No matter how many times the NPA lose elections when they include anti-cycling dog whistling, they just can’t stop themselves. Here’s the latest from NPA Park Commissioner Tricia Barker:
It’s not hard to figure out the underlying assumptions:
- Seniors don’t cycle.
- Seniors are so effectively disabled, they are reliant on (and can afford) cars.
- Seniors need to have Stanley Park returned to its car-dominant allocation of space – “For ALL TIME!”
The implications follow:
- The interests of cyclists and seniors are opposed.
- NPA Commissioners will justify their anti-cycling strategy as pro-senior.
- Cyclists and walkers who reject a return to the status-quo are anti-senior.
The NPA have been successful at least in one respect: keeping any new cycling infrastructure built to the City standard out of parks. Other than those places (like the South Shore of False Creek) where the City shares jurisdiction and will design and pay for bikeway-standard improvements, there has been no other significant upgrades within parks. As a result, the park experience has been worsening for everyone, particularly in the case of Kits and Jericho.
Here’s a Jericho Video which illustrates the lack of adequate space for walkers, cyclists and runners, squeezed together on an unpleasant surface, without separation or signage.
In the three months into the pandemic, the Park Board has done essentially one thing for cycling: limiting vehicle traffic in Stanley Park. They have done nothing to address crowding in parks elsewhere, leaving it up to the City (thanks to NPA Councillor Lisa Dominato’s Open Streets motion) to do the heavy lifting.
But they have moved fast to open up the parking lots, and now seem determined to get Park Drive in Stanley Park returned to wide-open car use as soon as possible, presumably so that cars and bikes can fight it out for road space. Or even worse, try to squeeze the extraordinary increase in cycling back on to the seawall, making the experience worse for everyone.
But here’s the thing: no cycling advocate that I have heard has suggested that Park Drive not accommodate those with more limited mobility. Indeed, it’s in the remarks from HUB Cycling member Jeff Leigh:Read more »