November 7, 2014

Green Party: No more bike paths in parks

UPDATE: 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 only apply to Hadden Park.  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 bikes lanes are okay in parks?


How else to interpret this?

I’m leaning toward voting for you for parks board, but I want to know your position on a bike lane in Haden Park.




Presuming that Mackinnon speaks for the party, it’s come to this: A party whose identity is to protect and enhance the environment is now in the business of discouraging cycling, recreation, transportation choices and healthy living – in the name of preserving grass.

Specifically, this would now be impossible:




One of the NPAs crowning achievements in the 1990s – the Seaside Bikeway at English Bay – would not even be considered because it involved paving over some of the greensward.  Instead, all the seawall users – walkers, runners, bladers, cyclists – will be expected to compete for the existing space, as before …


Seawall crowdThe way it was before the Seaside bikeway.


… or else those on wheels, regardless of age, will have to shift out of the park and compete for space, whether separated or not, with cars, trucks and buses well away from the waterfront.  (Those conflicts, conveniently, will have to be resolved by the City, not the Park Board.)

Meanwhile, a Park Board with a Green majority will presumably not be much interested in addressing the existing inadequacies of the path and practically non-existent bike network within Stanley Park, like this …



… where the inadequate space has led, ironically, to the ruin of the very grass which is Mackinnon’s priority:



Or here on the South Shore of False Creek, where the conflicts get worse by the year but for which there will be no reasonable resolution:




It’s not like we don’t know how to do this right, where different users are accommodated in a setting that is in fact ‘greener’ than most of typical parks in the system – essentially homogeneous blocks of grass – and were designed with a multitude of users in mind.  (I doubt Mackinnon intends to shift walkers and runners somewhere “by the park,” regardless of the fact they need paved surfaces too.)




The qualifier in Mackinnon’s tweet is “no net loss” – presumably allowing for expansion of green space sufficient to offset the widening of an existing path or the creation of a new one.  But the phrase “in the park, no” rules out most of the solutions – and is guaranteed to lead to kind of conflict that he may think he’s avoiding, given the backlash in Hadden Park.

In fact, it will only lead to a new round of frustration, inaction and eventual conflict – whether at the planning stage, or worse, on the places where people actually are: the paths and trails that make a park a park and not just vacant ‘green space.’

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  1. The Greens are simply playing disgusting populist politics. Instead of trying to out-Green Vision, they are trying to out-NIMBY the NPA. Absolutely pathetic.

    1. I’m not a consultant, but it doesn’t strike me as good campaign strategy. There are only so many NIMBY voters to go around, and the constant pandering by multiple anti-development parties splits opposition votes and consolidates the Vision tent. This is good for Vision, but not necessarily good for healthy civic policy, where a diversity of bold ideas should be represented on council.

    1. I won’t speak for Park Board, but I do support notion of no net loss of greenspace, I also support bike infra, but the proposed path for Hadden was no good and needed to go back to drawing board – not at all fair to spuriously extrapolate that statement therefor means “no more bike paths in parks, anywhere” – frankly that crosses from being flippant to deliberately inflammatory.
      I will comment on the transit referendum: if you read our platform it is hardly “wholeheartedly” supportive, instead it reads: “Support a transit referendum if the question is HOW we fund transit not whether we fund major transit investment.” — that’s a pretty clear position on a provincially imposed referendum that is being supported by the mayor’s council and Gregor Robertson. Do the research.

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        Fair point, Pete – but only if the Greens clarify that no loss of green space only applies to Hadden Park. Because, be assured, every group that wants to oppose an expanded path or bike lane will be pointing to it as the precedent.

        1. Well — my “fair point” notwithstanding — your post title is now being used for very deliberately partisan purposes on Twitter. Unless your intent was to shill for Vision Vancouver, and participate in the character assassination of a good and honourable candidate like Stuart and the Green Party as a whole your entire post deserves a dose of reevaluation and dare I say an edit for accuracy.
          As Stuart has pointed out, the “no net loss of greenspace” is a Vision policy which we happened to support. The idea of no net loss does not mean don’t touch that grass or those trees and shrubs ever, it means don’t take away from the overall greenspace and would apply equally to removing park space for parking lots or Cactus Clubs as it would for paved bike paths.
          It’s pretty clear that Stuart was commenting on Hadden, and you’ve pulled that comment way out of context.
          Of course, I’m not running to be a Commissioner — so its not my place to pontificate on parks — but I do feel the need to defend my friend and running mate, particularly now that the Vision attack-machine is using your article to berate him.

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          Pete, Stuart. I’d be pleased to run another post (really) clarifying your position. But I am looking for an affirmative: that there is room for more bike lanes, new or expanded, in our parks. Even if that might require some asphalt. In other words: no Hadden Park Precedent.

      2. Why was the proposed path in Hadden not good? Would you encourage the removal of car parking and roads in parks so that bike paths can added without losing green space? Note that the proposed bike path through Hadden and Kits Beach Park would have taken 1/2 the space for existing car infrastructure. Would you propose removing half this infrastructure to make room for separation of the existing ped/bike path into separate paths, so that the safety and convenience of all park users can be ensured and so that tourists or families with children can enjoy these parks as part of a ride around our magnificent seawall?

  2. Clearly, the options are status quo or Vision. If you want to move forward, vote Vision; if you want no change, vote any of the other parties. Cope and the NPA will cost us a lot of money in hiding away the homeless and the addicts in slums and jails, but you won’t have to worry about any more traffic-calmed streets.

        1. Looked it up for you, Susan – “The existing state of affairs.” I think they stopped teaching Latin DECADES before I was in school, but my usage was not incorrect. Seeing as we have had a vision dominated, block-voting council, park and school board for years now I’d love to hear how they are not the status quo.

        2. Jenables, the changes to the city (that you oppose) as made by Vision epitomize how Vision is not status quo. Other parties claim that they “may” want to reverse those changes and stagnate the city; that is how other parties are status quo. This election is about moving the city forward or holding it back in the past. Clear?

        3. Jenables, the changes to the city (that you oppose) as made by Vision epitomize how Vision is not status quo.
          Do you see how your sentence makes no sense? The changes that have been made recently are the current state of affairs. as far as i’m concerned this election is about whether we want to watch our city continue to be literally steamrolled by developers for their own profit, (and donations to vision)and lose the affordable housing that people actually live in to build condos which they can’t afford, for the next four years. Or elect people who are dedicated to listen to the residents and oppose losing current afffordable housing. (known to aforementioned developers as little more than “cheap land”) …not something i would expect a wealthy west side homeowner to care about, but IT IS NOT ALL ABOUT YOU. It is also about actual transparency at city hall, depoliticizing the workforce at city hall, and ensuring our parks are being looked after, amoung other issues. There are some seriously dark-sided deeds going on at city hall which you choose to blatantly ignore, and i do not think it is ok. Do not think you can make statements of your opinion to me that sufficiently close off debate, as it only makes you look out of touch and totally close-minded. this election is not about an abstract statement of moving forward for people who are at risk of losing where they live, get it?

  3. So odd that adding a recreational amenity in a park (cycling lane) is considered a “loss”. Will there be a wake for “lost” lawn for tennis courts, Kits Showboat seats, swimming pool deck, basketball courts, kids playground, restaurant parking/loading, sidewalks, benches…
    That said, it would be very simple to resolve Haddon Park bike route battles by simply painting a bike lane adjacent to the curb along Arbutus etc. and parking the cars further out into the street: Still room for 2-way traffic, with cyclists on reclaimed road space, protected by parked cars.
    (I don’t know why this can’t be done on every bike route where there’s a parking lane: instant protection for the price of a strip of paint. Is this not working on Richards, Union…?)

    1. I was thinking the exact same thing the other day: if there’s enough space to paint a bike lane on a street, then there’s space for a parking-buffered cycle track. A better result for practically the same cost.

    2. Painted lanes protected by parked cars work on streets like Richards because they are one way, and so the bike lane is one way as well. If you try and do this in both directions on Arbutus around Kits Park, I suspect you will run out of road space quite quickly.
      It would be possible to put a two way protected bike lane on Arbutus, but a discussion would be required on what has to give to provide the room. Eliminate a parking lane? Make it a one way street?
      And this still only helps along Arbutus at the north end; further south there is a lot of traffic at the entrances and exits to the parking lots, and a bike path is still required to travel west from Arbutus.

  4. I once had a very interesting conversation with a former BCGP candidate. He spoke of the confusion in the electorates’ mind about what they were all about.
    I think this confusion extends to members of the Green Party as well.

  5. There seems to be a substantial number of people in Vancouver who interpret “green” not as “environmentally friendly” but as “literally, like, the colour green”.
    I mean, greenspace is good, and I like having grassy areas in parks, but it’s not like an acre of manicured grass is doing anything to prevent climate change or provide habitat. It’s an indulgence, something to make life pleasant in the city.
    (In much of the world maintaining grass lawns is a net negative because of water consumption, but I don’t know if that applies in rainy Vancouver.)
    I play ultimate frisbee on artificial turf fields through the winter, which wouldn’t be possible on grass. I wonder if the “no bike lanes in parks” brigade would stand by their convictions and tear these out too? Maybe these fields have escaped notice because of their fortuitous green colour.

    1. Do you not realize that trees are carbon sinks, grass physically cools the ground, helps erosion, etc etc. this is why when you walk into a forest, it never smells bad, but vomit on the sidewalk lingers until it is washed away. The loss of tree canopy in the past twenty years is a very significant issue. Parks and plants and nature are not “an indulgence” – they regulate so much more of our minds and bodies than i think you realize. They clean our air more effectively than any scam people could come up with. Parks ARE the highest and best possible land use, they do not generate revenue but some things are much more important than money.

      1. So now the issue is logging? What does that have to do with a bike path?
        With parks being so valuable shouldn’t we be finding ways for all people to use them, including those on bicycles, and perhaps question why we devote so much space in them to parking lots?

      2. I agree re trees, but grass is not natural. Parks are public space and we do need a conversation on what the best uses for the parks are. It seems that recreation is an important aspect of parks, but I am confused by the general acceptance of swimming pools, community centres, baseball, soccer, tennis courts, walking paths, skateboard parks, museums, parking lots, roads, restaurants, concession stands, more parking lots, formal gardens, more roads, bandshells and other stuff in parks, but people freak out when a dangerous and deteriorating shared walking and cycling path is planned to be upgraded to separate paths. This would remove a significant gap in our world famous seawall path system and would be a great amenity for families with children and tourists. For supporting this, we are named taliban and zealots. This smacks of discrimination based on choice of travel and recreation. Why is this discrimination so intense?

        1. How is grass not natural? How is asphalt natural? Its all well and good if you are able bodied or you think the elderly/disabled are such a small percentage (sound familiar?) of the population that access can’t be that big a deal. when you watch a disease like ms rob one of your friends (a former competitive downhill racing cyclist, an everyday cyclist, and someone who loved sport) of the ability to walk you tend to consider it more seriously. Listen, i hear what you are saying, but the simple fact is that if cyclists acted more like pedestrians on shared paths and less like cars, we wouldn’t be hearing that its unsafe for them to share a path all the time. it seems to me there are two very distinctly different styles of cycling (bear with me) and one of them should not be acceptable around pedestrians. this is no different with cars, where you have people going 80 kms in a school zone. the difference is it is obvious who is in the wrong in the car example, whereas some of the worst cyclists are never made to see the difference between respectful, pedestrian right of way, reasonable speed cycling while looking in front of you and the ones tearing up the path with their heads down. the latter doesn’t really have a right to demand the same rights as the former, inside a park setting. pedestrians always have right of way, just like a car must always yield to a bicycle, regardless of whose turn it was, to avoid killing them. you cannot take a stand on the principle if people can be injured. And i imagine it must be hard to make a case for both kinds of cyclists when they are as different as night and day. so tell me why the path is dangerous again, please.

        2. “So tell me why the path is dangerous again, please”
          Sure. Volume. Or success at attracting the public, if you prefer. If a path is empty, shared dual use is accommodated fairly easily. Look at the first photo in this post. Looks good. Now look at the second photo. I don’t think cycling is permitted there, which is probably why there are approximately 50 people walking and one on a bike. Add in 49 more people on bikes, so that it is equally shared. And imagine if some of those bikes were wider trikes for people with balance issues, or pulled trailers for kids. Looks pretty tight. Now recall that the shared path through Kits park is narrower, and bidirectional for bikes.
          Still think this is a speed issue?

        3. Well sort of, Jeff. Those issues are problem if the objective is to get through the park aqap. If you are traveling through the park at a leisurely speed, they aren’t as big a deal. What was the problem with widening the existing path, by the way? You know I’m not trying to be rude here, right? Just checking 🙂

        4. Widening the original path was the plan. That worked for several of the sections (through Haddon, south of the pool) but there wasn’t room along the beach, and so the pedestrians were rightly given priority, and the bike path portion was proposed to be moved back away from the beach. That was then seen by some as ‘creating’ a new bike path. But it was always a widening.

  6. This is what Stuart Mackinnon and the Greens don’t approve of. Destroying the precious little remaining greenspace in Kits Beach and Hadden Park. (see link to photo album below). When the moderator at the Kits Park Board All Candidates on Nov 3, asked all 18 candidates if they would vote in favour of this proposed bike lane through Kits Beach and Hadden Park not a single candidate, not even the 3 Vision present, put up their hand. It’ a DEAD issue.

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    2. “… precious little remaining greenspace in Kits Beach and Hadden Park” — what are you talking about? Vision INCREASED the amount of green space in Kits at Tatlow and Volunteer Parks, as well as the greenspace at the Burrard-Cornwall intersection when traffic-calming measures were implemented this past summer. If Kits and Hadden Park residents had cooperated with the City on the bike path, they could have argued for more or preserved green space as well. Instead, they ignorantly and selfishly sued the City! Utterly moronic; you lost your opportunity to negotiate a beautiful, revitalized park space.

      1. As I said the Kits Beach/Hadden Park bike lane is a DEAD issue. None of 18 Park Board candidates at the Kits PB AC were interested in re-visiting the proposed plan through the 2 parks, although there was talk of a 3rd option. There is absolutely zilch that you can do about the Hadden Park Covenant anyway unless the City goes to Court and fights it, which is highly unlikely. Stop wasting your time moaning and groaning about it and do something better with your time.

        1. Elvira, if it is such a dead issue, why are you post number 40 in a very short span of time? Seems to be a popular topic. And why did 9 out of 10 parks board candidates express support for infrastructure that separates cyclists from pedestrians and motor vehicles on the recent HUB Cycling survey? And the only one responding who didn’t say yes, (he chose not to answer) added in the comments that he wanted to make it safer for all users in the parks. So, conditional support.

          1. JEFF: I jumped in because of the unwarranted attacks and lies on Stuart Mackinnon and the Green Party in this forum. all started by Gordon Price and then jumped on by Brent Granby on Twitter #vanpoli. It was necessary to correct the record. As I said in my first post here – all 18 Park Board candidates at the Kits AC debate on Nov 3, from all parties, including Vision, did not put up their hands when asked if they would revisit the bike lane through Kits Beach and Hadden Park and vote for it. It was a unanimous NO. Here are the photos from that evening. I also have video which I haven’t edited yet..

  7. Wow, you go to such lengths of character assassination on one of the better candidates and previous parks board members just because he’s not willing to put cycling ahead of everything?
    Stuart is someone who cares about the city and it’s natural heritage, ahead of playing politics. But, you’d rather have a Vision monopoly on the parks board just so they can put bicycle lanes in, no matter what other damage they do to the city’s parks and recreation? Talk about selfish.

  8. Kasting has withdrawn – in favour of Kirk LaPointe. Pity. And just because someone seems a better option than the other candidates, does not mean you have to agree with every single thing that they do, or have done or might do.
    I would hope that every political party embrace a broad range of opinions. I steer clear of those that seek to impose regimentation on their members.

    1. Stephen: Sorry for my criticism of your supporting Kasting.
      I do support many of kasting’s policies, but I am unsure if he would be able to implement them in a partisan council.
      We have for 2 civic elections in a row (and numerous provincial elxns) been voting for the person we hate the least. Clearly, no candidate will align with our views 100%. Would it be time to reform our political system towards one where we vote for ideas?
      Most vancouverites support “green” initiatives such as bike lanes and no-pipelines.

  9. I have said it before, and I will say it again, there is no question whatsoever that Kits and Hadden Parks need a cycling path through them for cyclist access, obviously. The narrow existing path, used by both pedestrians and cyclists, is an obstacle course — unworkable. There is no question that separating the cyclists and pedestrians is essential for safety. Where there is enough room to paint a separation, that will be done to fill in the gap of the Greenway. Where an extra path needs to be built for cyclists, that will be done. A pathway through a green space to provide access to that green space is a no-brainer, and it will be done. To suggest that parks should not have pathways for access by all is discriminatory and asinine. What is the point of having green space if it cannot be accessed by everyone? Seems like Kits and Hadden park residents want Gated Parks that exclude cyclists.

    1. I have a simple solution. Simply create a new walking path parallel to the existing path. This would improve the safety of pedestrians and would allow improved wheelchair access to the park. No one would object to a walking path. The existing path would remain, but would no longer be multi-use.

      1. Yes, “a simple solution,” and this was the proposed solution for Hadden Park: the existing path and a parallel path, so there would be a separate path for cyclists and a path for pedestrians. Unfortunately, the myopes who lived in the area went NIMBY and sued the City, so the obvious solution was put on hold.

  10. Seems to me this is semantics…does ‘green space’ literally mean every square inch of green space out there? Or does that mean no net loss as in selling off or developing parkland without getting an equivalent amount.
    Seems to be it must the second otherwise you’d never be able to do anything in Parks which is surely not the intent… Whether it’s putting in a bike lane or a tennis court or any other myriad of things Parks puts in parkland that uses up ‘green space’.

  11. Very surprised at you Gordon. This was very specific to Haddon Park, which has a legal covenant attached to it. If you had done your research you would know that ‘no net loss of green space’ is a Vision Vancouver policy that I happen to agree with. Bike paths, like any other changes to parks, should be done on a case by case basis.

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      Stuart, I raised this issue back in August:
      It’s not about “no net loss” depending on how you define it; it’s whether Hadden is a precedent that will be used in Jericho, Charleson, Stanley Park and wherever a group is opposed to expanded infrastructure for separation and cycling.
      I’m looking for a clarification on the policy question, which I’d like to hear proactively: ‘Yes, I’m in favour in principle of more cycling paths in parks.’ Of course, particular circumstances and consultation apply – but why even begin if the Hadden precedent prevails?

    2. Yes, Stuart, “net loss” means “net” loss, not “gross” loss, so loss in one area can be made up in another, and the covenant requested “no substantial changes” to the park; a pathway access does not constitute a “substantial” change.

    3. For those curious, here’s the Hadden Park covenant referred to (taken from Voony’s blog):
      “shall be used as and for a Public Park or recreation ground and not for any other purpose whatsoever”
      “shall be improved and put in shape as a public park or recreation ground, but in carrying out such improvements the Board of Park Commissioners shall keep the property as near as possible in its present state of nature subject to such alterations or changes as may be reasonable necessary for its preservation and for the safety and enjoyment of the public. it being the desire of the grantor that those using the Park shall as far as reasonably may be enjoy the same in its natural state and condition”
      I personally don’t know how on earth that can be read to exclude a bike lane, but obviously people disagree with me.

      1. I think most people on this site agree with you Mike. There is nothing in the covenant that excludes “cyclists,” and the last time I checked, cyclists do constitute “the public” for whom the covenant specifies “safety and enjoyment.” Discriminating against cyclists is a contravention of the covenant.

    4. These are Stuart’s own words he is still proudly tweeting around. Pretty clear is is not supportive of the vision of bike paths along the water for families and everyone else.
      “The latest is to take green space out of Kitsilano and Haddon parks for a bicycle route so cyclists could have a view of the water.”

    5. “I support a no net loss of park space“… I think most people would interpret that the same way. That you don`t consider bike lanes to be parks space, and that you don`t support bike lanes going through parks. Even in 140 characters you had enough to specify hadden park, but you didn`t. It is not obvious that your comment is “specific to hadden park“ as you claim. Instead of being `surprised`at Gordon in the comments, you should just redact and revise your tweet to accurately represent your views… if it is in fact different from how your tweet would be interpreted by most.

  12. I still plan on voting for Stuart – I like his stance on other issues – but I was disappointed with his response to this question. I don’t buy the argument that bike lanes don’t belong in parks. Cycling is a equally a mode of transportation and a form of recreation. They belong in parks as much as turf fields and tennis courts do.

  13. As noticed by some commenters, Gordon Price, is grossly misrepresenting the view of Stuart Mackinnon.
    As I have mentioned in a previous comment (on the Cope thread):
    Stuart Mackinnon seems to have a very sensible opinion
    I also notice that the Stuart Mackinnon’s opinionn is in line with his Parisian green colleagues, and in fact most of Parisian politicians (save for the right): it has been a topic of the last Parisian election (re. Petite Ceinture : either park or bike lane)).
    The opposition to bike lane in Parisian park has been rationalized as below:
    -“bike speeds are not compatible with other use of parks mainly geared for relaxation and promenade” (what is the primary use of Parisian parks). … (Green position)
    “if you make the choice of active transportation, it needs to be done at the expense of other transportation mode” (Modem, “center right”)
    -“Bikes need to be on the street, part of the city, not to be separated” (that is also the Gehl opinion)
    but obviously, the general rule suffer exception such Bois de Boulogne or Vincennes (which are very large parks), or obvious shortcut (or no other reasonnable option) …so not an ideological position with a definitive “yes/no” to a general question.
    I will assume it is also the Stuart Mackinnon position (what he seems to confirm above
    On the other hand Gordon Price and other seem to assume cycling is a superior activity taking precedence on everything else, and the people below should go away:
    Stuart Mackinnon seems to express a dissent opinion on the topic, like I did
    The problem is that in Vancouver we have some bike lane talibans, painting any form of dissent as ideological opposition.
    …that doesn’t help to build a pacified relationship between cycling lobby and others.

    1. Voony, since you’re here: maybe you could explain how having a bike lane would in any way prevent the people pictured from doing exactly what they’re doing now? Or are you being just as disingenuous as you accuse others of being?

    2. Voony – Considering Mr. Mackinnon is active on this thread, I’d suggest you stop acting as his spokesperson. He’s perfectly capable of explaining himself and you’re doing a terrible job. And if you want people to take you seriously, you should stop referring to people who disagree with you as the taliban.

    3. Voony,
      People have told you and told you that Vancouver is NOT Paris, yet you insist that it is. Moreover, you have said that you also support a “case-by-case” analysis, but you have consistently opposed cycle paths in parks generally. Your contradictions are irritating.

    4. Insulting other people and calling names is a pretty good sign you don’t have much of a rational arguement.
      If you ever would have bothered to look at who goes cycling in the parks, you would know that the vast majority of people are cycling slowly. Cycling in the park is especially popular with families. The idea that it is a real danger to others is nonsense.
      More dangerous is all the traffic both on the roads and in the parking lots. How about worrying about real problems?
      The vast majority of the green space in the parks is not well used. All people would have to do is move 3 metres from one really nice spot to another really nice spot.

  14. Voony: “…bike lane talibans”! Now, I have heard everything! You have finally come clean about your hatred for cyclists. I hope others on this site take due note of your true sentiments. Shame on you.

    1. No kidding. This thread is elevating my heart rate. “Character assassinations!” “Bike lane talibans!” “Thoughtless destruction!” “Revisit your latin!” 🙂

  15. Utopia: An elected party is given the mandate by the electorate to make changes to the city. There is no requirement for the government to take such matters to court or engage in endless consultation with citizens; if government opts to consult, you should consider yourself extreme lucky and cooperate to get the job done to everyone’s best advantage. If citizens opt to sue their duly-elected government for the changes it makes, shame on those citizens for spitting on the democratic process and wasting their own tax dollars on forcing the City to defend its position in court. You really are naive.

    1. SUSAN: You are the one who is hopelessly ignorant about the law and democracy. If any Government ignores the law it is up to the citizens to call them on it and take them to Court if necessary. I for one am not naive as you in presuming that an elected body will always do the right thing and not break the law, they are just regular people after all. They don’t become untouchable and infallible God when they’re elected to office, although Gregor and his bunch seem to think they do. That’s exactly the problem and that’s ultimately why Vision has got to go.

      1. Utopia: I think you finally understand — yes, if you do not like the changes your duly-elected government makes, vote them out of office in the next election (your democratic right), but to sue your own government after it has been duly-elected by the populace is traitorous.

        1. SUSAN: “To sue your Government is traitorous.” What a stupid remark. Perhaps in Russian or China, Iran or Syria. But, fortunately we do still live in a democracy and have a right to resort to the Courts if necessary. Whoever you really are, you come across on all these forums as a nutter. Your statement definitely proves it. Adios and get a life.

  16. As the moderator of the All candiates meeting on Monday at the Billy Bishop at which this topic was discussed – and at which I believe the comment from Stuart was picked up – I can give you my interpretation – although I think it’s already been mentioned above. Stuart was speaking specifically about Hadden and Kits Beach though was also conscious of the possible abuse when the word “net” is included in the phrase “no net loss of green space.” Green space added in some distant corner of the city doesn’t make up for thoughtless destruction of it in another.
    And Thank You to Peter Ladner for the comment….”by simply painting a bike lane adjacent to the curb along Arbutus etc. and parking the cars further out into the street: Still room for 2-way traffic, with cyclists on reclaimed road space, protected by parked cars.”
    This is the solution that many have been trying to advocate for from the beginning. In the cacophony that followed the Park Board’s original “done deal” announcement there was little room for nuanced discussion and this idea was buried under the barrage. As Jeff Leigh has pointed out, there may be space limitations that preclude floating parking, a bike lane and two way traffic, so perhaps one way traffic is an option to be explored, with the benefit that some of the dangerous driving evident around the 3 way stop next to the playground can be resolved. Park Board GM Malcolm Bromly referred to this as a “threefer” that’s possible: a bike path, no loss of park space, and a solution to a bad traffic situation.
    Stewart has been a stalwart of protection of parks in Vancouver and i certainly still consider him the top candidate running, despite the unfair Tweettack he suffered today, and would challange anyone who doesn’t place him in their top seven.

    1. What makes this issue such a lightning rod is not the political rankle about bike lanes, but that it was moved forward in a way that clouds the consultation process with Vision. It’s not really about the bike lane — it turned ugly because of the way it was decided and announced.
      Had that not happened, we would probably be having a very civil discussion about separated lanes versus painted ones along Arbutus Street.

      1. With all due respect Chris, consultation is a privilege, not a right, and an elected government has the mandate of the public to act on its behalf without endless consultation.

        1. That’s the subject I’m getting at. People expect government to make the right call about consultation, and when it’s necessary. Sometimes a situation calls for bold decision-making, but other times the process should proceed more deliberately. I think the City did an amazing job with the Point Grey corridor, for example, balancing consultation with internal decisions. Even rancorous town halls, which generate a lot of bad press, serve the important function of airing frustrations before executive decisions are made.
          In the case of Kitsilano Park, there was little to no consultation as there was with Point Grey. I personally agree with the Gordon-Peter axis of this debate, and feel the shot of Sunset Beach makes clear that bikeways in parks are net positives. But in this instance the process prevented us from reaching a calm discussion about it, and that’s ultimately a loss to everyone.

  17. Does anyone remember if there was vocal opposition to the English Bay bike path (pictured in post) when it was built? I wasn’t in Vancouver then.

  18. Adam Smith: “Green space added in some distant corner of the city doesn’t make up for thoughtless destruction of it in another.” You have added “some distant corner of the city” and “thoughtless destruction” to this discussion. No one here has supported either of these precepts. There is nothing “thoughtless” or “destructive” about providing access for cyclists to parks. In fact, just the opposite. Creating additional greenspace in the same beach or park space where a cycle path would be built is not “in some distant corner of the city.” Please keep your facts straight, and do not mislead the public.

  19. Gordon, if I might, I would suggest that your post constitutes a stunningly uninformed misreading of the intention of the folks behind the Save Kits Beach / Hadden Park coalition, the issues at play ,and what hundreds of good, community-oriented folks (not NIMBY’s) were fighting for …
    Stunning, as well, that two well-respected former NPA politicians who’ve contributed so much to our community are coming out against a policy of “no net loss of green space” that is part of the NPA platform in this election, and that the both of you, Peter and Gordon (not the ’60s low-key, melodic ‘rock duo’, by the way!), look for all the world like you are shilling for the Vision Vancouver party which is, objectively, the worst, most developer-friendly civic administration since the hoary days of Mayor Tom ‘Terrifying’ Campbell.
    1. Gordon, the photos you use above are a disingenous representation of what your readers might project would be a Kits Beach bike path. Voony’s photos present a much more accurate picture of what is to be lost, and where Vision’s proposed bike path was to go, although there’s no photo covering the issues around the children’s playground, and the jeopardy into which children’s safety would be placed if the bike path through Kits Beach was to prevail — for those in attendance at the October 2013 Park Board meeting, who listened to the two well-spoken pediatricians whose practices are largely focused on remediation of childhood injury, you would have heard a detailed and moving account of the potential for catastrophic injury to children with the bike path placed where Park Board had proposed.
    No one involved with the SKB coalition was opposed to a safe Seaside Greenway bike path on the periphery of the part, or within the park along Cornwall Avenue, as is the case at present (a widening of the existing path would probably meet with support from the community) — hell, we’re all cyclists, and I would venture to say that Elvira Lount, Adam Smith, David Fine and I ride our bikes as often as is the case with you, Peter (now that you’ve recovered from your catastrophic skiing injury — thank goodness you’re back with us in good health, Peter!).
    2. Jeff Leigh. Sad to say, the issue of a bike path em>through Kits Beach is hardly dead. My sources tell me that with the election of a majority Vision Park Board / Council, Vision would move to re-introduce the Kits Beach portion of the asphalt bike path / Seaside Greenway early in the new year, if not sooner. Many of us in attendance at the Mayoral debate on Tuesday night were flabbergasted to hear Mayor Gregor Robertson praise the Kits to Jericho Beach foreshore-destroying seawall bike path that Vision had proposed 18 months ago. So, a Kits bike path through the park, a foreshore-destroying seawall bike path along the pristine foreshore — according to my sources, they ain’t dead issues in Vision’s mind.
    I won’t offer personal comment on the misrepresentation of Stuart Mackinnon’s “no net loss of green space” commentary — Stuart can well speak for himself, and Pete Fry (who we need on Council, by the way) does a damn fine job of calling you out, Gordon.

    1. I seriously doubt that the foreshore continuation of the seawall will ever come to fruition, no matter what your “sources” tell you. With the traffic-calming of Pt. Grey Road, the Kits Pool to Jericho Park gap in the Seaside Greenway has effectively been bridged. I can’t imagine the city would spend tens of millions on a redundant piece infrastructure closely paralleling another. Particularly given the massive success the traffic-calmed Pt. Grey Road has proven to be.
      Kits Beach / Hadden Park, on the other hand, is the last missing link in the Canada Place to Spanish Banks cycling route. It should rightfully be fixed. Now, the means by which that is realised is another matter. And while I can respect the point-of-view of those who don’t want it through the park, something needs to be done about it sooner rather than later.

    2. Ray, Gordon’s photos do a very good job of addressing the non issue of the children’s playground. The sixth shot, which is near Homer heading north towards David Lam park, is right next to a children’s playground. I ride past it most days. A little farther along the bike path runs past the playing field where the kids from Elsie Roy are out each day. As Gordon said above, we know how to do this. Ignoring the lessons from the past years doesn’t seem right. Let’s look at the evidence, and not go with fear mongering

  20. Ray: your claim of “a foreshore-destroying seawall bike path along the pristine foreshore” is a fallacy; why would you deliberately try to mislead readers? No bike path was ever proposed that would destroy the foreshore in Kits or Hadden parks. The proposed bikepath was set well back from the foreshore.
    Further, children having to contend with pedestrians and cyclists on the one narrow path that currently exists is much more dangerous than having the traffic separated, which is precisely why this separation has been done in the West End, and set back from the foreshore, as pictured above. Gordon’s pictures are apropos to the proposed Hadden Park bikeway. Why would you attempt to suggest to the contrary?

    1. Susan, again you demonstrate your ignorance. In the summer of 2012 Vision and Mayor Gregor were intent on extending the seawall from Kit Beach to Jericho along the foreshore and create a bike freeway and destroy the last remaining natural beach in Vancouver. I formed Keep Kits Beach Wild at the time and together with the Point Grey Foreshore Society we fought to stop it and were successful – again because of the law – in that case – the law of riparian rights of waterfront property owners. Here is a link to the petition if you still refuse to believe it

      1. Well, this kind of gets to the heart of it, doesn’t it?
        When they were discussing the PGR greenway, opponents said that the bike route belongs on the foreshore and the sea wall should be extended instead of taking away traffic lanes.
        You (and me, too, actually!) think the seawall is a bad idea because it would destroy the foreshore.
        Now when we talk about Hadden and Kits beach, opponents keep saying “just put a separated lane on the road!”. Which is well and good until you have to take away some parking or do some traffic calming and people freak out like they did at PGR. If the city tries to take away a single parking spot, the next day there like be a society called “Save Citizen Access to Kits Beach” and people like our friend Ray will say Vision is fascisticly restricting access to the beach to only those on bikes.
        It’s a crowded city, and there’s limited space. Cyclists are only asking for a tiny bit of it, but no matter where it comes from it’s going to piss someone off.
        When I tell my family back home that the most contentious issue in the city of the last couple years was whether a bike lane belongs in a park they laugh in my face.
        Look at those pictures of English Bay. Would you rip out the bike lane if you were in charge of Parks Board?

        1. MIKE: no the opponents of PGR were NOT in favour of putting the bike route on the foreshore, with the possible exception of a very few. In fact many of those opposed to PGR were also against paving the foreshore. Refer to Adam’s comments earlier as to other options for the Kits beach route. Actually the PGR issue was more contentious than the Kits Beach bike route issue. People were split on PGR about 50-50, however on the Kits Beach Hadden Park bike route 93% of those that we surveyed in Jan 14, as to whether they in favour of separated bike lane through Kits Beach and Hadden Park, said no. Protecting our park greenspace is not a laughing matter, but something that has to be taken seriously. otherwise it will all soon be paved over. Most cyclists don’t have a problem with this. There’s only a hard core group that wants the route through the park. They have to realize that they are only one of many groups of users and displacing other users in parks is not the way to go. Insisting that a bike lane has to go through the middle of a family picnic area or behind a children’s playground, or bike- sect a green playing field, is not going to win any friends or support. As you said, it’s a crowded city and cyclists have to share along with everyone else. There are other options available, as Adam referred to, that don’t require loss of parking or greenspace, and the local residents have already said that they’re willing to work things out. But, if the hard core group keep insisting that the route has to go through the parks they will get absolutely nowhere.

        2. Thank you Utopia for making my point precisely for me.
          Bike lane on the water? Strident opposition. Bike lane on the street? Strident opposition. People cried bloody murder over Hornby, Burrard Bridge and PGR — 3 eminently sensible projects that still leave us decades behind cities with proper bike infrastructure.
          As Mr Price’s pictures (and our own experience) clearly show, the bike lane through English Bay did not cause the world to come to an end. There are not maimed children scattered along the beach. The park is still enjoyed by all. Is a path through the park the best of all possible options? Perhaps not! But the idea that it would ruin the park is asinine.
          Personally, I’m more than open to alternate routes for the cycle track, as long as it’s well connected and properly separated. But history has taught us that it will face vitriol wherever it’s put. At some point you just have to build the damn thing. In 10 years we’ll forget why we even argued over it.

      2. Utopia: Get with the program — I am not referring to the issue of extending the Seawall. That is an issue of 30-40 years down the road due to cost and legal wranglings. I am referring to the bikepath through Hadden Park that Ray is wrongly stating would affect the foreshore; it would not.

  21. Reminds me of a recent conversation I had with a friend of mine. They had decided there was no party left to vote for because all of the parties were intent on not maintaining the status quo – keeping Vancouver, green, empty, and restful, essentially like a giant day spa.
    I ask, “How can the status quo be maintained in an urban environment that will grow by a million more users in the next 35 years?” To me this sounds like the “I’m in, now shut the doors to anyone who hasn’t arrived yet” policy to urban development.
    The reality is our roads, parks, sidewalks, and bike lanes are only going to get more crowded. Short of mass deportations, border controls, and an end to immigration and human reproduction, there really is nothing to be done to change that fact.
    So yes, more bike lanes must be built in parks, parks will become more crowded, and there will be more congestion. Eventually the GVRD will reach a tipping point and the province will be forced to fund better public transit and put more thought into a road network that is less automobile centric.

    1. Yup. The question is whether these improvements happen sooner and prudently, or later, when the problems are obvious and pressing. Sadly many seem unable to see the consequences of a growing city, or would rather keep it in stasis for those already here. Most policy discussions in Vancouver are permutations on this theme. I wish politicians were more explicit about it.

  22. Utopia: If you have to resort to name-calling, you are admitting that you have no argument.
    Just because one has the right to sue does not mean one should or ever will; you have the right to consume your pet’s feces, but does that mean you are going to do it?

  23. Utopia: Regarding your survey “in [sic] January 14,” in which you claim “93%” were against a bike path through Hadden Park, please provide evidence of this survey result (ie. the names and signatures and statements of those in opposition to the bike path through the park.) Also, please provide your evidence of the “50-50” claim you make in regard to PGR traffic-calming support and opposition. If you cannot provide that evidence, and I know you cannot, your claims are without merit.

  24. The idea Peter Ladner and Adam Smith are suggesting, with relevant input from Jeffrey, is basically this one:
    (that is the one of a “bike hatrers” according to Suzan: more detail here)
    As you can see, the idea has been floated very early in the process, and was already on Internet before the torny October 2013 Park board meeting.
    At this meeting the staff had been questioned on the possibility of a bike lane on the Arbutus ROW, and effectively said it could have been possible. However, a Hub representative, Lisa Slakov, spoke against the idea of bike lane on the street, invoking the risk of street parking lost.
    It quickly appeared that a small “hard core group” (Elvira term), vehemently opposed to any discussions and research of compromise, insisting that the bike path needs to bissect the park and no other alternative should be considered.
    Instead to look at being constructive, they have preferred to libel the people opposed to the park plan (but not necessarily the idea of a bike lane for many) such as a   “mob of retiree loitering around the Boathouse” and “enjoying obsolete pasttime…as picnicking” : (Vision park board commissioners willfully aired that).
    As, we all know, the rule of the law has stopped that, but still… an “hard core” group is not accepting the outcome and is still beating the dead horse, rather than trying to look at constructive solutions both preserving park spaces (and if we need to accommodate a growing population, we are not going to have more beaches on the sea) and improving cycling facilities.
    I have not called people disagreeing with me “taliban”, but people refusing to engage in the research of compromise “taliban”.
    Some apparently have recognized themselves in such depiction, and feel offended by the term: I apologize.

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