly after the Tarmac was laid down on the Greenway the local kids made an attempt to adapt to the change in what had been for many many years a play area and makeshift park.
        Now, you don’t see kids using the area in the same manner at all, as over time their behavior and that of their parents has been changed by the possibility of danger and encounter with uncouth cyclists. Cycling has come to be the fundamental and dominant use of the space at the expense of all others. The space has been taken away from kids who certainly need access to a natural unpaved area.
        Sadly many here don’t see that they are arguing for privilege, ableism, or just outright ridiculous selfishness.
        Now I like cycling, and I don’t like cars. The real battle is gaining safe cycling space on the roadway at the expense of motorcars, not paving some child’s play area.

        1. “Now I like cycling, and I don’t like cars.”
          *snort*.
          “If you install a bike path in a pedestrian area it creates a demand of vigilance and unfairly robs persons of relaxed enjoyment of that area.”
          “…changed by the possibility of danger and encounter with uncouth cyclists.”
          “Cycling has come to be the fundamental and dominant use of the space at the expense of all others.”
          “Sadly many here don’t see that they are arguing for privilege, ableism, or just outright ridiculous selfishness.”

        2. “Sadly many here don’t see that they are arguing for privilege, ableism, or just outright ridiculous selfishness.”
          The irony illustrated being local families vs BCCA, HUB, MOBI etc. As long as those organizations and those representing them are as prejudicial as shown here it doesn’t look like there will be a lot of progress.

  11. 1/kits beach is well serviced by Transit (22 is on the FTN), and in a now near future will be in cycling distance from the arbutus subway stop. so that one can expect many patrons will arrive via arbutus street.
    2/considering the above, and the crowd pressure on the park, the parking lot is an unnecessary luxury consuming a disproportionate amount of space serving too few people. Save for the handicap parking, it should give way to a taxi stand and a drop off zone for handydart. people choosing to bring their car to the beach will still have many other beach park choice starting by spanish bank.
    That said. we shouldn’t fall in the whataboutism rhetoric from the bike lane proponent . be in regard of the parking lot or other surface.
    Disregarding the fate of them a bike path should minimize its impact on the other park uses.
    The park board proposal is good: it just need clarification, essentially insurance that the path will occur on the arbutus right of way along below lines:
    https://voony.files.wordpress.com/2013/10/arbutus1.jpg
    Beach avenue follow already the above concept:
    https://voony.files.wordpress.com/2013/10/englishbay.jpg
    Once that resolved, the last point of contention will be the Ogden to Arbutus junction.
    The 2 reasonable options on the table are 5 (thru the “forest”) or 6 (along McNicoll and Maple):
    I am afraid that option 6 could not work: it goes to far off the cyclists desire line (so they could end up to prefer an enticing service road at the west end of Ogden, and then end up on the current pedestrian path: so to me the option 5 preferred by the pb staff is a reasonable one…

    1. The discussion around option #5 included using or recovering the existing path you mention as a service road at the end of Ogden.
      The discussion around option 6 included the hill. It is an inconvenience going up it; it is steep enough that coming down it would see people on bikes going quickly into a sharp corner onto the Arbutus alignment, across the entrance to the north parking lot, and that was more a safety issue than the inconvenience aspect. Also, there was not support from residents for removing parking along the route of #6, as some houses there don’t have driveways (a different discussion, but important to residents)
      Question for you Voony: along Arbutus, the ROW is 66 feet. That means that on the west side, the first 2.5 m of the “park” is actually street ROW. Would you take advantage of that, thus not removing green space from the park, or would that appear to be reducing park space (since the ROW is regarded by some as part of the park)? If you didn’t take advantage of the ROW on the west side, would you take away a lane of parking, or make the street one way, or both?

    2. Jeff,
      notice I use the Arbutus street Right of Way.
      the current curb to curb wide is ~11m + 2m sidewalk
      if the street is one way (parking both side), it could be made 8m wide (as York street) may be a bit more ~8.5m + 2m side walk, + 3.5m bike lane…
      yes I am OK to encroach into the green space of the ROW.
      At equivalent lost space, encroachment of a green space on its edge is much less impacting than bisecting it.:
      https://voony.files.wordpress.com/2013/10/differentspaceallocation.jpg

      1. south of Creelman, I favor a 2 way arbutus street with no on street parking on the west side…
        So the proposed arrangement around the pumping station by staff …but all the way from Creelamn …to York street
        the later is another reason to favor the staff option 3 (bike path aligned as much as along Cornwall and Arbutus), since it allows a much better connection with the existing bike network (and can benefit of street lighting).

      2. That generally matches what cycling advocates asked for. There was an agreement around putting the bike lane along Arbutus, but next to the grass, so as to provide a park experience (the PB staff goal). An alternative approach by the Kits coalition talked about painting a line on the road and having people ride in the street. That is what wasn’t acceptable to many of us. A route along Arbutus can feel like it is in the park, doesn’t have to bisect the field, and is well away from the congestion along the beach.
        We suggested that if the route was back there near Arbutus, there needed to be a spur line down to the restaurant/concession/beach/washrooms, using the existing paving of the service road. That would allow people to lock up their bikes at the racks there, and walk to the beach.
        Makes sense to run it up to York.

      3. good to hear.
        notice, that there is also 4.5m available between the curb and the property line on the arbutus east side. the city could reclaim the public property here, as it has done on Point Grey rd. …this to enhance the park experience, such as by tree lining the street. below is an idea using the dimension previously provided
        https://voony.files.wordpress.com/2018/03/arbutustreelined.jpg
        regarding the bike parking. I noticed that the bike rack at the boat house frequently overflows, so the park has installed some rack on the grass west of the tennis courts: not sure that is the best use of this premium area. To me the mobi station at the south parking lot is the best location for a bike parking, so more parking stall should go to bike parking to free otherwise de facto green space used for bike storage…a bike spur should provide access to it (but I could call this a detail which can be worked out in a second time, once general alignment is approved)

      1. In any general discussion facts and statistics can only part of the issue. Emotions and sub-conscious perceptions are powerful and form part of any reality.
        I’m trying to convey the public sentiment to certain cycling evangelists that are unable to understand the concerns of many, many people – both young and old.

        1. So then education is needed. People that think that racers are the same as cycling evangelists (if those even exist) need to be shown that they’re not the same people and don’t have the same message.
          Traditionally racers are opposed to cycling infrastructure. They either don’t think about or they take the stance that bike paths are merely letting the cars win.
          The people supporting cycling in parks are mothers with eight year olds.
          There’s going to be lots of different opinions. People who don’t want to be disturbed when walking need to learn that the only solution is to separate travel modes that are going at different speeds.

          1. I’m like this … when I’m on my race bike, bike paths really don’t make sense … whereas when I’m on my commuter, they do. All the racers I know would say the same.
            There is, unfortunately, a large pool of riders who have race bikes, but have not gotten into the habit of riding with other racers and learning race etiquette (of which there is a lot) … and there are insufficient cycling ‘patrons’ to bring an entire Fondo’s worth up to speed. This will take time, and exposure to infrastructure. It didn’t happen in the Netherlands or Denmark immediately either – it will take education about the unknown for all parties – as most things do.

        2. I think it should start at Grade 1 in school. All kids should learn how they should behave when travelling by bike. They’re not going to be chauffeured all their lives and later when they do get a bike they won’t know the etiquette or conventions.

          1. +1 … unfortunately there are a lot of people past school age to bring up to speed … why I won’t ride a fonto except up front where it is fast and safe … nothing safer than a pack of Cat1/2 cyclists … Cat5 (beginner) = scary.

          1. Basically, you can’t do big fast races until you’ve paid your dues and understand how to race and be safe racing. In the USA there are 5, here 4 (my race experience is mostly from USA, so thats why I always have 5 in mind).
            Many people joke that triathletes are Cat 6 and the typical Fondo rider would probably best be described as Cat 16 …
            “In BC, there are 4 different ability category (cat) levels for male and female road riders. Most races offer all of these categories, though some may be combined together for the purposes of racing.
            Cat. 1: Professional riders, who are members of National, Continental, or Professional teams
            Cat. 2: Highly skilled amateur riders
            Cat. 3: Intermediate level amateur riders
            Cat. 4: Novice level amateur riders
            Provincial RIDE Licence holders do not have an ability category, and therefore can’t upgrade, as they race in a Novice category at Provincial and Regional races.
            Riders without a UCI licence in the last 5 years must register for Cat 4.”
            https://cyclingbc.net/membership/disciplines/road/

    1. Lisa said: “The constant reference to cars and, “Look at what he did” argument reminds us of what children say when caught being naughty. It too is childish.”
      Let’s not post all the you-tube videos of motorists actually risking lives. Because, like this video clip, it is entirely irrelevant to the conversation.

    2. What it shows is a common misunderstanding of what “Share the Road” means. To some it might mean that riders are to ride on the far right, but case law suggests that riders may actually take the lane if lane is too narrow for a car and a bike – as is the case here. Fortunately, Richmond has clarified this by placing new signs:
      https://www.instagram.com/p/Bgl_t0_HYAH/
      The group of people riding bikes in the movie are actually doing drivers a favour, since passing the group is way easier and safer than passing a very long group riding single file.

      1. @ Arno – if that’s your bike – you might want to check how Mirrycles are installed. The base should angle out, and the segment holding the mirror goes out farther, improving visibility. Your install gives you a view of your shoulder. Have used these for years on my road bikes. They’re a great tool.

      2. Arno … all you have to do is rotate the upper stem down and adjust the mirror – that will position it a palm’s width to the left. No tools needed; big improvement in rearward visibility.

  12. 128 comments. If only people had this much passion for the much more significant things happening in this region!

    1. I went to look at the VanPoli thread. Don’t know what to say. I see they closed it due to all the personal attacks.

  13. To the cyclists out there … and those who appreciate the indomitability of the human spirit.
    Back when I used to buy high-end bicycles and was looking for more, the name Marinoni came up at my local shop – a custom builder in Montreal.
    I was surprised to find a documentary on him – that he was still building bikes at age 75 and was planning to go for a track record.
    He had built a bike for Jocelyn Lovell back in the seventies upon which Jocelyn won a gold medal. Jocelyn gave the bike back to Marinoni after being hit from behind by a truck which rendered him quadriplegic. It was on this very same bike that Marinoni planned to go for a world record for his age group.
    Mr Lovell died just over a year ago.
    I had actually bought a bike with his name on it for a girlfriend way back when; not knowing the meaning of the name.
    Marinoni – an Italian-Canadian superstar.

  14. I think we have to remember all this when it comes time to elect a new Park Board. There will always be different perspectives and that’s normal but what a smart governing body does is get people together and communicate well with all sorts of people.
    Are the candidates effective at their jobs and have a view of the larger picture or are they simply there to get revenge on people that annoy them? Are they up for the difficult job of managing diverse interests in a highly populated city? If up for re-election, what is their voting track record?
    There have been really good public engagements for other projects in the city, ones that could have blow up just as easily as this one but because of a good process where people from various perspectives were brought together to learn about each other’s needs and concerns they were able to make their designs work well.
    Instead the Park Board just got bullied by a handful of people and now we’re stuck with a situation which continues to be bad.
    People need to go check out the new South False Creek Seawall, (which came out of one of those well done engagement processes) and the Burrard Bridge (and area) to see how good things could be and then imagine what could have happened here if only…

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