Bike Lanes, Or The Fascist Nightmare Destroying Kitsilano


by Douglas Haddow | If you happened to be strolling along Kits Beach yesterday you may have been taken aback by the mob of retirees loitering outside the Boathouse, some with placards, all quite cranky.

The group, who’ve been getting an embarrassing amount of press these last few days, are up in arms about the city’s greenway plan, which would see bike lanes going through Hadden and Kits Beach Parks.

Though their median age appears to hover around 62, this budding protest movement is nonetheless quite media-savvy. They’ve set up not just Twitter and Facebook accounts, but have gone so far as to organize a petition as well, in which they humbly compare themselves to American civil rights activist Rosa Parks.

From what I can surmise from the various news items and blog posts written on this, Vancouver’s latest transit-related controversy, it seems that those who are opposed to the bike lanes are concerned that it will “permanently scar” their beloved neighbourhood pastoral.

Some choice anti-bike lane quotes from the many heated debates currently simmering online include: “A cycle plan designed by a psychopath” … “Socially and environmentally irresponsible.” … “Dangerous for all!” … “Vision runs Vancouver city like North Korea, full dictatorship!” … “Are you prepared to have your own child hurt?” … and from this person, who is apparently a local TV personality: “the Kits Beach bike path is complete insanity”.

Beyond all that shrill and frothy hyperbole is a very basic conflict of interests. Bike lane opponents feel they weren’t properly consulted and have made a concerted effort to portray the plan as destructive and irresponsible, arguing that it erodes green space and will be a grave threat to children, branding it as a dangerous and wasteful “bicycle superhighway”.

They also point out that millionaire real estate baron Harvey Hadden donated the land that would become Hadden Park under strict conditions that it be kept as close to its natural state (circa 1928) as possible.

The Park Board, on the other hand, says the plan is thirty years in the making, that park users were indeed consulted, that the agitators are misinforming the public, and that all considerations will be taken into account before a route is finalized.

To a pedestrian simpleton such as myself (I don’t ride a bike or frequent either of these parks, so I really don’t have a dog in this fight), the idea of connecting downtown to Spanish Banks through a series of bike lanes seems like a sensible plan. Or perhaps more accurately, a plan that is perfectly in line with our democratically-elected City Council’s mandate to make Vancouver the greenest city on the planet by 2020.

Now, perhaps I’m a racist, ageist bigot, but any time I see a protest group comprised primarily of well-heeled, silver-haired white people, I get the feeling that they are only out to chase people off their collective lawns, rather than, you know, actually doing something constructive with their spare time.

The Vancouver Sun’s Pete McMartin offers an interesting analysis of the conflict that supports that line of thought: “When half the city’s single-family residences are worth more than $1 million, and the other half is rising toward that benchmark, it hardens homeowners against change. Their stake is all that much greater. Why embrace change when you can’t be sure what it would do to your significant investment?”

While McMartin touches on an important note, this is a conflict that is more existential than economic in nature. The neighbourhood around Kits Beach is the most livable part of the most livable city in one of the most livable countries on Earth. Its residents live the most livable lives of all, and this is what it looks like when a demographic bloc reaches peak livability – their sense of privilege becomes so overvalued that even a minor incursion in the service of the greater good threatens to tear down their entire walled garden of reality. To me, it all just seems like a case of good intentions gone awry.

But who knows, maybe some of these protestors helped stop the freeway back in ’67 and this is just a bizarre epilogue to their otherwise illustrious careers in civil disobedience. Now wouldn’t that be something?


There are 101 comments

  1. A most excellent and amusing piece.

    You’d think these here silver haired boat rockers would be far more concerned with the number of sexual assaults in the area endangering their precious children than a lovely bike path through a lovely part of town.

    Priorities. Who need ’em?

  2. So, Harvey Hadden said the park was to remain in it’s natural state? Okay, well I guess we’ll rip out the pedestrian path, the parking lots, the change rooms and public washrooms and let the bramble bushes grow wild.

  3. Honestly you are being incredibly disingenuous.

    I was there, and no one was saying they didn’t want a bike lane. Its the route proposed that cuts directly through heavy use parts of the park, including the picnic area and right next to the playground.

    Why not just post the route with your article.

    Every speaker, which included park commissioners from all sides, recognized the importance of bike lanes. The main objection was to the thoughtless path proposed.

    The fact that the parks board had walked it back their proposal after commissioner barns proclaimed it “a done deal” is evidence of how silly the route was.

    It’s likely you are just click trolling anyway, so mission accomplished I guess.

  4. @graham charles

    Absolute nonsense. The route avoids the busy areas of the park and passes as far from the playground as possible. And, bike paths are not a threat to other people using the park. They are safe than the parking lot. The bike path will make the park safer and more enjoyable for people walking, cycling and using the beach. The route goes around the hill making the downhill more gradual so bikes will be traveling slower further improving safety.

    Bike paths are important parts of parks in Vancouver and around the world.

  5. The bike lane is in the wrong place as see on the link by Richard Campbell. Why not put it beside the street. Also, it doesn’t really connect with the bike lane on the bridge. It more like connects with the seaside bike lane that goes around the creek and Stanley Park.

    The comment by that parks board lady Barnes is silly saying that it is a done deal. That sounds like a dictator. Make decisions and not listen to anyone.

    maybe it would be better to build a seawall beside the beach that includes walking and bike paths. A wall would protect the park from floods when sea rises.

  6. Dear Scout Magazine and Douglas Haddow…Please remove the picture you have posted of me immediately. I am totally offended to be characterized this way.and used to promote your point of view. Yes I have white hair and I am older and am white and I am questioning the plan that happened without proper consultation…other than that…you know nothing about me, my politics, my income, or anything else other than the things that I cannot help but be. older woman. This is an appalling article.

  7. I read this article and was aghast at the naïveté of the writer. You walk and you don’t ride a bike and you don’t frequent the park so you don’t have a dog in this fight so why are you passing judgment on the people who do? Hadden park is the stretch of greenway in front of the maritime museum not kits beach. The museum was supposed to be a temporary structure and if things work out the museum will be moved to a better more accessible to all location. To say that the older white haired well heeled crowd ere only there for their self interest is indeed ageist and foments a class distinction where there is none. It is not a crime to own your own home nor is it selfish to want green space conserved. These people did indeed stop a freeway from going through the middle of Chinatown and we are glad the proposal failed but that is another story. You failed to mention that more people showed up at that demonstration than were polled about the bike lane project. And that is what this is all about. The arrogance of our city government and the parks board knows no bounds. We know what’s best for you. This city was built and made into a liveable city by the very white haired “old” people you dismiss as having nothing better to do. The city just didn’t materialize out of no where. Where is the verifiable consultation? Why was not a single person who lives in the area consulted. Doing a random survey over two days in the busiest time of the year is not adequate enough consultation to justify spending 2.2 million dollars on an ill conceived plan that no one wants. If you read the questionnaire yon would understand why people are upset. No one (this has been iterated many times) is saying we don’t want bike lanes. We do as riders and walkers it makes sense to keep people safe. What we are saying is the path through the park is a bad idea. Around the park? Why not? But through the park is just poor planning. Perhaps you should take a walk around the park or along the path and see for yourself. What you have to understand author, is that every decision the board or city council makes has ramifications ,good or bad for future generations an for the livability of this city. A case in point that has always stuck in my craw was the Granville mall. When the idea was presented city council thought this would be a real boon to the city. The opposite was true . Business shut down and the mall became a haven for drug dealers and runaways and predators of every sort. It took the city forty years to open it again and it still isn’t fixed. Pandering to the few a the expense of the money is not good governance

  8. Hi Susan. The image is a screenshot from a Global News feature, which is linked to in the opening paragraph. I’m sorry that you were offended, but the image isn’t employed to promote any point of view.

  9. The opinions expressed here by Douglas is just that his OPION. It is a shame that a self proclaimed bigot and racist uses this or any other platform to express such views.

  10. Other than confirming your racist ageist bigotry your article does not address the issue. Instead it is an embarassing smear of those who have as much right to a public assembly as you do. Aside from the fact that the audience was not a mob of retirees and you have no idea as to whether the were well heeled or not, do you think that resident taxpayers over a certain age group do not have a right to be heard? Or that somehow those under 50 will gleefully accept a cyclist riding over their kids while they are in the family/childrens picnic area of the park? Give your head a shake,assuming there is anything up there..The issues are simple and since you were too busy trying to start a demogrphic class war I’ll state them for you.1 As even Vision Parks Board commisioner Constance Barnes agreed and said, the consultation process was flawed on this. 2. Nobody at the rally said they were against a bike path only that the route chosen , running through a family/picnic area is not appropriate; the route should be on the perimeter of the park not through the middle of it. Just as you wouldn’t build the driveway to your house in the middle of your front lawn, you shouldn’t be building a bike path through the middle of the park bisecting a picnic area and inviting then collisions between cyclists and kids.3. Nobody, except you, is talking about a sense of privilege.Rather they are talking about sharing limited park space in the best possible way for everybody, regardless of their mode of transportation. Simply put if you are going to frequent a congested area of a family park, you should get off your bike, just as you would have to get out of your car. I regularly jog and cycle through the park, have lived here for 29 years, have raised 2 children in Kits and tought them both how to ride their bikes at Kits Beach. The area has numerous bike paths already and as mentioned the issue is the route of this bike path which most reasonable people feel should be on the perimeter of the park rather than cutting through the picnic area.

  11. Will you privileged NIMBY assholes please shut the fuck up? I’m so sick of your self-righteous whining. You spoiled, hypocritical, failed flower children are the worst thing about this city.

    Tell you what, let’s trade the proposed bike path for a homeless shelter, an SRO, or a bottle exchange. No? Then fuck off.

  12. As you say yourself Douglas, this is a superficial and poorly informed effort. I agree with that.

    Otherwise, you’re way off base here. This isn’t an anti-bike lane issue, it’s a preserve green space issue. I was at the rally, and I support both. Others at the rally made that clear as well. Who would pit a scenic bike lane (face it, the current proposal is a scenic route, not a commuter route) against green space in our increasingly dense city? Shouldn’t we be building those and preserving the other?

    What I heard at the rally, and see in the media, is the public saying “build it, but with a more thoughtful, less intrusive route.” There may be some knee jerk anti-bike types lurking, but then, as your piece shows, there are also some knee-jerk, pro-bike, or anti-anything coming from a group that you perceive as well heeled types lurking as well.

    And the snarky, disrespectful, ad hominen attacks on the people at the rally, poor form. Get the chip off your shoulder, it doesn’t look good on the hipster shirt. Your sophomoric, fuck-the-rich rhetoric is, I assume, re-rigour for a young writer. Cliche and tiresome for the rest of us. Criticising a reasonable position held by members of the public – which you mis-characterize – but carrying the water for Pols, presumably because you’re enchanted by their rhetoric, youth, and beauty, that’s an interesting twist for a young Hemingway.

    Back to the issue:

    Many in the crowd are bike lane supporters, including myself, and are simply saying “what’s with the 12 foot wide, poorly sited swath of asphalt in the middle of a busy park?”

    Entertaining piece, but like lots of entertainment, it’s only partly based on fact.

  13. I was at the protest (walking with my 4 year old daughter). My thoughts are in line with the writer’s. It was so typical of the area: a crowd of over-priviledged, mostly white old people out in droves complaining about a perceived trespass on their turf when they don’t do anything about the bigger issues facing Vancouver. Very disheartening.

  14. I seem to remember screaming Kits Point Residents Association protests around the construction of the new beach facilities as well–what did that take? I think it was 19 public meetings . . . I guess it’s just a NIMBY kind of place.

  15. I love the cliched “I’m not against bike lanes, just this bike lane”. The people fighting this are the same ones who fought every bike lane before it, like Randey Brophy, Paul Tolnai, plus a bunch of NPA and COPE politicos, like Sean Antrim, Raymond Tomlin, Colleen Hardwick, and Ian Robertson.

    Some other brilliant quotes for you:
    Dan Leblanc: “[Constance Barnes] is a twobit mouth piece for a group of self centred, arrogant people who misuse there elected positions for their own personal & politcal gain.”

    Randey Brophy (after he lost the fight to kill the Point Grey bike lane 2 months ago): “I will be working night and day now to get rid of this corrupt Vision government in the next municipal election. It’s time to take out the garbage.”

  16. Even my 7 year old gets it. He thought the speakers were reasonable and he wonders why someone thinks it’s safe to run a bike lane a few meters from a playground, through a field where we play soccer, a spot where we picnic, or through a grove of trees. Ah youth, they aren’t effed up by all of our biases.

    I grew up here and remeber when it wasn’t a “rich” part of town. Lots of my neighbour’s are long term renters and they were at the protest. In fact the majority of my corner of Kits is rental housing. What a farce to say it’s a rich part of town or that it’s residents don’t have a legitimate point of view because of what you perceive as age or wealth. Lots of Fake bohos on this site, it does after all, mainly deal with reviewing trendy, pricey – maybe even precious and pretentious- restaurants, wine, really expensive clothing shops, etc. Like the add for “custom aprons” including the $123 “Barista Apron.” what a bunch of hypocrites.

  17. I feel so bad about all these able-bodied, comfortable white people suffering such racist remarks. White people have been persecuted in Kits for far too long. Sure, it’s marauding bikes murdering your delicate adult children today, but what’s next? Imagine food trucks running over your prize Weimaraners, or farmers’ markets peddling their unlicensed vegetable poison. I for one won’t stand it any longer, and will be protesting as soon as brunch is wrapped with the girls.

  18. By the look of some of these comments, I wonder if this story is circulating in a retirement home’s in-house message board called “Welcome To the Internet”.

  19. Very depressing how bigoted and stupid someone can sound and still get published on a website like this. Shame on the writer for such drivel and kind of proves the point about the idiocy of some in the bike lobby who really should find another vocation. You do your issue no service.

  20. Ryan, The bike lane up York street displaces 252 rental parking spots. Rather than fight every bike route as you sayI did, I proposed a different route, which was detailed in The Province and on Rick Cluffs CBC morning show. I even rode the route, timed it vs York and put it on you tube showing that taking it, via Creelman was faster safer closer to the beach and would not displace any rental parking, like York does because it went down a wider single family residential street. As for closing Point Grey Road to vehicles thats just crazy. I pointed out to council that with similar traffic volumes there have been 6 times the number of cyclist accidents on Macdonald-where the Point Grey traffic wil be rerouted-as there have been on Point Grey road. Moreover Macdonald goes past a route kids in Kits,like my own, have to take to go to elementary school (General Gordon) and High School ( Kits ) So yeah your damn rights I opposed those routes becasue they were both stupid and not in the public interest. i suggested alternate bike routes though which were better. But council won’t lisiten.. This proposed route through the middle of Kits Beach is dumb and uinsafe too..far better to put it on the perimeter. You paint a picture of those who oppose these routes as privileged and opposed to change. You don’t know us. I certanly am not privileged..worked real hard to get a modest home in Kits in the mid 80’s. rent out most of it to folks at reasonable rates too. As for being opposed to change..I’ve coached 750 kids in this community in soccer and baseball over the last 22 years. As president of the community soccer club I fought for kids soccer fields in Vancouver, raised $400k for them made the successful recommendation to parks board for them to come into exiastence in 2006 and 2007 one on the east side at Van Tech and one on the west side at Point Grey high. We were also the first community soccer club in the province to go to bat for special needs kids and allow them to have a home in community soccer teams with their friends. I went to bat 4 times with BC soccer to get that done..also made a schedule that integrated smaller club teams playing with bigger clubs teams in Vancouver smaller clubs would have more teams to play. So if you want to paint apicture of me,paint a full one.And I’m no different than a lot of the people fighting this..simply because these particular routes are wrong and dangerous. and, in my opinion, the present municipal gov’t does not listen.

  21. Who knew Hipsters were such an angry and misanthropic bunch ? And we all thought you were a superficial, light hearted lot.

    Maybe it’s too many espresso shots.

    “Me angry plaid wearing, bearded hipster. Grrr. Me hate everyone not like us!!”

  22. So Douglas Haddow admits he is not a cyclist and does not use either of Kits or Hadden Parks. He states that he walked by the rally, and apparently did not listen to the comments and speeches made there. If he did, he seems oblivious to the very real concerns raised at the rally:

    – the cursory, biased nature of the so-called “public consultation process”.
    – the city’s claim of 90% approval for the project, which is simply false if you look at their own survey.
    – the utter lack of consultation with the community groups that have been heavily involved in creating and operating the public amenities at Kits Beach going back decades. None of these groups even knew about the bike path until city council voted on it.
    – the failure to engage with local residents.
    – the amount of land that will be paved over by the approved bike path.
    – the disruption to one of the most beautiful and popular picnic areas in the city.
    – the cost of this project and possible alternate uses for these funds.

    And yet this fellow (a journalist, no less) feels completely comfortable judging the issue of the bike path – and, incredibly, sneering at the concerned citizens who gathered at Kits Beach with condescending, pejorative stereotypes.
    Mr Haddow: had you seen me at the rally, you would probably have included me among those you condescendingly referred to as “a mob of retirees”. I have grey hair, after all. And I’m ashamed to admit that, yes, I’m white (why you mention skin colour in your article baffles and appalls me). A “retiree”? No, far from it. “Well-heeled”? Ha! No. I’ve lived in Kits and Pt. Grey for almost all the 30 years I’ve lived in Vancouver. I’m a renter and always have been. I work in a creative field, as do most of the people I know, many of whom also rent apartments in this costly city.
    Why do you automatically assume that any citizen in Kitsilano, Kits Point or the surrounding area is “well heeled”? Do you assume anyone who lives in Gastown or the DTES is an addict?
    I can assure you that the creative people I know – actors, writers, filmmakers, artists, craftspeople and others – would laugh aloud if you called them “well-heeled”. And yet, almost everyone I know – and many of them live in Kits and neighborhoods nearby – feels the same way that I and that crowd at Kits Point feels about how the high-handed way in which our city is being run. We are fed up. The mania for bike paths is only a small part of our concerns.

    A few facts you might want to consider, if you can get out from under your stereotypical thinking long enough to think objectively:

    – the Kits/Hadden bike path will pave 54,000 sq ft of green space. That’s almost 1 1/4 acres of grass and trees, equal to more than 16 standard 33×100 sq ft Vancouver building lots.
    – Hadden Park is slightly larger than 7 acres in size. The area of Kits Beach affected by the bike path may or may not be the same size. The bike path will pave a significant fraction of this green space.
    – Kits Point already has traffic-calmed streets and several designated bike routes (reduced speed limits, bike signage and pavement markers, stop signs placed to favor bike through-traffic, etc)
    – A segregated bike lane will soon be built along Cornwall St (extending along Pt. Grey Rd, at a cost of more than $6 million), about 100 yards from the proposed Kits/Hadden bike path.
    – York Ave, a block south of Cornwall, is also a designated bike route.

    Given these facts, why is there any necessity to pave 1 1/4 acres of a park for yet another bike lane??
    Care to answer that?

  23. Ah yes, the bike bullyboys are out in force trying to paint a distorted and false picture of those of us who oppose their wish to destroy the remaining green space in Kits Beach and Hadden Parks with a paved 12ft bike path. The spin – we are a bunch of well-heeled old fogey’s over 50 who are against progress. That we should F off and let them bike all over us. Just to clarify — yes, I’m over 50, but thankfully my hair is still not grey or white, or at least most of it isn’t. I’ve lived in Kits for 42 years and I rent. I’m definitely not well-heeled as I’m an indie filmmaker – a starving artiste who lives in a tiny Kits attic apartment, with an amazing view that I thank the universe for every day, close to one of the most beautiful beaches in the world stretching from Jericho to Vanier Park.

    Yes, you are right, probably the majority of those at the public meeting on Sunday were over 50. So what? The fact of the matter is that we’re not dead yet. And until we are you have to put up with us, sorry to say. Because, unlike your generation, we actually VOTE and actively participate in politics at all levels, whether it be saving our coast from Oil tankers, trying to stop the closure of the Coast Guard station in Kits, protecting the environment etc. We were social and political activists before you were born. We wrote the book on it. We are the generation that started Greenpeace. We are the generation that stopped the high rise construction in Kits so that it still has very few high rises. We are the generation that stopped the 3rd crossing and a freeway from dissecting our City. In the Provincial election many of us in Kits voted for David Eby, one of the few success stories of the NDP slate. In the last civic election, many of us voted Vision. That won’t be happening again. The old white haired lady whose photo you posted told me she voted Vision last time and now is in a real quandary, as are many of her friends. Who are they going to vote for? Certainly not Vision. Vision is toast.

    As for the bike lane in question — through the little remaining green space of our Kits Beach and Hadden parks, this issue is not about all bike lanes, it’s about the one that has been proposed for this park. A 3.5 metre (12ft) concrete bike road will cut through a beautiful old grove of trees. This park is a gem. It must be seen to be appreciated. And not from a bike. How anyone would want to pave any of this section of the park boggles the mind. Especially when they call themselves GREEN. This is not green, this is not progress. But, it seems to me that for the bike bullyboy lobby, the Vision Park Board and City Council, ASPHALT IS THE NEW GREEN. Talk about hypocrisy. These are the same people who want to put a seawall along the foreshore from Kits Yacht Club to Jericho, with the exception of Trevor Loke, a young voice of sanity on the Vision Park Board, at least on that issue. Fortunately for us, we have the law of riparian rights on our side, so that dream of Vision and Chip Wilson’s has hit a major road block. Just as their dream of paving over Kits Beach Park has hit one. The baby boomers ARE out in force, all parties united – NDP, NPA, COPE and independents have all come together to fight this stupid and shortsighted plan by blind Vision.

    As for the old grove of trees that is in danger of being ruined by the bike lane – this is also a family picnic area and heavily used in the summer months. Kids run around on the grass and play frisbee and ball. How do you think a 12ft wide bike freeway is going to work here? With some of the more aggressive cyclists whizzing by on their own thoroughfare, oblivious to anyone else. Whizzing down the hill through the picnickers and across the “to be partially greened and then paved again” parking lot. Then behind and through the crowds watching the summer basketball games on the grass, and milling about. Then behind the Children’s playground where mothers have to cross the bike lane with their kids and dodge speeding cyclists. Where kids run around and play in the wide and open green space. And then the cyclists will be directed through the service area between the tennis courts and Boathouse, where in the summer they have to watch out for all the delivery trucks. Then the route heads to behind behind the swimming pool though more crowds of picnickers and sunbathers whose green space will be diminished by the new bike lane. And finally – let’s not forget Hadden Park. A beautiful expanse of green space used by dog owners and kids running around and playing. After the Park Board gets through with it there won’t be much left. The Park Board cites safety issues as the reason for this bike lane. Their plan is only going to increase the safety issues in all areas of the park.

    In Hadden Park there’s a narrow dirt path alongside the current path carved out by joggers like myself who use it every day because we prefer to run on the grass rather than concrete. This dirt path is also used by cyclists. It will likely be paved over by the new path and we’ll have to create a new path through the grass as we don’t like to run on concrete when there’s an option. And how I wonder is the proposed path going to get around the heavy bushes and trees at the Maritime Museum and Totem Pole Park? The current path is only 3 metres wide and there’s no room for expansion. Obviously that whole area will have to be torn down for the bike path and rebuilt. Can’t very well cut a path right through it.

    To reiterate – we are not against all bike lanes, just this one. For reasons of safety and loss of precious green space. What we propose as the bike lane makes perfect sense, is common sense and costs very little. A bike lane on the roads on the perimeter of the park. Point a few lines, remove a few parking spots and it’s a done deal. In the busy summer months I ride these roads without any problem. It’s safe and quiet, the streets are wide and the traffic minimal, with the exception of the fireworks nights, but even then the roads are blocked off to local traffic only. During the rest of the year, there’s room for everyone on the current path, no problem. And if a cyclist wants to take the waterfront route they can walk their bikes for that section and enjoy the view. Any one who’s in a hurry can take the road perimeter route along Ogden and Arbutus. Or stay on Cornwall, or York to Point Grey Rd. And, as many of us have pointed out — we use the beach every day and there’s never been any accidents involving cyclist and pedestrians.

    The bike lobby does not have an inherent right to bike lanes through busy parks beside busy beaches. This area is to be shared. It’s for the enjoyment and recreation of ALL park users, not just the few. The walkers, the joggers, the cyclists, the kids, the dogs, the hormonally charged teens, the baby boomers, the people in wheelchairs, moms with strollers, the volleyball, basketball and tennis players, the frisbee throwers and soccer kids, the families who picnic and take their kids to the playground – and those of us who appreciate the extraordinary beauty and peacefulness of the old grove of trees at the top of the hill. This park is for us all, not just for cyclists. To say otherwise shows a completely selfish attitude towards life, a complete disregard for others, for anyone but themselves. A plan must be developed that works for everyone, not just for the chosen few, that does not pave a new 12ft (or even 6ft) bike path through precious green space, destroying the environment and creating safety issues rather than solving them.

    I suggest that you take a look at my Flickr photo albums of the Kits Beach-Hadden Park bike route and tell us where you’d put a bike lane without paving over precious green space and creating a safety hazard.

    And while you’re there check out my photos of the “Fascist” old fogeys at the meeting on Sunday hell bent on “destroying Kitsilano”.

    Or, perhaps you were being facetious and instead referring to the city financed bike lobby, Vision Park Board and Vision City Council? Or perhaps you were referring to yourself? If so – look in the mirror.

    And finally, remember – we will not be bullied into silence. We will not go away. We’re not dead yet. And we’re very social media and media savvy. You’ve met your match.

  24. Read the long comment by Elvira. It’s terrible slop, but there is a diamond quote at the end of it: “We will not be bullied into silence. We will not go away. We’re not dead yet.” Perfect!

  25. Read the short comment by Dan. It is really terrible slop and there is no diamond quote at the end of it. Aside from yet another predictable link to another well worn jaundiced epistle from paid political bike lobbyist Richard Campbell, there hasn’t been one proponent of this bike path who has even mustered an arguement on this thread, much less signed in with their full name…must be thin pickings at the taxpayer funded bike lobby think tank these days…

  26. Elvira:

    Sorry for the confusion, I was referring to the bike lane plan as fascist. Which can be taken either satirically or literally, depending on whether or not you think #savekitsbeach protestors are comparable to Rosa Parks.

  27. Hey look! They used the same pavillion and beach house which they obstructed and protested into being three years behind schedule as their base of operations for the protest. Nothing ironic in that!

  28. @Elvira Love the over-the-top rhetoric: ” “bike bullyboys”, “bike freeway”, “aggressive cyclists”, “speeding cyclists”, “endangering children”. Maybe the spooky fog is paying tricks on your mind. I don’t think bikes are weapons of mass destruction. The seawall with separated bike lanes goes through lots of Vancouver’s parks without killing any kids or puppies.

    What exactly are you basing your doom-and-gloom predictions on? The chalk lines some prankster (not the Parks Board) drew on the ground? Or the low resolution map that’s been published? From what I’ve heard the final route hasn’t even been decided yet.

  29. No Ryan, the final route has not been published, and it’s quite possible that it will not go through the park, but on the road. However, those who are in favour of it going through the park are now suggesting that no, in won’t go through the middle but along side the current path. That doesn’t make it any better. That doesn’t change the fact that it will be damaging the park environment, paving green space and creating a safety hazard. Take a look at my pics and you tell me where it will go without doing all that?

    The chalk lines followed the route that the Park Board mapped out and have now backtracked on. Before all of us protested, they called it a “done deal”. There the ones who are responsible for the uproar by not being straightforward and forthcoming about their intentions. The survey was pathetic, slanted and very vague. I know because I took it myself.

    As for over-the-top rhetoric — how about the heading of Doug’s article “Bike Lanes, or The Fascist NIghtmare Destroying Kitsilano”, “mobs of retirees”, “embarrassing amount of press”, “shrill and frothy hyperbole”, “a protest group comprised primarily of well-heeled, silver-haired white people”, “bizarre epilogue”.

    As for the rest of the seawall around False Creek, that was reclaimed from industrial land. It added green space, it didn’t take it away. It doesn’t run beside a busy beach. Or perhaps you’re too young to remember what was there before.

    That process of reclamation in False Creek was started by a couple of good Mayors in the 70s & 80s – Art Philips and Mike Harcourt. FYI, I was Mike Harcourt’s Media Co-ordinator when he ran for Mayor in 1980 and won against great odds. Reclaiming the False Creek industrial land was part of his policy at that time, and a major achievement. He was an excellent Mayor who actually listened to the people. He really did have a vision. There would be no seawall without him – and people like me who supported his vision.

    Every neighbourhood in the city is unique. You can’t take a model that works for one hood and impose it on another. It makes no sense, and we’re not going to let it happen.

  30. Since when are bikes on the seawall a safety hazard? Are rollerbladers and fast runners safety hazards too? Power walkers? I’ve been yelled at for running too fast along the seawall by someone who didn’t think I belonged, much as you seem to think bikes don’t. At some point you have to realize that they all have a place in the park. Yes, collisions might happen. Just be thankful at the speed most seawall users, of any form, are going it will only result in some bruises.

    Now, cars you have to watch out for. I think a good compromise solution would be to remove the parking lots from Kits Beach. It would make things a lot safer and reduce a lot of asphalt.

  31. Ryan, I’ve heard that argument from the bike lobby over the past few days — we’ll steal your beautiful gem of a park in the old grove of trees for our bike lane and you can have a parking lot on the flat land without any trees, that will also have a paved bike lane running through it. I have a better idea — you take the parking lot along with the road.

    However, I’m all for greening some of the concrete in the park — like the huge ugly concrete area by Kits Pool. Let’s take the money and reclaim that. It would make a lovely park. But, of course the cyclists would then say — we want a bike path through it.

    This battle is fundamentally a territorial one. The bike bullyboys/Vision Storm Troopers want to invade our space and shift us elsewhere (Like the parking lot). Leaving us of course with no choice but to defend our space against these alien invaders. We’ve drawn a line in the grass.

    Good scenario for a monster movie.

  32. And therein lies the problem. You think the park is yours and anyone else who tries to use it is an invader. With an attitude like that, no wonder people are making fun of you.

  33. Dear Douglas Pedestrian Simpleton Haddow – you are not – at least not in this piece – a “racist, ageist bigot, ..” but you ARE an agist… a probably well meaning one who authors some of the most immature superficial and agist comments one could find in a published piece. which one day you will be embarrassed to realise, amounts to a appalling expression of unconscious contempt. “but any time I see a protest group comprised primarily of well-heeled, silver-haired white people”. Have you not noticed that you too are getting older? Do you think when your hair turns grey and your gait slows, or your bank account grows, that who you are miraculously disappears and you become worthy of CONTEMPT, degradation, and mockery?? You are embarrassing yourself without realising it and exposing your LACK of maturity. TAKE A step in the direction of growing up – do the honorable and dignified thing, FEEL the insult you are author of, then apologise sincerely and go investigate what in your own background has made you blind to the nuance of your unconscious attitudes toward people your senior. Your well intentioned effort to write something on the bike path has exposed some of your own blind spots.

  34. I find this article, rude and misinformed people taking time out of there lives to give a dam is to not only improve or stick up for there personnel rights, but for yours. I am sorry to think you stood by laughing at all the concerned citizens there that day. I was there standing and listening learning and hoping that the message was not falling on deaf ears. I don’t like reading this by way of Constance’s Facebook page because I have defended her somewhat, it makes me think that this is a shout back at all of us there. I thought she had heard but this shows me she didn’t care!

  35. No Ryan, ALL the other users of the park think that the bikes belong on the road and not in this particular park during the busy summer months. You and your fellow bike bullyboys are the ones that thinks the park just belongs to the cyclists and want the rest of us to get out of the way so you have can have your bike freeway and to hell with everyone else.You give cyclists a bad name with your holier than thou and arrogant attitude. You don’t care who gets in your way and what destruction you leave your wake. As the previous writer wrote – you boys should grow up and stop whining like a bunch of babies as soon as it looks like you might not get your way.

  36. Sorry Ryan, maybe not ALL the users, but most user groups, of which cyclists is just one of many. Check my first post for a list of all of these so I don’t have to repeat myself. Maybe if you guys actually read the posts and paid attention, we might get somewhere.

  37. Funny that the author is pilloried for not riding a bike, therefore needs to butt out, while my experience with this issue is being told that my opinion doesn’t count because I DO ride a bike and try to be informed on issues such as this.

  38. Elvira, responding to Ryan (or even to Douglas Haddow) is simply a mug’s game, and “feeding the trolls”, if you will. Cuz that’s what Ryan, and his ilk do, as the definition of Political Trolling in the Urban Dictionary, to wit, suggests, employ … “The act of using emotions, lies, false accusations and broken logic to undermine your opponent and win an argument in a political arena. This often involves twisting various sources … to look like they say that your views are right. Motives include, but are not limited to: For money, power, fun …”

    Vision is a well-funded, perhaps the most sophisticated, municipal political party in Canada, having appropriated a great many ideas from their U.S. colleagues, the sort of ugly Republican-style politics (the politics of fear and division) that … well, let’s face it, worked for the Republicans for awhile (and worked for Christy Clark, in the recent BC election). But, if you look at Republican fortunes in recent years, not such much lately.

    Ryan has to sleep at night, which might be easy given the probable “pay off” that he’s getting (whatever that might be). But, Ryan let me tell you, writing as the “older guy” that I am (in my mid-60s), from observing my older friends — who were ‘forced’ to compromise themselves in jobs throughout their careers — ill conduct catches up with you.

    Elvira, as she has written, is one of many who run through, or ride through (or around) Kits Beach park — as I do several times a week. It’s worth saying again, we are not opposed to bike lanes — hell, I spoke in favour of them at City Council, and believe that over time the closing of Point Grey Road will emerge as a Vision Vancouver legacy that will be looked upon favourably.

    In respect of the Seaside Greenway parks-related “bike lane controversy”, the issue simply is that we simply don’t want an unnecessary bike freeway scarring our beloved, and well-used parks. Lots of space to put in a bike route that works — hell, painted green lines on Ogden, Maple and Arbutus would work just fine — elsewhere, other than down the middle of the treed and grassy area of two parks of unsurpassed beauty.

  39. @F Angus

    I can see why you did not bother mentioning the area of Kits Beach Park. Turns out according to my calculations, the path will amount to around 3% of the area of the parks. Given that cycling is one of the most popular activities in parks by both residents and visitors, that seems like an appropriate use of park space.

  40. @Raymond Tomlim

    Wow, that’s quite the piece of work. Calling someone on the “The act of using emotions, lies, false accusations and broken logic to undermine your opponent and win an argument in a political arena. This often involves twisting various sources … to look like they say that your views are right.”

    Then immediately proceeding to do the same. Well done!

    Might want to stop using the term bicycle freeway. It’s not. It is pleasent path winding around the hill that people will travel slowly on to enjoy the view.

    Most people are having a good chuckle at the over the top rhetoric.

    Ironically, what you are proposing on Arbutus is more of a straight line. A bicycle freeway maybe even.

  41. @ Richard Campbell

    So you consider the loss of 3% of the total area of a park to new pavement to be trivial? This would be like paving 30 acres of Stanley Park.

    Actually, the bike path as approved will take out far more than 3% of the remaining green space at Kits Beach Park. Much of the more than 30-acre area of the park is occupied by existing amenities. The saltwater pool (one of the largest in North America), concrete apron and change rooms, the outdoor theatre, the seawall, play areas, park supervisor’s residence, basketball and tennis courts, parking areas, etc, cover several acres. What remains should be preserved as green space.

    Not so long ago, the Park Board would have considered such a loss of green space to be unacceptable. Expansions of the aquarium in Stanley Park that involved relatively small losses of grass and trees were disputed and sent back to the planners. Preserving green space was always the first priority, and the PB considered its advocacy in this area to be its primary duty.

    You ignore the construction of the new segregated bike route along Cornwall St, which will run all along the southern edge of Kits Beach Park. You ignore the existing bike routes in Kits Point. The newly approved bike path through Kits & Hadden Parks is completely redundant and a waste of green space.

  42. Richard Campbell…..cycling is not an appropriate use of park space at Kits….this is a beach park, people normally go there to spend a lot of time on the beach, on the grass, children use the playground, people use the tennis courts and basketball courts. Cutting up this space for a bike lane will provide cyclists with about 5 minutes worth of cycling through the park. Hadden Park is also an off leash dog park. Nobody is going to spend a lot of time cycling through Kits and hadden park so trying to link this to cycling as an activity is just misleading….already have 13 miles of seawall in addition to designated bike routes and bike lanes.

  43. Funny. From my perspective Elvira is the one trolling. Go re-read her posts and see if they meet your definition.
    My only pay-off is to see a better city. I have no affiliation with Vision or the “bike lobby”, other than being on their email lists. I’m just someone who lives close to the seawall and uses it frequently, mostly for running but often cycling too. When I was training for the marathon this spring, I was running the seawall at least 3 days a week. I frequently witnessed contention along the skinnier sections. Kits Beach being one of the worst choke points, but the area just west of the Cambie Bridge, near Granville Island, and Edgewater Casino were almost as bad (and I think the city is looking into upgrading all of those areas). As I mentioned earlier, I was once yelled at by someone who didn’t think I belonged on the seawall because it was congested and I was running fast.
    Every year when I fill out the Georgia Straight’s “Best of Vancouver” survey, I list the seawall as Vancouver’s claim to fame. I would love to see it upgraded to have space for everyone along its length, and yes in my mind that includes cyclists and rollerbladers too. The separated seawall through the Olympic Village and Yaletown might be a “bike freeway to hell” to people like Alivra, but for me it’s the perfect space to run or bike and enjoy Vancouver’s beautiful coast.

  44. This comment section delivers. Hope all you bluehairs enjoy being famous on the internet, because this thing is getting spread far and wide right now on social media.

  45. This thread just got all chock-full of crazy. Can someone produce a tl;dr summary? And maybe a bit of punctuation for those of us allergic to run-on, hyperbolic hysteria?

  46. Christ people, we’re talking about a bike lane. A narrow strip of asphalt. Do you seriously think the Parks Board is going to go around mowing down trees for this?

    Comments like “park users don’t want bikes” is nuts. I’m a park user and I definitely want to see this bike path go through! Right now you can ride continuously from Crab Park at the foot of Main street, around Stanley Park, along False Creek, through Granville Island and around Vanier Park until you get to Kits Beach. Suddenly you are dumped out on a road with crap sightlines, stupid people pulling their SUVs out of parking lots at you and absolutely no safe route to ride. I don’t WANT to ride by the street any more than any of the rest of the park users want to hang out by the street. I want to be by the beach, as I have just as much right to be there as anyone else.

    Get off your high horses. You don’t own the park, the city of Vancouver does. Your geographical proximity has nothing to do with your rights to the space. This is being portrayed as some massive decimation of green space in the city when in fact all it does is allows people to recreate in an environmentally friendly way. If you want more green space, get rid of some of the parking at Kits. Removal of about a dozen parking spots would make up for the entire bike lane. OH, but then you’d have more people trying to park in front of your precious multi million dollar houses!!

    Some of us in the rest of this city are desperately fighting to get better facilities in to help us have a complete city, one where we can safely move around without needing to be in a 3,000 lb steel box.

  47. “perhaps I’m a racist ageist bigot” – Yup, that much is pretty clear. What an awful article. I’m 34 years of age, and you have just put me on the side of the opponents with your one-sided fact-less piece.

    Getting back to the issue at hand, from the outside looking in it doesn’t seem to make sense to ruin the exist use of an area (quiet park space) for a new use (bike lane) when it would be easy to put a bike lane somewhere nearby that wouldn’t remove the enjoyment of others. That is what our society should be about – maximizing enjoyment for *all* people regardless of the colour of their hair. Serious, I still can’t believe your gall.

  48. This batshit-crazy protest will soon be irrelevant. The world doesn’t care what Vancouverites think.
    Kits pool was already under water during one winter tide. The park and Kits Point will soon enough be underwater, and quite possibly before its famously-aging residents are dead and buried.
    But, hey, don’t let such a minor detail derail your impassioned debate. Because, you know, ya gotta stand up and be counted for the stuff that really matters to people. Or at least Kits Point People.
    People who really oughta get out of their houses and venture across Cornwall into the rest of their city. Or even – gasp! – cross the Rockies or the Pacific and check out the rest of their world.

  49. @Marion Amber

    You should know that the off leash area is down by the beach, nowhere near the path. Please stop the nonsensical arguments. Please do your research and stop spreading misinformation.

  50. @F. Angus

    Please take the time to check your facts. Misinformation does nothing to help the discussion.

    Unfortunately, there is no separated bike lane planned along Cornwall west of Cypress although there should be. The only route is the path along Cornwall between Balsam and Yew that is being upgraded.

    The exist so called bike routes are horrible. Both Cypress and Arbutus are clogged with traffic. It is not responsible to suggest that children cycle on these roads.

  51. Richard Campbell is a paid bike lobbyist; He has absolutely no interest in doing or promoting what its best for the community because his job is to push his bike agenda. It is not really that hard to understand a reasonable objection to a proposed bike route that bisects a family picnic area and the suggestion that it instead be put on the perimeter of the park. Children do not cycle in the streets,they arleady cycle in the park at Kits Beach. There is plenty of space to do so and In fact that is where I taught my own children to ride a bike. This “children biking in the streets” canard is the latest attempt to insult peoples intelligeance and direct attention away from the fact that it is a bicycle route that biosects a family/children’s picnic area that will hit and hurt kids. You actually do the bike community no favours Richard by being so unreasonably blind to what is simply the best use of park space for the entire community. A bike is a mode of transposrtation; if you are in a congested area of a park around kids and familes get off it and walk insteaad of demanding that you be given a route through it. Simple common sense.

  52. @Randey, we have a paid bike lobby??? How is this possible?? I’ve never donated (though I should!).

    Also, what’s all this nonsense of children riding bicycles next to traffic? I’ve been an avid and regular cyclist (commuter and pleasure) in Vancouver for 7 years now and I rarely see children on bikes outside the seawall and residential neighbourhoods. Give it up with this pathetic, disingenuous ‘OMG whataboutthechildren’ rhetoric.

  53. Hello RR always happy to educate.. have a read of this re the paid bike lobby

    now lets get the facts clear. The proposed bike route through Kits beach goes through a family and children’s picnic area. As many have pointed out including me, this will endanger children. Richard Campbell, rather than recognize this, has tried to turn the arguement around, saying on a number of posts in this thread that ” Both Cypress and Arbutus are clogged with traffic. It is not responsible to suggest that children cycle on these roads.” so, and please pay attention, the person saying “all this nonsense of children riding bicycles next to traffic?” is Richard not me.. please write again soon RR if you have any more questions..

  54. @Randey

    Really wish I was being paid for all of this. If you know of anyone who wants to, please send them my way.

    You really need to check your facts. It is pretty obvious to anyone who read the site that City Caucus was all political spin, rhetoric and pretty fact free, much like the so called, Save Kits Beach efforts.

    The suggestion that the path is dangerous to children is just not borne out by the evidence. There are paths near playgrounds and picnic areas all around the city and world. Including current path which cycling is allowed on. I am not aware of any serious problems. If you are, please provide evidence.

    Otherwise, stop making stuff up. It divisive and non-productive. Let’s work together to solve real problems rather than arguing over imagined ones.

  55. Richard I did check my facts . According to the article

    “These are very astute observations and help to explain why the VACC are at city hall so much. In fact, staff privately joke that cycling activist Richard Campbell is at city hall so much he should be appointed as the 12th member of council. According to Thirdwave Cycling Inc:

    Richard is currently a Director of the British Columbia Cycling Coalition, a member of the City of Vancouver’s Bicycle Advisory Committee and project manager of the Regional Cycling Network Data Collection initiative for the VACC.”

    The article also says
    ” One of the most effective and visible lobby groups (outside the development industry) has to be the Vancouver Area Cycling Coalition (VACC). They are very active within the City’s powerful Bicycle Advisory Committee and have been making their presence felt for years. According to their 2009 financial statements, their successful lobbying efforts are partially funded by:
    ?Fed/Prov/Municipal Taxpayers: $159,764.02 (Delta, New Westminster, Surrey, Pitt Meadows, District of North Van, Metro Vancouver, Maple Ridge, Vancouver Coastal Health, BC Hydro and the City of Vancouver are all listed as financial contributors)
    ?Translink: $165,430
    ?Private Funding/Donations: $88,717.15

    Some of the BC based companies supporting the VACC are Happy Planet Foods Ltd. and Mountain Equipment Coop (MEC). Happy Planet is Mayor Gregor Robertson’s juice company ”

    So I’m not making stuff up..Hers’e the article again. I didn’t write it

    If it is wrong and you are not funded as per the financial statements the author has quoted I suggest you contact the author

    and according to Linked in a richard Campbell is listed as


    Third Wave Cycling Group Inc.
    December 2007 – Present (5 years 11 months)
    Cycling consulting, bicycle parking, bicycle and transit integration, network planning, bicycle sharing, bicycle oriented development, economic benefits of cycling

    So based on that if that is your Linkedin profile then you are a bike l;obbyist and presumbably you earn an income doing it, Please correct me if I’m worng. Again I’ve told you and shown you my sources. I clearly am not “making stuff up” as you say.

    I really don’t get it..I was and am a strong advocate for youth soccer in my community and was proud to say it up front when we talked to communities about getting turf fields in for the kids. And we (the soccer community) compromised when there was pushback and found locations that were acceptable to everybody. Why don’t you tell people up front who you are and who you represent when you make your endless posts on this and other forums to do with bike lanes?
    As for your second arguement do you really expect anyone to equate a bike path near a picnic area with the one propsed that runs through the middle of a picnic area? People are more intelligent than that and if you want people to get on board with you you had better start working with them instead of making smamry smart ass statements that most people can see through, don’t appreciate and are alienated by. For Christ’s sake, what is being proposed as an alternative at the kits beach rally is one also near the picnic area but on the perimeter. And please don’t bother feeding anyone any more baloney about the hill on the northeast side of the park approaching Arbutus causing cyclists to speed. I just went for a jog with my son and we took a few picks of this daunting hill. a fifty year old woman cylcing down this knoll had no problems with it and lets just say we both know we aren’t talking about something you’d need a Sherpa guide to negotiate.
    Up to you. If you want to work together the Kits community is a pretty reasonable group in my experience, but I’m telling you you are going about it in the wrong way and nobody wins when a community is divided.

  56. Well you would be wrong as typical for this discussion. I would not assume you are paid for commenting on this. City Caucus was informed their claims of being paid for lobbying were incorrect but they refused to retract the statement. Any funds received have been for prigram or consulting work not for lobbying.

    And you should know that the city advisory committes are volunteer positions.

    Anyway, how about sticking to the issues. Attacking motives is a sure sign that you know you don’t have the facts on your side.

    Checked out the hill and you are correct. Probably not steeper. The reason I didn’t know us that it never occurred to me in 15 years of cycling along the water to take that route. It is not very attractive. Not even a sidewalk along the park. I suspect that is because no one walks along there either or very few compared to the path by the water. People would just keep cycling along the current path. What you are proposing obviously is not a solution.

  57. So the only “solution” (to what problem, I wonder?) is to pave bike lanes through the most some of the most scenic green space in the city strictly for the convenience of cyclists, even though the surrounding neighbourhood is already abundantly provided with bike routes and traffic-calmed streets? Green space which, moreover, also happens to be heavily used by walkers, picnickers and kids, especially in the warm months?
    I get from your posts that only the choicest seaside placement of this bike path will satisfy you. Anything less is somehow an insult to cyclists.
    This is the mentality that determines policy in Vancouver today. Too bad for that We The People are waking up to this sort of blinkered, high-handed nonsense.

  58. Richard trhe only person demonstrably wrong on this thread is you.

    You said previously in commenting about routing the bike lane through the Kis beach picnic area rather than down Arbutus that “The route goes around the hill making the downhill more gradual so bikes will be traveling slower further improving safety.”Richard Campbell on October 22nd, 2013 8:56 am. Now having been called on it, you admit that the route south towareds Arbutus is not steeper,”Checked out the hill and you are correct. Probably not steeper”Richard Campbell on October 23rd, 2013 6:56 pm.

    You now say “The reason I didn’t know us that it never occurred to me in 15 years of cycling along the water to take that route. It is not very attractive. Not even a sidewalk along the park. I suspect that is because no one walks along there either or very few compared to the path by the water. People would just keep cycling along the current path. What you are proposing obviously is not a solution.”
    Wow. You demonstrably don’t know the terrain around Kits beach nor that the route “you’ve never taken in 15 years” is in fact the Kits Seaside bicycle route. Bottom line, you don’t have a clue what your talking about. You don’t know what the Kits beach area looks like nor do you even know what the existing bike routes in the Kits beach area are, yet somehow you feel you are in some posiiton of knowledge and authority to comment ad nauseaum on the proposal.

    As for the city caucus article it claims that:

    “One of the most effective and visible lobby groups (outside the development industry) has to be the Vancouver Area Cycling Coalition (VACC). They are very active within the City’s powerful Bicycle Advisory Committee and have been making their presence felt for years. According to their 2009 financial statements, their successful lobbying efforts are partially funded by:
    ?Fed/Prov/Municipal Taxpayers: $159,764.02 (Delta, New Westminster, Surrey, Pitt Meadows, District of North Van, Metro Vancouver, Maple Ridge, Vancouver Coastal Health, BC Hydro and the City of Vancouver are all listed as financial contributors)
    ?Translink: $165,430
    ?Private Funding/Donations: $88,717.15

    Some of the BC based companies supporting the VACC are Happy Planet Foods Ltd. and Mountain Equipment Coop (MEC). Happy Planet is Mayor Gregor Robertson’s juice company ”

    Are you denying this? Do you deny that this Vancouver bike lobby group receives Municipal/provincial/federal taxpayer funding?

    Do you think its appropriate that a Vancouver bike lobby group receive Municipal/provincial/federal taxpayer funding?

    And why is the city paying you for bike “program or consulting work” when they already have their own planning staff and you don’t seem to know where the existing bike routes are in Kitsilano?

  59. Douglas Haddow,

    I attended that rally.

    I am neither ‘grey haired’ nor 60, so perhaps you need to create a new label for me and the others like me, including those that voted for Vision and are not backing this ill thought out plan.
    But then again, had you done an ounce of research, which is the requirement of any journo worth their salt, you may have written a piece worthy of thought versus this sad ‘cyber attack’ on democracy and those taking a stand.

    Just a heads up for you and your magazine, you may want to visit the definition of cyber bullying as laid out by the Criminal Code of Canada and in particular promoting hate towards any one group.

    Remembrance Day is fast approaching and I wear the poppy with pride in appreciating everything those ‘grey hairs’ have sacrificed – you should too, after all it is because of them you have the right to promote your ill will.

    Your parents must be damn proud.

  60. @Randey

    Personal attacks are a sure sign that you don’t have a valid argument. I have lived around Kits Beach for fifteen years. I don’t know every nook and cranny but who does. I took the effort to explore the place where you want to outcast people on bikes and it is pretty obvious that most would not use it. Why would they when there is a spectular path along the water.

    I also had the courage to admit it when I made a statement that I later found to be likely wrong. Hope you would do the same regarding all the inaccurate statements you have made.

    Now the planned bike path will likely have less of a grade than the existing path. Hard to tell for sure until the details have been figured out.

  61. @Randey

    You mean the pathetic bike route that runs through the busy parking lot and busy Arbutus Street? That is a joke.

  62. I think that the notion that is has been noted that it would cost $2.2 million to do while we have a $6.6 million cornwall/point grey transportation restructuring of our neighbourhood, as well as a $6 million bike share program that will be implemented across the city.

    In the area of where I live (north of west 4th) there is a mix of seniors, working professionals, bar staff, but mostly renters who are being ground down. So to say its the most livable is a bit ridiculous.

    In any event, I am a cyclist and I drive and currently I think the bike lane that is going up my street on York ave is a bit stupid as it takes away 250 parking spots (both free and permit). I spoke at city hall and after the motion had passed they said they would look into putting the separated lane on Cornwall in the future which is what they should do.

    As far as the seaside greenway is concerned, the people protesting this need to come up with solid solutions instead of throwing insults at the mayor, the parksboard and the other councillors. Its childish and down right embarrassing. It exceptionally defines the word NIMBY*. There are separated lanes for cyclists, rollarbladers and skateboarders in every part of the seawall pathway, and these folks are losing their shit over 150 ft.

    My solution would be a 10-12 ft wide boardwalk that is 2- 3ft above the sand (move the volleyball courts over 10 feet). It would have little to no environmental impact and it would be more feasible to implement. Cyclists can use the existing asphalt pathway, and this new beautifully designed Boardwalk with sectional resting areas that are accessible for seniors and people with disabilities. BOOM!!! DONE!!! I think my my plan is pretty rad. Everybody wins.

  63. Interesting plan, but it won’t fly because you didn’t whine or employ ALL CAPS, hyperbole and pained histrionics in your argument.

  64. Sul, I myself suggested a boardwalk along the beachfront when I did the survey on the beach, so your suggestion is a good one. Not sure though about being elevated – how would that work with the existing path? I also said that I was against the loss of any green space. That being said, I think that the existing path could be widened slightly in most areas, but of course not where there are any trees in the way. The current path is about 10FT (3 metres). It could be expanded to about 11Ft and would accommodate everyone – if the cyclists would slow down during the busy times. I also suggested that it be gravel, not paved with that ugly white concrete that’s in front of the Boathouse. Perhaps there’s some more natural looking material that could be used instead.

  65. Quite enlightening to read all these comments. And sad. Sad to see evidence of such bigotry and racism and ageism. Ugly.

    So, what the hell, as a renter with some grey hair who rides a bike and uses this park, here’s my take on it.

    What no one seems to be seeing is that this whole bike route fiasco is about giving cyclists a VIEW. Millions of dollars spent so that cyclists have a better VIEW. A beautiful little park ruined so that cyclists get a nice VIEW.

    The route does not need to run through a park. But to do so makes for a better VIEW for cyclists.

    That’s it! Plain and simple!

    And as for the author of this nasty little article, well, honey, while I’m collecting my old age pension and CPP and enjoying my retirement, you can look forward to working your sorry ass off for the rest of your life. By that time I’ll be relieved to be dead. And when you’re old, you’ll have a whole new bunch of young people who will treat YOU like shit. Count on it! Karma’s a bitch!

  66. @ Dakota Hamilton: “What no one seems to be seeing is that this whole bike route fiasco is about giving cyclists a VIEW. Millions of dollars spent so that cyclists have a better VIEW. A beautiful little park ruined so that cyclists get a nice VIEW.”

    Hear, hear!! I couldn’t agree more.

    Read what Richard Campbell (professional cycling consultant and lobbyist, who tellingly refrained from mentioning his vocation on this thread until someone else outed him) has to say in several of his posts above. He consistently favors what he calls “the spectacular path along the water” over other “not very attractive” routes. The cyclists who are kept from riding through the park by (apparently discriminatory) alternate placement of bike lanes are described as “outcast”.

    What a bunch of entitled, blinkered nonsense. There’s a great view in the picnic/pedestrian area of Hadden Park, so it follows that a paved bike path must be built through the middle of it. Of course. How could anyone object?

    I made an error in an earlier post, in which I mentioned a segregated bike lane along Cornwall St on the south boundary of Kits Beach Park. Apparently there will not be a designated bike route there. Campbell called me on this.

    But there will be a bike path running East-West a block south of Cornwall, along York Ave (perhaps it’s already there, I don’t know). But this is not a view street, so apparently it is not a factor in the debate over the Kits/Hadden Park route that will take out 1 1/4 acres of treasured green space. Not as far as Mr. I-Must-Have-A-View-As-I-Ride is concerned.

  67. @ Scout Magazine: “Interesting plan, but it won’t fly because you didn’t whine or employ ALL CAPS, hyperbole and pained histrionics in your argument.”

    Are you always this contemptuous toward readers who express their opinions in the discussion threads following the articles you publish?

    Weird. I thought news/opinion outfits like yours appreciated public participation and comment. It’s part of having a readership.

    BTW – the article at the top of this thread, that started all this, contains more than a little “hyperbole and pained histrionics[sp.]”. Along with sneering agism and gratuitous white-bashing. So your readers are merely responding in kind.

  68. Richard my point is you comment on the hiill approaching Arbutus being too steep when its not, then say no one will use it -you haven’t- when its in fact part of an exisitng bike route thats been used continuously for 40 years. I use it. I bike from Kits to Science world and back all the time. 9 miles round trip according to my runkeeper app. Great bike ride through Kits thru False Creek to the Olympic Village and and back mostly along the water. Not a pathetic joke but rather the envy of the world.

    No one expects anyone to know every “nook and cranny” but they do expect them to know the areas they are talking about and passing judgement on. To say the exisitng bike path on the perimeter of the beach is pathetic and joke is simply not true. It could be improved but running a path through the middle of the kids picnic area is simply not a reasonable way to do it.

    I am not making personal attacks. I was just answering RR’s question about a “paid bike lobby” You are a bike lobbyist as your profile on linkedin and the article says. Nothing to be ashamed about. I was a kids soccer lobbyist. My questions to you -since RR asked about a paid bike lobby and according to the article a Vancouver bike lobby that you are quite familiar with is financed by municipal/provincial and federal taxpayers- is do you feel that annually funding a Vancouver bike lobby is an appropriate use of taxpayers money? i guess the reason I asked that is that when I was a kids soccer lobbyist we used some of the money we had raised over 10 years from 3 community soccer clubs to fund 2 artificial soccer fields for the kids in Vancouver; one on the east side at Vancouver Tech high School and one on the west side at Point Grey High School. We donated $400000 to the city of Vancouver to create those fields for the kids as noted in the Park board minutes of Nov 2004 and May 2006. I personally made the proposal to Park Board and was heavily involved in the fundraising along with other members of the Vancouver Communities Youth Soccer Associaitons.The kids community soccer clubs do not get annual municipal/provincial nor federal tax dollars, as the article says the Vancouver Bike Lobby does, so I was wondering if the Vancouver bike lobby group would be interested in donating some of the money they receive to improve bike routes, as the Vancouver youth soccer community did to improve soccer fields, ?

    I think in closing, that anyone who reads this thread will see that those opposed to a bike lane running through the picnic area at Kits beach have come up with a number of reasonable workable alternatives. While a lot of the name calling etc has come from those who don’t even have the guts to list their real name.
    You are what you do and I think there is a way forward here but it is not via putting a bike path in the middle of a family/childrens picnic area.

  69. So F. Angus just actually typed “Gratuitous white bashing” and hit enter.

    We are through the looking glass here people.

  70. Douglas Haddow:

    ” Now, perhaps I’m a racist, ageist bigot, but any time I see a protest group comprised primarily of well-heeled, silver-haired white people, I get the feeling that they are only out to chase people off their collective lawns, rather than, you know, actually doing something constructive with their spare time. ”

    Your words.

    ” Through the looking glass”, indeed.

  71. Hey F. Angus et al: did you guys not see that the U.S. Republican party, by “protesting” a new law that was voted in and approved by the Supreme Court, earned the lowest approval rating of any party in the entire history of the U.S.? Do you see the analogy? What have you guys been soliciting exempt general contempt and/or middling devotion from your Chosen Few?

  72. Tammy The folks protesting this, young and old, are hardly the “chosen few.” In fact there were twice as many out protesting a plan to run a bike path through a family/picnic area as there were canvassed by city staff on a nebulous open ended question that was interpreted to indicate approval.

    Some have tried to paint those protesting against a dumb plan to put a bike route through a famiy picnic area as old and privileged. This is an old lobbyist tactic intended to solicit support based on age, ethnic background, religion or perceived economic status, rather than the issue at hand. It insults peoples intelligence by hoping they will make their decision based upon their age ethnic background, religion or perceived economic status, rather than focusing on the issue at hand.

    I invite you to view Maria Coelho a young Kitsilano mother of 3 speaking at the Kits beach rally last week and summing the concerns up perfectly

    As said by all at the rally, nobody is against bike lanes but all are against one that goes through the middle of a family/children’s picnic area. Would you want your kids hit by a bike in the picnic area?

    Comparing a popular public protest against a bike lane going through a kids picnic area to the U.S. Republican parties heinous activities in their opposiiton to Obamacare is, to be frank, a ridiculous analogy. My parents generation voted in medicare in Canada and, as a father of two, I’m grateful for that.I think our childrens and grandchildrens generation will thank us for preserving picnic areas in Vancouver parks for the kids.

  73. Hey Scout,

    I am much younger than the folks criticized here but am shocked by the ageist, mocking tone of this article. I am a regular reader but think you could do better than this.

    Plus I’m pretty sure the protesters argument is not anti bike lanes but rather against one that will remove park land. As a cyclist this doesn’t seem unreasonable to me as long as there are other alternatives.

  74. I don’t live in the area and don’t have a dog in this fight so I won’t get into the discussion on what should or shouldn’t be done with the proposed bike lane.
    I do agree with others though that this article is terrible and isn’t journalism. I am a regular reader and frequent poster and think you guys should stick to what you do best, what to do, where to eat etc you guys are great at it and I enjoy visiting your site for those reasons. The occasion journalistic pieces posted are usually quite bad, completely slanted and come off as trollish. Anyways that’s my 2cents.

  75. Also, I realize I’m saving hundreds of dollars a month heating my home with
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  76. Bikes are TRAFFFIC. You don’t put TRAFFIC through the middle of a picnic ground. It aint what picnics are about.

  77. The article completely misses the point: Residents want to share the green space with visitors who come (mostly) from other parts of Greater Vancouver. The Save Kits Beach movement is a populist group facing a City Hall that is kowtows to a small cycling elitist minority. The bike highway will cut through the grassy areas used by pickers, pedestrians, and children and people walking their dogs. The bike highway will be the third bike lane within 200 feet of the beach. According to Statistics Canada about 1.5% of Vancouver residents commute by bike. Even if we include recreational cyclists, the number is small, and it has not changed much in the past decade, despite Mayor Robertson’s generous allocation of lanes to cyclists. Enough is enough, already.

  78. I counted an Oscar, and a bunch of Golden Globes amd Emmy awards in the audience that day. Not to mention piles of other talents that make up a goodly portion of YVR’s film, TV and creative industry. As a young writer with aspirations in the film industry I would have thought you’d be handing out cards and giving props to that crowd rather than calling them out for wanting to keep grass green.

    But I guess they now know your name as if you had done that.

    What if they’d all been there to bring attention to, for instance, the risks of oil spills? Ya, I think you’d be lauding them for the effort.

  79. Holy frack, like having an Oscar or a Golden Glove bestows upon you a fountainhead of wisdom and makes you an authority on bike lanes and urban planning. How does winning an award make their opinions any more valuable than the average resident? SO. GROSS.

    WHO CARES if they know who you are and don’t like you because you have the audacity to have a conflicting opinion? I thought the whole point of art and the act of creation was to divorce yourself from the status quo and strain your mind, body, and sentient self to delve into the recesses of your imagination and pull freakin’ magic out of your proverbial buttocks to make studios money and fannnnns happy. Being a Yes man is for pansies and slaves.

    In any case. I have reviewed the maps, the many arguments and alternate proposed routes, and what seems like the wisest decision to me is to reconstitute the parking lot at the corner of Arbutus and Cornwall into a lush green edible park, and go ahead with the bike path through the park. This way motorists keep their streets, cyclists are safer, by placing the bike path next to the beach as proposed it will also appeal to cycling tourists (and other tourists) and help promote healthy urban mobility locally and internationally, and any green space that has been lost due to the bike path will be replaced by turning the parking lot(s) into planted greenspace.

    I’ve biked that route many times, used to live just up the street on 7th and Waterloo. My bike is my main mode of transportation. I am a seasoned cyclist with several thousand km’s of riding under my belt at this point. I’m also an Urban Planning major and have studied the urban fabric of hundreds of cities around the world, it is one of the things I am most passionate about (which translates to: hundreds of hours of research, just for fun). I’m an accountant by trade, so I also have a very good understanding of the economic impact of the proposed bike paths.

    Get rid of the parking lots. If people want to visit the beach they can take the bus, or they can ride their bikes there, or they can walk. Motorists can keep their 4th avenue, it’s a terrible ride anyway, boxed in, full of obstacles, and boring to boot. Let the cars have it. Cyclists can have a safe, unpolluted path along the beach instead. But in exchange for 4th avenue, motorists have to give up the parking lots and agree to BMW it.


  80. Niomi first of all the majority of the average residentsts are not in favour of a bike path runing through the middle of the pkids picnic area. Twice as many people showed up to protest this sepcific route as ssaid they were in favour of a nebulous questionthat didn”t specify the route. Even Vision Pakrks board commissioners have said this consultation was flawed.

    Second in your review did you realize that if a12 foot paved bike path through Hadden Park would be the 3rd bike route there all within 10 feet of each other. The morth pedestrian paved path is used by bikes and Ogden St which borders Hadden Park to the south is already part of the seaside bike route. Putting another 12 foot paved bike path down the middle would be nuts.

    Third getting rid of the parking lots as you’ve proposed is insane. How will the taxpayers who want to get to the park who do not live in the area get there with kids and apicnic basket. Bus and bike are not suitable options for them.

    The best option is to put the bike path on the east perimeter of the park, by widening the sidewalk on Arbutus, then putting a bike path on the area south of the southside of the parking lot that will run parallep to cornwal from Arbutus. From there it will join the exisitng paved bike path-part of the seasdie cycle route that runs along the southside of Kits beach parallel to Cornwall from Yew st westward.

    That is the only resonable way to go, minimizing impact on the family picnic area while still giving cyclists a sfe scenic route.

    Youir comments about getting rid of the parking lot on the south side are unreasonable and point out that your urban planning degreee and hours of research weren’t enough to mask your bias

  81. Dear Randey:

    “Third getting rid of the parking lots as you’ve proposed is insane.”

    ad hominem.

    “How will the taxpayers who want to get to the park who do not live in the area get there with kids and apicnic basket. Bus and bike are not suitable options for them.”

    Bus and bikes are suitable options, refusing to use them in place of gas guzzling, air-water-and-noise polluting vehicles is an immoral option. Whether or not residents CHOOSE to care about their environment or pollute it for the sake of convenience is a choice not a luxury. When I was a kid I took the bus to get to the park, my mother took the bus to bring us to the park, or we walked. Walking is also a suitable option.

    “Youir comments about getting rid of the parking lot on the south side are unreasonable and point out that your urban planning degreee and hours of research weren’t enough to mask your bias”

    More ad hominem. Insulting me isn’t going to prove your argument, it only serves to weaken your argument.

    Here ya go, in case you need a reminder:

    They took all the trees
    And put them in a tree museum
    Then they charged the people
    A dollar and a half just to see ’em
    Don’t it always seem to go,
    That you don’t know what you’ve got
    ‘Til it’s gone
    They paved paradise
    And put up a parking lot

  82. Niomi based on your comments above I don’t think you know what ad hominem actually means; you are not using it in the proper contecxt. Have a look here to get a better understanding of what an ad hominem arguement actually is

    Argumentum ad hominem is the logical fallacy of attempting to undermine a speaker’s argument by attacking the speaker instead of addressing the argument. Specifically I did not say YOU are insane I said YOUR ARGUEMENT to solve the problem of a 12 foot paved bike path running thru the middle of the picnic area by removing all parking from Kits beach was insane. Becasue it is. It does nothing to solve the problem-which is the location proposed for the bike path. rather it creates another problem,namely the removal of all parking. Similarly I said YOUR COMMENTS are unreasonable and demonstrate bias. Because they do. Simply put the proposed bike lane cannot go thru an area of the park which unreasonably encumbers and endagners the majority of the taxpaying users of the park. There are other alternatives,like putting the bike lane around the perimeter which are far safer,less constly and more reasonable. Removing all parking from the park, as you suggest is completely unreasonble, for obvious reasons. bikes and buses are not the only modes of transportation accpetable, regardless of your bias many rely on cars to get to pars in this city and you have no right to deny them that. You have said that insulting you weakens my arguement. My response is I have insulted your arguement and your arguement is already insulting and unreasonable to the point where it is non existent.

  83. Niomi based on your comments above I don’t think you know what ad hominem actually means; you are not using it in the proper context. Have a look here to get a better understanding of what an ad hominem arguement actually is

    Argumentum ad hominem is the logical fallacy of attempting to undermine a speaker’s argument by attacking the speaker instead of addressing the argument. Specifically I did not say YOU are insane I said YOUR ARGUEMENT to solve the problem of a 12 foot paved bike path running thru the middle of the picnic area by removing all parking from Kits beach was insane. Because it is. It does nothing to solve the problem-which is the location proposed for the bike path. rather it creates another problem,namely the removal of all parking. Similarly I said YOUR COMMENTS are unreasonable and demonstrate bias. Because they do. Simply put, the proposed bike lane cannot go thru an area of the park which unreasonably encumbers and endangers the majority of the taxpaying users of the park. There are other alternatives,like putting the bike lane around the perimeter which are far safer,less constly and more reasonable. Removing all parking from the park, as you suggest is completely unreasonable, for obvious reasons. bikes and buses are not the only modes of transportation accpetable, regardless of your bias; many rely on cars to get to parks in this city and you have no right to deny them that.
    You have said that insulting you weakens my arguement. My response is I have insulted your arguement and your arguement is already insulting and unreasonable to the point where it is non existent.

  84. There is a ridiculous amount of over-the-top rhetoric on both sides; it’s exhausting, really. This article? Wow. Just, wow. Oh, how I wish these people were black. The casual racism would be so much more hilarious. Oh, wait. That would never happen.

  85. I can’t believe I actually scrolled down and looked at these responses.
    So what if somebody has done well for themselves and can afford to buy in Kits.
    Being concerned about what goes on in your community…thats crazy.
    I own and live on a bike path in Kits and see first hand everyday what goes on. I get yelled at when I back into my driveway by cyclists, even though I do it so I can see them when I pull out in the morning. I would like to see
    a one way street on 8th and other routes personally, as well as have cyclists tested and licensed. People who operate cars as well as boats have to. Its just common sense.
    I’m young and don’t have grey hair either by the way. Hell, why don’t we make them pay a toll as well. Living in Kits is costly but so is Yaletown, the Westend or other places in Vancouver. Bought over here because I actually wanted a backyard.
    If you want to bitch then talk about lane way housing.
    Please discuss and rant about my article now.

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