Concrete barrier bike lane coming to Stanley Park Drive this summer

May 5 2021, 8:15 pm

The bike lane on Stanley Park Drive will be making a partial return this month using the same system of traffic cones and barriers that was first used last year, but these orange-coloured plastic obstacles will be replaced with concrete barriers later this summer.

The Vancouver Park Board announced today it has a phased plan for reimplementing the separated bike lane on one of two roadway lanes on Stanley Park Drive.

For the first phase, by the middle of May, the system of cones and other traffic management equipment will be re-established from Pipeline Road to Second Beach, with parking lot entrances, access to the Stanley Park Causeway, and intersections unaffected — a significant change from the controversial configuration for 2020. There will be signage and traffic management techniques to direct vehicles and cyclists through these areas.

The seawall will remain open for cyclists to provide them with the option to ride on either the seawall or Stanley Park Drive.

Stanley Park Drive bike lane

2021 bike lane configuration on Stanley Park Drive. (Vancouver Park Board)

Then by the middle of May, during the second phase, Park Board staff will consider changes to the segment of Stanley Park Drive from the roundabout (intersection of North Lagoon Drive, Stanley Park Drive, and Pipeline Road South) to Pipeline Road. Several configuration options for this major segment will be reviewed with stakeholders on the east side of the park before a decision is made.

For the third and final phase in the middle of July, the cones from the first phase will be replaced with concrete barriers and other traffic management equipment. These concrete barriers will be installed for the complete length of Stanley Park Drive.

Concrete barriers were also recently installed onto Beach Avenue to create a separated bike lane on the roadway’s former eastbound traffic lanes. This allowed for the reinstatement of bidirectional vehicle traffic along Beach Avenue south of Denman Street.

beach avenue bike lane

April 2021 completion of the fixed bike lane barriers and new configuration of Beach Avenue. (City of Vancouver)

beach avenue bike lane

April 2021 completion of the fixed bike lane barriers and new configuration of Beach Avenue. (City of Vancouver)

Park Board staff state there will also be detailed design work for the intersections into Prospect Point Cafe, Third Beach, Ferguson Point, and to the Stanley Park Causeway.

Although cyclists will be given a full, separated traffic lane of the roadway, motor vehicle laws also allow cyclists to use both lanes. All other vehicles and Stanley Park Horse-Drawn Tours will use the undesignated second lane.

This timeline for reinstating the bike lane was developed after Park Board commissioners voted in March to bring it back this year.

But the Park Board has come under fire from senior and disability groups and businesses over the impact of last year’s bike lane on accessibility within the 1,000-acre park. Several restaurant businesses took their grievances to the BC Supreme Court last month, with a petition filed that asks the court to rule against the Park Board’s direction to restrict vehicle access.

While COVID-19 and the decline in tourism were contributing factors to their financial losses, the businesses argue these difficult conditions were significantly compounded by the changes to Stanley Park Drive and the partial and complete closure of the parking lots serving the restaurants.

Last year, Park Board commissioners also asked staff to explore longer-term options to reduce vehicle traffic within the park. Staff are expected to report back with recommendations in late 2020 or early 2021.

stanley park reopen

Stanley Park Drive southwest of the Information Booth. (Kenneth Chan/Daily Hive)

Kenneth ChanKenneth Chan

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