VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Stanley Park is set to re-open to traffic on Saturday, after more than five months of modified access due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Vehicle access to the popular park was restricted starting April 8 to help encourage physical distancing and reduce crowds amid the health crisis. Park Drive was reopened to one lane of traffic by June 22, however, the remaining roads were still blocked.
Cycling access along the Seawall will also be restored.
“The temporary traffic management plan in Stanley Park was always just that — temporary,” Dave Hutch, director of planning and park development, says.
Stanley Park will be temporarily shut down tonight, starting at 8 o'clock, so crews can remove equipment, traffic cones, and signage as more than five months of COVID-related road closures comes to an end.
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“We knew the summer was a critical time for Vancouverites to access recreation, nature, and green space, and the shared use of Park Drive allowed more than 720,000 cyclists to access a safe route, as well as providing increased space for pedestrians on the seawall.”
Hutch notes there is usually a drop in visits to Stanley Park leading up and into the fall.
“With children back in school, and with COVID protocols and behaviours in place, the data tells us we can return the park to its conventional traffic patterns and we are grateful to everyone who has given us feedback on their experience in the park this summer,” he says in a release.
Park Drive between Beach Avenue and Lagoon Drive will remain closed when Stanley Park reopens to cars, as part of the City of Vancouver’s “Room 2 Move” program.
The Park Board says it will continue to monitor the situation, with people still reminded to physically distance from one another and to not gather in crowds as the pandemic drags on.
Stanley Park will close temporarily as of 8 p.m. Friday in order to give crews the space and time to remove signage, equipment, and traffic cones.
The Park Board says it’s currently consulting the public on what they would like to see when it comes to future access of Stanley Park. You can take the survey here.