November 7, 2014

Green Party: No more bike paths in parks? – 2

UPDATE: I’ve just added this to the first post below.

Below in the Comments (whoa, this one took off), Stuart Mackinnon and Pete Fry both weighed in, making the point that I misrepresented Stuart’s position.  Could be right.
“In the park? no” may apply 0nly  to Hadden Park, not for the whole park system.  In which case their annoyance is justified.
But this also a question of policy – not just about Hadden.  Are bike lanes appropriate in parks.?  Will there be new ones?  Will existing ones expand?
Will we do a better job of designing and building them?  Hope so.  Each case distinct?  Sure.  Consultation required? It’s essential.
But can you affirm, in a few words, that new bikes lanes are okay in parks?





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  1. I’d love to get an answer to this too. I probably should have followed up when I got Stuart’s initial response.
    Would you support an expanded seawall in Vanier Park and Charleson Park?

  2. To me today’s two posts on political parties and bike lanes mark a low point for PriceTags. Both took candidate comments and turned them into headlines and posts that sought to paint the two parties involved as stridently anti-bike, which is not the case. Coming the day after leaked internal polling showing Vision Vancouver losing steam, and targeting two parties that Vision voters might consider as an alternative, the timing of the posts seems more than just a coincidence.
    And kudos to Green candidates for being bold enough and having the courage of their convictions to come here and engage with potential voters. Something the zipped up candidates of the other parties would never do.

    1. But they still haven’t proved a clear answer. It really looks like they are attempting to appeal to everyone by using wishy washy langauge instead of taking a stand and making clear statements.
      The talking points around consultation are nonsense. Elections are consultation. They will never engage as many people as they engage during the election.
      They really need to show some leadership and tell people what decisions they will make should they be elected.

      1. I disagree that elections are a substitute for consultation. For example, Vision floated the idea of selling off part of Langara Golf Course for development, but retreated after getting blowback over it. With your interpretation, they could go ahead with this idea should they win this election, using the argument that voters knew they wanted sell of part of the park space, therefore re-election means the voters agreed with that.

        1. You totally miss the point. Many candidates in this election are saying that they will “consult” only to avoid making statements of where they stand on issues. Likely because they are afraid of losing votes. Time for them to take a stand one way or the other.

        2. Bob is absolutely right. Richard, why are you so against consultation and feedback? Clearly people vote in an election based on a number of factors which cannot represent the detail of each and every plan the city may have. NPA, for instance, have said clearly that they support bike infrastructure, but feel that how and where should be subject to better review and consultation. You would want input if a giant road was going to be built near your house, so why not this?

  3. Question: “are bike lanes appropriate in pars?”. Answer: “In the park? No.”
    Seems pretty clear if taken at face value. If the answer is actually different from “bike lanes are not appropriate in parks” then it should be clarified. I don’t think Gordon is off base at all here in re-posting verbatim Stuart’s response, then questioning what it means in the following commentary.

  4. I would also like the Green Party and Mackinnon/Frye to answer definitively the question of whether or not they support a bike path through Kits and Hadden parks provided there is “no net loss of park space.” The implication of Mackinnon’s Tweet is certainly that a bike path would constitute a net loss of park space, which is not accurate.

  5. Gordon is right about the slippery slope; if MacKinnon/Frye continue to answer “no,” they have set the precedent for no bike paths in any park.
    And, Richard is right that the days leading up to the election, with all the news coverage, editorials, candidate debates, web blogs, etc., is prime opportunity for consultation, exposing character, true intentions and policy comparisons. Dialectically, truth emerges from adversarial conflict, public input, candidate feedback and refusals to come clean on policy. Don’t trust what you don’t know. Too bad this ends after the vote on November 15th; it shouldn’t.

  6. I’m not going to comment on park issues and recreational infrastructure – Park Board is and should remain independent of City Council.
    With regard to the notion that standing up for community consultation and collaboration is ‘wishy washy’ and in lieu of committing to anything. Untrue. We pretty clearly elucidate policies and where we stand on our platform ( .. Elections may in some very small sense be considered consultation, but it is not a mandate for absolute and unfettered control (and certainly not with support of the 12% of Vancouver’s population that Vision was elected by in 2011).
    But I want to be quite clear, collaboration with communities and stakeholders is not in lieu of leadership or decision-making — it’s the process by how we get there.
    @susane smithe – it’s Fry, no ‘e’ at the end

    1. I have no idea what you just said will actually mean on the ground.
      Will you back down when a few people pretending to represent the community start screaming angry nonsense intimidating both others in the community and polititians? That’s what happened at Kits Beach. That’s what people tried to do on Point Grey.
      Will you take forever to make decisions because you try and accomidate concerns that make no sense?
      Change is tough. To pretend that through more consultation everyone is going to be on board is just not realistic.
      People will disagree. It is up to our leaders to make the tough choices.

      1. First, I hope you guys can appreciate that Im really busy and can’t respond to every comment (case in point it’s 1:00 on a saturday night and I’m still working). But as a cyclist, I respect and appreciate all the work you (Richard and Gordon) have done for us – and am thus making time for a response.
        I also want to be clear that I am not running for Parks, and I have no intention of mowing Stuart’s grass (or greenspace as the case may be).
        As a citizen, I did read the PB report re consultation on Hadden, and it was subpar. I’ve also been involved with numerous consultation processes over land use and area planning with this current government and others. I do see a very distinct failure of process in how we currently operate consultations. As a point of fact, I had an opportunity to express my frustration over the consultation process with a senior planner – who’s response was: “Oh, you mean co-creation!”. Apparently in the Vision Vancouver lexicon consultation does not mean collaboration.
        It’s important distinction – and cost-wise, this top down approach has directly resulted in delayed projects, lawsuits and angry citizenry. I appreciate that “you can’t please all the people all the time” – but I think much of the consternation would be mitigated if we treated citizens as intelligent stakeholders, with honesty and transparency, and gave value and credence to their time and input.
        I’ve yet to be involved in a Vision led planning process that presented options, and allowed us to weigh pros and cons. This isn’t wishful thinking, last year Toronto’s planner Jennifer Keesmat spoke at SFU and presented exactly that kind of a process, coupled with a design charette type opportunity, as part of their Own Your City program.
        I have no intention of shirking from tough choices, and will note that Cnclr Adriane Carr voted in favor of PGR, despite some angry community members. As I said, it’s how we get there that is important.

      2. Pete Fry. Thank you for your sensible and considered response, but I would not agree that Richard has done so much for the bike community. Baseless statements like, “a few people pretending to represent the community” serve to insult people and polarize the debate and that does not serve the bike community at all. It only causes more friction. Richard’s complete lack of compromise on issues relating to cycle paths is not the way to go. Listening and responding to the broader public, as you indicate above, is, so thank you for supporting that.

    2. Point taken Pete, no “e” on the end of your “Fry.” Now, to the issue at hand: you agree on consultation and collaboration, so what method(s) does your party propose and agree to engage in with the public to keep the public informed and involved if members of your party are elected on November 15th? Will they be on-going or temporary? Also, what will be the costs of these methods to tax-payers? Thanks.

  7. The sad thing about this attack on Stuart is that he was one of the better Parks Board members before, and there’s no question he has more of the interests of the people of Vancouver at heart than the present members.
    I know it’s hard for people here to believe, but there’s more to the Parks board than cycling in parks. And Vancouver consists of areas outside of Kits and Point Grey. Quite frankly, when the current Parks board has spent years and countless dollars fighting the volunteers at community centres, trying to close places like the Bloedel Conservatory, leaving playing fields in a mess, handing over more power to the city, they need to go. Even if they want a bike lane in Haddon park.
    And making personal attacks on someone who tried to do good for the system as a whole because he’s not willing to give a blanket commitment to one tiny aspect of what the Parks board might do is blatantly selfish and dismissive of the rest of the community.

    1. Questioning a candidate’s positions or leadership ability are not “personal attacks”. It is an essential part of democracy.
      The only personal attacks I have seen have been from the opponents of the family friendly bike path at Kits.
      And back to green space, it that is so important to Stuart, why did he support the Conservatory? More green space could have been created if that was torn down. Not that I’m saying that should happen but just pointing out the contradiction.
      A lot more people cycle in parks than will ever visit the Conservatory.
      I’m really concerned about the attitude that nothing new, even if a lot of people like to do it, can be accommodated in parks.

  8. Looking at the Greens’ platform is revealing. They support building new pools in parks. Not sure they can do that without violating their no net loss of green space policy. However if they are willing to do that for pools or find out a way to not have a reduction of greenspace, why are they not willing to do the same for bike paths especially considing cycling in parks is very popular.

    1. Yes, I would like to have explained exactly what the Green Party does and does not support in parks, and what they define as a “net loss of park space.” Still waiting for the answer, thanks.

    2. So you think the swimming community is already over-served, and shouldn’t get any new amenities? Cycling is the only form of exercise that should get any priority or money from the city? Perhaps you should hang out at a pool occasionally and see how crowded the facilities are.
      The bike lobby sure has a funny way of making friends and encouraging support…

      1. I expect the commentator would prefer consistency rather than cherry picked arguments that don’t hold water. I for one would love pools and bike lanes, if properly done. There should be room for all sorts of things in parks, especially for things we have been putting in parks for generations.

  9. Pete: “I think much of the consternation would be mitigated if we treated citizens as intelligent stakeholders, with honesty and transparency, and gave value and credence to their time and input.” What is the Green Party plan for achieving these goals?

  10. Pete: “I’ve yet to be involved in a Vision led planning process that presented options, and allowed us to weigh pros and cons.” Unlike you, I have had this privilege during Vision’s 2-year intensive collaboration and consultation with the community regarding the now-implemented traffic-calming measures for the Point Grey-Cornwall-Burrard corridor. That process involved open houses, public forums, public and private meetings, stakeholder and business group workshops, extensive e-mailing, phone calls, mailouts, flyers, surveys, questionnaires, petitions, signage, website information with regular updates, 5-days of speakers and presentations at City Hall, etc. Multiple options were presented to the community with the pros and cons identified simply and clearly through audio-visual presentations and first-hand discussions with the City’s engineers and transportation project staff.
    By your own admission, Pete, you have not been involved “in a Vision led planning process” and, therefore, are not in a position to judge that “apparently in the Vision Vancouver lexicon consultation does not mean collaboration.” From my first-hand experience with Vision, I can tell you that you could not be more wrong in your unsubstantiated assumption. Why would you pre-judge Vision, or anyone for that matter, and why would you pass on that uninformed, inaccurate pre-judgement hearsay to the public (in this open blog-forum and elsewhere)?

  11. FYI, Pete, the options and pros and cons offered to the community by Vision and the City’s engineers for the traffic-calming on the Point Grey Road-Cornwall-Burrard corridor and bike routes are all still available on the City of Vancouver website and have been accessible there for you and the public since community consultation began more than two years ago.

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