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