Some parts of the temporary Stanley Park bike lane could be retained

Jan 17 2023, 10:32 pm

The Vancouver Park Board is now looking to retain a few select short segments of the temporary Stanley Park Drive bike lane configuration.

This direction was provided to Park Board staff on Monday night after Park Board commissioners unanimously approved a member motion by ABC Commissioner Angela Haer.

Some segments of the controversial bike lane could be repurposed and modified for safety, accessibility, traffic flow, wayfinding, and aesthetic reasons, but without increasing removal costs.

Haer specifically noted that Stanley Park Drive’s recently revised configuration next to The Teahouse restaurant could be retained, as it provides a drop-off area on the vehicle passenger side with ease and flow.

Other areas include the short segments around Brockton Point, where there is just one road lane for all users that loops around the tip of the peninsula, as well as the steep hill before Prospect Point and next to Ceperley Meadows (Second Beach).

It was also made clear during the public meeting that this would not slow down the overall strategy of removing the existing temporary bike lane, with Park Board staff previously outlining a timeline by early April 2023.

stanley park drive bike lane january 2023

Entrance onto the temporary bike lane on Stanley Park Drive, near West Georgia Street, as of January 2023. (Kenneth Chan/Daily Hive)

In an interview with Daily Hive Urbanized on Tuesday, ABC Park Board chair Scott Jensen reiterated the temporary bike lane will be removed, and that the process is ongoing — contrary to other media reports that suggested otherwise.

“How we can do it in the best possible manner? We didn’t want to have staff start at the entrance and move around the park slowly, taking everything out, and only after that look at spots where it made sense. These kinds of flow and access and restoration, and make the park accessible to everybody,” said Jensen.

This comes after Park Board staff informed Park Board commissioners on December 15 that their original direction to immediately remove the temporary bike lane along Stanley Park’s perimeter roadway would cost up to about $400,000, and require a phased approach with a much longer timeline through early spring given the complexity involved for removing features that strayed away from being temporary.

After an initial 2020 season that used movable traffic barriers, such as plastic cones and delineators, permanent-like fixtures were added to a bike lane design that was supposed to be “temporary” — upon the bike lane’s full return in time for the Summer 2021 season. This includes the installation of 830 concrete barriers, which now require special machinery to load onto trucks, along with the use of asphalt and the scrubbing of 3.5 km of line painting.

The estimated cost also included a 30% cost premium to perform the removal work during the nighttime hours to avoid major traffic disruptions over the daytime.

stanley park drive bike lane removal plan

Tentative plan to remove the temporary bike lane on Stanley Park Drive, as of December 15, 2022. (Vancouver Park Board)

Just prior to Christmas, the first segment of the temporary bike lane on Stanley Park Drive was removed on the northwest sector of the park — between Prospect Point and The Teahouse. This was the easiest section of the bike lane to remove as it was almost entirely comprised of moveable plastic cones and delineators, but its work still carried a cost of $25,000.

“We want to make sure that as we transition this lane away, it’s done in the most cost-effective manner,” said Jenner, adding that the existing bike lane configuration with permanent-like fixtures was implemented without consultation.

Jensen says the forthcoming changes to Stanley Park Drive’s configuration are based on the ABC Vancouver party’s three principles of returning the roadway to its pre-pandemic vehicle traffic flows to reduce seasonal congestion, providing full access to all businesses within the park by spring, and fully restoring vehicle parking throughout the park.

“One of the things they’ve been saying recently is all of the parking lots have been returned, which is a way of saying on one hand, all of the parking is back, but it fails to recognize that a large number of spots were removed for this bike lane along Stanley Park Drive that are still not accessible. Our goal is to return those lanes to being accessible for visitors coming to the park to park on the drive. Those are the things we’re directing staff to do,” he said.

stanley park drive bike lane january 2023

Existing design of the intersection of Stanley Park Drive and North Lost Lagoon Drive, with the Beach Avenue exit blocked off for the temporary bike lane, as of January 2023. (Kenneth Chan/Daily Hive)

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