This past weekend, I decided to take a quick ride over to Jericho from the West End, just to see what was happening with the Folk Festival.

Along the way, I found several long-standing examples of the City of Vancouver’s Park Board indifference to cycling.  (I know the commissioners would disagree, but the lack of action over so many years, regardless of all the plans, consultations and rhetoric, speak otherwise.)

For instance the path pictured above, just to the west of the Aquatic Centre, connecting Beach Avenue with the Seaside Greenway —narrow asphalt and worn grass — is ambiguous, inadequate and unsafe.  If it were under the jurisdiction of the City’s engineering department, it would likely have been rectified by now (it’s been this way for decades).

But it’s Park Board territory — and another example of their attitude: #wedontcare.

The bike parking at Kits Pool, inadequate though it may be, isn’t even serviced by a bike path.  I doubt the Park Board even sees the contradiction because, when it comes to connecting routes, #wedontcare.

Nothing sums up the Park Board #wedontcare attitude as well as the Point Grey Greenway, right where it meets Jericho Park.  On one side of the sidewalk: a solid, signed and separated surface.

On the other: loose gravel and … well, good luck, folks. ‘Too controversial, so we don’t intend to do anything about it.’

Knowing from 40 years of experience that the Folk Festival would generate conflicts among park users, what has been the hands-on effort by the Park Board to handle the flows? As near as we can tell, not a thing.  Not an alternative, not even signage — unlike when City staff must manage large events. They, at least, place signs where they will be seen and have a realistic chance of being observed.

The Park Board?  Well, you know: #wedontcare.

While we’re at it, a couple of questions: Would any candidate for civic government in Vancouver propose opening up Point Grey Road?

Because, after all, the traffic congestion is, as predicted, simply intolerable.

Oh, wait.

More specifically to Park Board candidates, are you prepared to say this: “I believe cycling is a recreational activity that should be encouraged in parks, and I will endeavour to provide connected routes consistent with the standards the City has established for all ages and abilities.” ?

Or, in absence of comment, do you prefer the default Park Board position: #wedontcare.

Comments

  1. Unfortunately we get some similar parks/bike crap in Los Angeles, with silo thinking undermining inter-connectivity. The parks department (Rec&Pks) has some fairly extensive bike paths (20+miles in one large park in the Valley, plus a handful of other paths), but it’s almost as if R&P doesn’t expect them to be used. They don’t maintain them, they don’t keep drivers from parking in them, they don’t try to connect to the Dept. of Transportation’s bikeway network. The DOT then puts out bike maps that don’t include R&P bike facilities, making it more difficult for the public to find and use the R&P paths. Then neither DOT nor R&P wants to add new paths or bike parking at parks. In a few places, there is some decent cooperation, but it takes pressure and leadership.

  2. We often cycle to Brighton or Kits – round trip – that’s one and two hours. Cycling around once we arrive is not important.
    My main complaint is smokers. Public parks should be treated like a temple – sacrosanct. If you smoke in a church people will immediately object but in parks, everyone is to chickenshit to say anything.
    A few years ago, at a kid’s playset, someone lit up while sitting on the bench. I said you couldn’t smoke in parks. She told me to mind my own business.
    I was a parent with two kids at the playset – and she says it’s none of my business. No one else spoke up, and I didn’t push it, though the father sitting next to me quietly commiserated.
    More recently, two guys sitting right along a park path were smoking. I objected loudly. No one else said boo. They kept smoking. Passerby were bemused.
    Another couple were sitting at the top of a kids slide – smoking. Same scenario. They wouldn’t butt out. No one else provided support. Chickenshit.
    Eight out of ten times that we go to Brighton there will be people smoking – the dog beach is popular -frequent drinking too. In the past few years I’ve seen park rangers twice. One sat briefly in his van; the other actually got out and walked around.
    Smokers defile our parks. They degrade our park experience.

    1. Despite that fact that is off-topic of the original post, I feel compelled to comment on the issue with smokers:

      I agree. And for some unfathomable reason, it is still apparently socially acceptable to throw butts anywhere and everywhere. wtf? Not so many years ago, nobody cleaned up their dog’s poop. Now everyone does. How did this miraculous and wonderful transformation occur? And how do we get people to stop acting like the social norm of not littering applies to everything except cigarette butts?

  3. With regard to the entry to Jericho park, this could easily be solved by moving 4 handicap parking spots to the other side of the street. This might even be city jurisdiction.

    Occasionally, their #wedontcare attitude is irrational. When PB was developing an upgrade plan for Hillcrest/Reily, I suggested the addition of a more direct cycling path to the Hillcrest CC, but was told by a senior planner that this would be impossible due to sloping terrain. “Anyway,” she said, “we will be removing that slope and expanding the parking lot at that location”. BTW, the Hillcrest portion of the plan has long since been shelved. #wedontcare, indeed.

    Well over 5 years ago, I and a few others at HUB worked closely with Park Board staff to develop a Stanley Park Cycling Plan. https://vancouver.ca/files/cov/stanley-park-cycling-plan-final.pdf
    Some simple fixes would be to add some signage so that tourists don’t continually get lost when trying to find their way out of the park. This is a good example of #wedontcare.

    Unfortunately, the only item which has been completed so far is implementing my suggestion to allow cycling on the Hanson Trail. All this required was a map change. They also showed their #wedontcare attitude by ensuring that the upgrades to the Causeway paths were not as good as they could be. I know of at least one horrific crash as a result.

  4. three trips to and from Jericho last weekend

    Every time through Kits tennis parking lot — nearly hit by inattentive drivers. Every time past Hadden Park. Largely unoccupied.

    But if you want to see real indifference to cyclist safety, check out the non-enforcement of no parking regs at new Joyce Collingwood bus loop. Epidemic of motorist scofflaw indifference to no parking rules right where cyclists need to leave separated lane and join the street, as ‘kiss-and-ride’ drivers who apparently are un-enthused by citizens pointing out the rules and asking them to abide by them for safety occupy space destined to be bus stops. Really disappointed by the obvious lack of observation at this busy construction zone and low-regard for active transportation safety at this location by VPD, Transit Police, and Translink… heck surely a bylaw officer might hand out a ticket or two?

    Somebody will get hurt. It will be a pedestrian or cyclist. There will be no consequences. This is my prediction.

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