How many times will we go through this?
Hornby Bike Lane. Burrard Bridge Bike Lanes (three times). Point Grey Road.
Same arguments – Carmageddon and business catastrophe confidently predicted – and the same results: no serious negative consequences and a better, healthier city. And once the temporary bike lanes are in, as Commissioner John Coupar noted, we don’t go back.
There’s an obvious reason for that which, oddly, he didn’t articulate: they worked. They helped build the city we said we wanted. (Which, if John has his way, will stop at the borders of our parks.)
Last night before the Board of Parks and Recreation Board, it was the same old debate with a twist. For those who want to return to the way it was, it’s a fight now on the side of the marginalized, the people who, they say, need most of the asphalt in the park to provide access and parking – meaning by default full Motordom for all, forever. Definitely what Lord Stanley had in mind.
But here’s the one piece of new information that came out that really is important, by way of Park Commissioner Dave Demers: Park Board staff estimate visitation within Stanley Park is up by 50 percent since May 1. They have counted 350,000 cyclists over the last 67-day period, compared to about 60,000 vehicle trips in the same period last year, a quarter of which were thought to be using Park Drive as a shortcut to bypass the Causeway. Motor vehicles, in other words, were 17 percent of all trips with something involving wheels.
That increase is extraordinary. And that’s without tourists in the mix.
But what those opposed to providing a separate lane on the drive seem to ignore is this, at least if they presume much of that increase can be accommodated on the seawall:
A shot from the late 1990s prior to the construction of the Seaside Greenway’s separated lanes and still the condition of some parts of the seawall around Stanley Park.
Inducing congestion on the seawall by trying to avoid vehicle congestion on the drive is going to have some unpleasant consequences.
I was wondering whether the NPA commissioners would have anything positive to say about the need to accommodate this desired growth in walking and cycling in a harmonious way. But no. The NPA has made a calculated decision to appeal for the support of people who work up a lather in condemnation of taking space from vehicles – people like Nigel Malkin, quoted here in a CBC story:Read more »