August 20, 2014 2:20 pm

Tempers flare between cyclists and walkers in Stanley Park

An avid Stanley Park user is furious over what she sees as a repeated, careless disregard for ecologically sensitive areas.

Alison Martin was out for a walk with her husband on Sunday when the couple saw about 25 cyclists ride on a trail clearly marked as a no cycling trail.

“My husband said to them politely, at first, that it’s a no cycle trail,” Martin explained. “And the head guys said ‘I know’ or ‘we don’t care’ and then the whole bunch of them came through.”

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There is a Stanley Park plan, which was put in place by the Vancouver Park Board, that includes some no cycling trails in ecologically sensitive areas. In these areas, cyclists are required to dismount and walk their bike along the trails.

Along with ignoring the signs, some cyclists may also be creating their own trails.

“We’ve heard that cyclists are disregarding signs,” Aaron Jasper, VPB chair, told Global News. “And they’re more than welcome in Stanley Park — along the seawall and designated trails areas.”

But what’s more troubling to the VPB are unconfirmed reports of mountain bikers riding off-trail, which would disturb nesting areas and other ecologically sensitive spots in the park.

“We’re getting reports of BMX riders going in and building their own trails and jumps in some of these ecological sensitive areas,” Jasper says.

“We’ll be looking into it and verifying those reports immediately.

For now, the VPB is working on putting up better signage for cyclists and working with the ecological society regarding what trails need to stay and which ones need to go.

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