A blunt announcement from the Park Board:
This is what the Park Board is essentially saying to cyclists who still use Park Drive:
“The data tells us we can return the park to its conventional traffic patterns” – and we’re all about sticking with the conventional. So we’re throwing you back in with the vehicles now, where you can fight it out for the same space. But be careful, motorists may now see you in the way and assume you should be back on the seawall – where you can fight it out with pedestrians given the inadequate space and your vastly increased numbers (which we assume will drop down to the, um, conventional).
You really shouldn’t be surprised, given that we have repeatedly demonstrated in Kits and Jericho Parks that we don’t intend to find reasonable accommodation, and will relegate you to dirt paths and parking lots, regardless of conflicts and accidents. And even though we have plans and budgets for improved facilities for cycling in Stanley Park, we haven’t spent it and don’t have immediate plans to do so.
We take our direction from the board, two of whom (the NPA commissioners) will claim our action today as a victory and reinforce the anti-cycling messaging of their party. The Green and COPE commissioners just stay quiet, more concerned about social issues than, say, something that might actually address climate change. We have our hands full accommodating the homeless than accommodating cyclists.
Let’s face it, cyclists, the ‘Recreation’ in Board of Parks and Recreation really doesn’t include you.
If that seems a little harsh, let’s ask the commissioners this question: will you commit to re-installing the bike lane next year, if for no other reason than to take the pressure off the seawall and make the experience a better one in order to encourage – as you have voted to do – more cyclists and pedestrians? Otherwise, we’re going to go through yet another frustrating, counter-productive and cynical bike-lane war.
And in the meantime, will you finally resolve the missing-link issue in Kitsilano, Jericho and other parks that connect to the city’s Greenway system but are woefully inadequate, even dangerous (see image above from the Kits parking lot) that you have put off for years?
We await the commissioners responses.