This week the Park Board placed big red jersey barriers to create S-curves on Park Drive on the steep downhill portion from Prospect Point. No notice, no explanation, but presumably to slow down cyclists, particularly where the Tatlow Trail crosses the road.
Download video here: IMG_5198 (1) – Stanley Park Chicane
Dianna has some thoughts:
Well, bless their hearts, after a couple of days observing that the bike slalom course they’d created on the Stanley Park downhill was dangerous, the Park Department has made the chicanes much more rideable. On Wednesday, each of the five chicanes forced cyclists descending Stanley Park Road into a tight S curve to squeeze between a pair of offset plastic barriers. Today, Saturday, the barriers were more widely spaced, so the curve to slide between them was much more gentle. No more squealing brakes or casual riders on the edge of control.
But if the point is to slow riders on the descent, forcing a mix of riders aged eight to eighty, casuals to road warriors into narrow gaps, makes little sense.. The descending road is a wide two lanes. Signs at the top warning of the descent, and advising slow riders to keep to the right, are all that’s needed to reduce or avoid conflicts.
The more urgent need is for signs that keep riders from riding the wrong way on the parks one-way roads. At the bottom of the hill, I met a dozen tourists wandering the wrong way, unsure where to go, and grateful when I got them turned around. There were others, worriedly descending the climb to Prospect Point like salmon swimming upstream. How had they gotten that far without figuring out their mistake? Lack of signs, could it be?
Closing Stanley Park roads to cars, so that walkers, runners and cyclists can exercise and enjoy nature at social distance, is wonderful. Very early last Wednesday, we came upon crews putting up the first barriers. I pointed out that one barrier blocked cyclists from exitIng the park to Beach Drive. As they moved it, they said that the changes were a work in process, and that they expected to make other changes.
But why do this by trial and error? Why not start with experienced consultants to design the best signage and traffic controls? Cyclists and city planners have complained for decades that the Park Board wants cyclists to ride to parks, but not through them. There are examples throughout Vancouver.
The coronavirus has changed that.Read more »