Protesters rally against Kitsilano bike lane route

About 100 people rallied at Kitsilano Beach Sunday to show their opposition to a planned bike route through the area.

They say they do not have a problem with the bike lane, but they have a problem with its placement as it will go right through Kits Beach and Hadden Park.

Residents say they fear much will be lost if the 12-foot wide asphalt path is built through the park. Other ideas included painting a bike lane through the green area.

The path was approved in October, but protesters say there wasn’t proper public consultation on the project.

“The thing that concerned us the most was the process,” says Howard Kelsey with the Save Kits Beach Now Coalition. “Very little consultation.”

“I represent about 1,000 basketball users. I’m personally on these courts about… four times a week, for probably 40 years. You have Jim Clive who founded Kits Beach Volleyball, they have more than 1,000. So we just did a quick check of our constituents, about 3,000, not one person knew anything about even the initiative, let alone the survey.”

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Hundreds also showed up to a rally last Sunday and emphasized the importance of safety.

Kelsey says they will draw attention to the bike lane route and how that is the key issue at stake.

There is a bike lane already in the area, and Kelsey says the city does not need to put in another bike route so close to an existing one.

“So we asked the question, ‘why would you be putting a bike route 20 feet away from the existing bike route?’ and the answer was that the cyclists want better seaside views and better seaside experiences,” says Kelsey. “Well with all due respect, 20 feet is not going to make any difference in your sight line.”

He says they do support bike lanes, but not in a “position that endangers people.”

The $2.2 million bike lane will eliminate 23 parking spots and may cause memorial benches to be removed. It is slated to be complete by May.

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