Imagine you’re a Park Commissioner in Vancouver.  You want to make sure seniors have a voice in any decision that affects car traffic in Stanley Park.  For many, that’s their access.

But you have a choice to make: Will you at the same time encourage seniors to cycle more?  And do something to make that happen.

More like this:

This is Michael Alexander a few days before his eighth decade, on the Arbutus Greenway.  A pause, a nod to the metaphorical flowers along the way.  This is a senior blissfully engaged in the life of Vancouver, loving the city we’ve become.  You know, because of that bike stuff.

And then he gives back more.  He’s a healthy citizen in every respect.

 

So how as Commissioner do you do both: open parks to traffic and get more seniors on bikes?

You’ll be deciding in the next few weeks.  What would you tell us?

 

Comments

  1. I’d like to see a free hop-on hop-off accessible shuttle bus doing a continuous loop around the park, with cars limited to a short in-out loop for cars, leaving the roads primarily for cyclists, tour busses and park vehicles

  2. It’s always impressive (and highly offensive) to see how easily the self- centred advocates of a position (such as yours) are willing to propose actions/policies that affect the interests of a completely different group, having no doubts about their actions, without ever bothering to learn what the issues involved for the other group are.
    Perhaps seniors feel differently about access to Stanley Park.
    As a one person example: I am an 83 year old ex avid cyclist who can no longer ride as my balance has gone and I now fall off my bike. My distance walking is also somewhat limited, and public transit is not easily accessible from my house. So my best access to Stanley Park is by car, and I do enjoy an occasional drive around the park. Are only cyclists and walkers allowed to have the pleasure of enjoying Stanley Park?

  3. Yup! You wrote such a great article about this earlier, too, Gordon! It’s *incredibly* frustrating to see the Parks Commission’s dog whistle language implying that “seniors” don’t ride bikes!! And by the way, if the photographed here is turning 80, then he’s actually entering his *ninth* decade! 🙂

    You’re so right that Parks Commissioners seem determined to perpetuate the myth that seniors “require cars” in Stanley Park and that they overwhelmingly want Stanley Park returned to its car-dominant space allocation – AND that interests of cyclists and seniors are somehow in total opposition.

    Like you said, NPA Commissioners’ anti-cycling strategy is *not* “pro-senior.” And people who want safer, healthier (in every way!) conditions for walking and cycling in Stanley Park are anything BUT “anti-senior.” Do you know to whom I should write? This needs *serious* pushback!!

    Thanks so much for your continued advocacy!

    Cheers,
    Tim

  4. To add to my previous suggestion (and full disclosure, I am a “senior”, a bike rider and a driver), why not have the roads open to cars with disability passes so that people of any age with mobility issues are not excluded from the park. And just so the rest of the car drivers don’t feel left out of the park, why not open the park roads to all drivers one day a year. I say that in jest, of course, but that’s exactly how cyclists have been treated for years in many parts of North America.

  5. The hop-on-hop-off bus around the park makes sense but it should tie back to Waterfront Station. People shouldn’t have to transfer twice if coming in on SkyTrain or SeaBus. It should also be a transfer from the transit system and not a separate service.

    I’d also suggest reversing the bike direction on Park Drive to run opposite any MVs that are on their half of the roadway. Gentler climb, less distance to maintain high speeds on the downhill, better visibility for both cyclists and motorists at conflict zones and… why not just shake things up a bit? How long are wall going to have to see the same things in the same direction.

  6. There are lots of questions and ideas being raised that should be part of a robust public engagement . How to design active transportation facilities for all ages and abilities. The benefits of a return route along Pipeline Road (see the 2012 Stanley Park Cycling Plan), including avoiding the hill. The potential of a bidirectional protected bike lane. Safe bike parking. More MOBI in the park. Transit in the park. And how about cancelling the current practice of making vehicle parking in the park free at times? It causes gridlock.

    For those wanting to connect with a working group of volunteers at HUB Cycling, who have been pushing for this for a long time, and will continue to advocate, you can email vancouver@bikehub dot ca and we can connect you. There were some fantastic letters written, including by seniors, in support of this motion. I was advised that some were read out by commissioners during the PB debate on Monday. The times, they might be changing.

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