Cycling News

Protests at Stanley Park after removal of bike lanes

Protests at Stanley Park after removal of bike lanes

Vancouver City staff began the removal of Stanley Park’s temporary bike lane over the long weekend, marking the reopening of two lanes of Stanley Park Drive to vehicle traffic. Cyclists, including members of the advocacy group HUB Cycling, gathered at the park on Sunday to voice their protest against the move.

“Surely, now that we’ve had a taste of what Stanley Park could be, we will never go back to having a park filled with cars,” 73-year-old cyclist Mary Sherlock told the CBC.

Lane was created during pandemic

Initially introduced in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the temporary bike lane aimed to promote physical distancing along the park’s seawall, which had become crowded with outdoor enthusiasts amidst pandemic restrictions. The park board voted in February to dismantle most of the lane by May, with the intention of restoring traffic flow to pre-pandemic levels, according to a statement sent to the CBC.

While cyclists still have the option to ride on the road’s side, Sherlock shared her discomfort riding alongside cars, emphasizing that separated bike lanes provide the necessary sense of safety.

“The only time I feel safe riding in Vancouver is when there are separated bike lanes,” she said. “I feel extremely anxious, and I feel anxious for kids.”

Safety for everyone

Until the temporary bike lane was established, Vancouver resident Rhiannon Fox expressed feeling unsafe while cycling in Stanley Park with her two young kids.

“It became a really special place to our family,” Fox said. “I really feel as though we’re losing a refuge.”
The removal of the lane, according to her, creates barriers to cycling accessibility, particularly for specific groups such as children and seniors.

Fox also noticed that drivers in the park frequently surpass the 30 km/h speed limit and often get distracted by the surrounding scenery or navigation, which poses an increased risk for cyclists.

The park board staff is currently developing a proposal for a permanent bike lane in the park. It will be voted on in November.

Click Here to Read the Full Original Article at Canadian Cycling Magazine…