A new brewpub in the old Fish House has opened in Stanley Park, next to the main tennis courts:

Isn’t the bike on the logo, front and centre, a nice touch?  It’s what you’d expect for a destination away from any major road, in a park, for an active, outdoorsy culture.

So how do you cycle to Stanley Park Brewing?

Officially, you don’t.  Go to the website for the brewpub, and here’s what you find:

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Legendary is not a term to be taken lightly, but neither are the accomplishments of TEAM (The Electors’ Action Movement), the municipal political party formed in 1968 in Vancouver by Art Phillips. TEAM steamrolled into City Hall with an 8-seat majority in 1972, and is credited with steering the city into a direction which is often recognized as upholding a world-class standard for quality of life.

Similarly, living legends are rare. But, in the case of V. Setty Pendakur — as with Vancouver council in the TEAM era — the ‘legend’ label just isn’t up for debate.

Transportation engineer, professor at UBC’s School of Community and Regional Planning, self-described agitator, family man, and the city’s first (and still only) member of council of South Asian descent, Pendakur is one of the central figures from that TEAM blowout. His opposition to the city’s long-planned downtown freeway brought him into the political fold, and the ’72 election result dealt with that issue decisively.

And that was just the start.

In just a single term of elected office — which, at the time, was just two years — Pendakur either directly led or influenced some of the most important changes this city has ever experienced, feats of urban planning and engineering whose reverberations are still felt today. The Stanley Park Seawall (and its curious connection to housing development); the waterfront plan, which led to the connected public paths from False Creek to the west side beaches; the Development Permit Board; the Property Endowment Fund; the social planning department; CD1 zoning; and the institutionalization of community consultation.

Pendakur dishes on these backstories, plus his impression of public life as a member of a visible minority over a generation ago. He speaks to what it means to be Canadian today. And he tells us which category of civil servant he considers to be most like a buffalo.

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By Gord Price
I’ve often criticized the shamefully inadequate bikeway system in our crown jewel (“The Shame of Stanley Park”), but really, the problem with the design of the internal transportation network goes way beyond bikes.
Sometime in the post-war period (I’m guessing in the 1950s), the planners and engineers of the day assumed the default way of moving through the park would be by car – and they designed accordingly.

There is of course the seawall and trail system.  But in the heavily used interior parts on the east side of the park, there are only some unhappy asphalt paths where it is assumed that walkers, runners and cyclists will stick to the spaces allocated to them, inadequate as they are, and not try to walk along or run along the parkways designed to be exclusively for cars.
Below is where the city meets the park.  The design is clear: there are no complete streets to accommodate multiple users. If you are walking, you go on only the separate paths, regardless of whether they actually go where you want.

And the quality of the ped routes – the minimum amount of asphalt – also makes it clear where you come in the hierarchy.
Regular users know how frustrating it can be to cross the park south of Lost Lagoon:

Cyclists heading for the tennis courts from the north along Lagoon Drive, for instance, are confronted with a one-way road system that makes no accommodation for their intentions.  You want to go left, but legally you can’t.  It’s assumed that, like drivers, you will go kilometres out of your way to reach your destination – or else use the ped paths to the annoyance of walkers.

Again, another sign that the Park Board (a) is oblivious, (b) doesn’t care or (c) isn’t prepared to make an active transportation system for everyone a priority.

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