The Vancouver Park Board has started work to re-implement the track, which first appeared last year, with modifications.
Bonnie Mackenzie, of the Stanley Park for All Group, said the bike path discriminates against seniors, people with disabilities and people who depend on cars to bring their families to the park.
Controversial separate bike path returns to Stanley Park by mid-May
It has also been devastating for businesses in the park, she argued, which have experienced a sharp drop in revenues amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
In 2020, the project involved the closure of an automobile lane on Stanley Park Drive, the loss of approximately 30% of the park’s parking spaces, and the closure of Third Beach and Brockton Point to vehicles.
The story continues under the ad
“There really was no reason for the elderly, the disabled and families to go to the park,” she said.
“If you don’t ride a bike it’s very difficult to take your family, picnic cooler, blanket, umbrella to the beach on your bike when you have small children.”
Disability rights advocates condemn Vancouver Park Board decision on Stanley Park bike path
The park council is committed to addressing some of these concerns, particularly regarding access to Prospect and Ferguson Points and Third Beach, with the 2021 project.
The plan is being implemented in phases, with cones separating a lane on the west side of the park from Pipeline Road North to Second Beach.
READ MORE: Confrontation in the work on the proposal to restore the Stanley Park bike path
BJ Thomas, singer of “Hooked on a Feeling”, has died at 78
Kamloops First Nation, B.C. confirms the bodies of 215 children buried at the site of the former residential school
The city says parking lot entrances, access to the Lions Gate causeway and intersections will not be affected in the first phase.
Phase two will include an assessment of the east side of the park and consultation with stakeholders, before concrete dividers are installed to separate park-wide lanes in phase three in July.
“We don’t know what their plans are. I think this is the biggest problem. This park belongs to all of us, it should be accessible to all, ”said Mackenzie.
“They say they’re going to open up some of the parking lots, we don’t know how that will affect the safety of cyclists in the reserved lane, and all of a sudden you’re going to have cars pulling past them. “
Stanley Park Attractions Coalition Calls for Rejection of Proposed Dedicated Bike Path
Jeff Leigh of Hub Cycling said there is no doubt there is room for improvement in the 2020 plan, but opponents of the path are distorting its impacts.
“I don’t quite understand how having one lane somehow blocks access and no cars,” he said.
“I don’t understand why Stanley Park, a 30-kilometer (per hour) urban park, needs more lanes than many sections of the Trans-Canada Highway, which still haven’t been dual-lane.”
Leigh argued that the separate lane actually allows accessibility to the park for cyclists with disabilities or other needs.
He noted that baffle barriers placed along the dike in several places prevent people who use hand-pedal bicycles, tricycles and bicycles with trailers from using it.
READ MORE: Vancouver Park Board of Directors votes to reinstate Stanley Park bike path for summer
“I think not allowing less confident families, children and cyclists to ride in Stanley Park discriminates against a much larger segment of the population,” he said.
“What we need to do is make sure that Stanley Park is usable for everyone, and that includes those who choose to ride, whether they are able-bodied or disabled or whatever. “
According to data from the park’s board of directors, Stanley Park saw a 180% increase in the number of cyclists between April and June, when Park Drive was completely closed to vehicles.
When a lane was reopened in July and August, cycling volume fell from a peak of around 180,000 trips per month to about 140,000. That’s about 40,000 trips per month less than in 2019 , a difference the council attributed to a massive drop in tourism.
The volume of vehicles in the fleet was about a third of its 2019 average for the months of July and August 2020.