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Vancouver Park Board votes to reinstate bike lane at Stanley Park for summer

Click to play video: 'Disabled rights advocates condemn Vancouver Park Board decision on Stanley Park bike lane' Disabled rights advocates condemn Vancouver Park Board decision on Stanley Park bike lane
Disabled rights advocates are condemning the decision by the Vancouver Park Board to close a lane of traffic in Stanley Park this summer for a dedicated bike lane. Jordan Armstrong reports. – Mar 11, 2021

The Vancouver Park Board has voted to reinstate a bike lane at Stanley Park.

Commissioners voted 5-2 in favour of implementing a bike path on one lane of Park Drive, similar to what was set up last year when a lane was created to aid with physical distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Click to play video: 'Vancouver Park Board set to debate Stanley Park bike lane' Vancouver Park Board set to debate Stanley Park bike lane
Vancouver Park Board set to debate Stanley Park bike lane – Mar 7, 2021

The board says their reasoning for making the move is climate change.

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Commissioners said they received plenty of feedback on the issue with some feeling reducing cars in the park limits access to seniors and people with disabilities.

Read more: Showdown in the works over proposal to reinstate Stanley Park bike lane

Park businesses also said the change would hurt them as they struggle through the pandemic.

The board plans to implement the bike lane as soon as possible and keep it in place until October.

“I really hope that it will not be like last year,” said Gerry O’Neil, owner of Stanley Park Horse-Drawn Tours.

Read more: Vancouver Park Board to explore long-term plan to reduce traffic in Stanley Park

“They consulted with us but they never followed anything of what we thought was needed to run in a much safer way.”

According to park board data, Stanley Park saw a 180 per cent increase in cyclists between April and June, when Park Drive was completely closed to vehicles.

When a lane was reopened for July and August, cycling volume dropped from a peak of about 180,000 trips per month to about 140,000. That’s about 40,000 trips per month lower than in 2019, a difference the board attributed to a massive drop in tourism.

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Vehicle volume in the park was about one-third of its 2019 average for the months of July and August 2020.

— with files from Simon Little

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