VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — The temporary bike lane along Stanley Park Drive was shut-down Friday evening, and a group of cyclists showed up for one last ride to show the park board that they object to the change.
The stretch of road was turned into a bike lane to promote social distancing amid the pandemic.
Lucy Maloney, a Vancouver cycling advocate, said the protected bike lane was safe and accessible for riders of all levels, and now they have fewer options.
“We’re still in a pandemic and the numbers are higher than they’ve ever been and it’s not ideal that all the pedestrians, joggers, and cyclists are going to be packed in the Seawall which is notorious for being overcrowded in peak times.”
Maloney was one cyclist who took part in a critical mass ride around the park to make it clear to the Vancouver Park Board that people need safer, socially-distant spaces amidst a looming second wave of COVID-19.
The Seawall will reopen to cyclists Saturday morning, but Maloney says that is not enough.
“We’re happy to be getting access to the Seawall again, but there’s car traffic and bike traffic. It would have been the ideal time to try out both the protected lane on Park Drive and the Seawall — both open at the same time.”
The park was closed to all vehicles in April.
In June, the Vancouver Park Board allowed traffic at reduced capacity, with the temporary bike lane. This weekend, the park’s traffic will go back to pre-pandemic levels.
“Our opponents would have you believe that it’s fit, able-bodied middle-aged men who are the ones that want these lanes, but really, it’s families, and people that don’t cycle very often,” Maloney said.
“What a shame that they’re getting this taken away from them.”
Maloney added she will continue putting pressure on the park board in the months to come to permanently restore a safe bike lane in Stanley Park.