The announcement of a $2.2 million Kitsilano Beach bike lane hasn’t received the reception its proponents had hoped for.
Shortly after it was announced, it was revealed that the bike/pedestrian path would go through park space and a well-used picnic area.
The public outcry over the route has led to a response from the Vancouver Park Board to re-examine the route of the bike lane:
The Park Board recently approved the concept for a long-awaited separated bike route connection through Hadden and Kitsilano Beach Parks.
Park Boards going back 30 years have sought to provide this missing link along a seaside route which includes the seawall commencing in Coal Harbour, around Stanley Park, through English Bay and False Creek, and then picking up again in Jericho Park.
In recent days, there has been considerable concern from community members about the exact route and potential impacts on the park. Recent media stories of the Park Board moving memorial benches, cutting down large trees and paving large swathes of the grassy fields are completely untrue. White chalk lines outlining a wide route through the Park were not painted by the Park Board and do not in any way reflect the route to be taken.
The final route has not been determined. What the Park Board approved was a preliminary route, which will be followed by an external consultant team developing a specific route that takes into account all uses in the park as well as trees, benches, and picnic areas.
Introducing an advisory group
In response to the concern we’ve heard from park users, the Park Board will be establishing an advisory group to work with Park Board staff and the consultant in the final design of the route. The group will be comprised of park users such as sports groups, seniors and youth, as well as local residents.
Separated paths are already in place on the seawall, English Bay, Sunset Beach, and the western part of Kits Beach near the pool. A separated path for Hadden and Kitsilano Beach Parks will ensure safer access for people of all ages. We look forward to working with the design consultant and the broader community as we develop a final design for a separated bike path that works for all park users.
Chair, Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation
Image: Lijuan Guo / Shutterstock