Public frustration as Vancouver Park Board spins wheels on Kitsilano bike path

The possibility of a bike lane through Kitsilano Beach Park has been debated for years — and the debate will continue.

Idea of bike path through Kitsilano Beach Park has been debated since 2013

Kitsilano Beach Park cycle path supporters and opponents launched into heated, occasionally personal debates after the park board deferred a decision on the project Monday night. (CBC)

The possibility of a bike lane through Kitsilano Beach Park has been debated for years — and the debate will continue.

The Vancouver Park Board did not vote on a proposed path on Monday night, but instead referred the issue back to engineering staff.

That upset many attending the meeting who have been waiting for a concrete decision — and arguments erupted not long after a motion was passed to defer.

The Monday-night meeting was well attended. (CBC)

"It would have been nice to shape the future direction of where the staff were going to go with the study," said Joshua Bloomfield, the founder of a cycling tour company.

"This has been going on for five years. It's far too long," added David Grigg, who works in urban planning for cycling infrastructure.

"We've got to stop this and make a decision."

The park board had spent more than an hour questioning the concept plan before it was put back to city staff.

Commissioner John Coupar put forward the motion and only commissioners Michael Wiebe and Catherine Evans voted against it.

In this bike lane proposal presented to local residents, a paved bike path cuts through the Kitsilano Beach Park and eliminates several parking spots. (City of Vancouver)

It meant that the 26 speakers waiting to voice their opinions about the proposed bike lane didn't get their chance.

Coupar says he forwarded the motion to refer because the plan left too many questions unanswered, such as cost and how many trees would be lost.

A group of people opposed to the bike path rallied ahead of Monday's meeting. (CBC)

"I think we're looking for an alignment that wherever possible skirts the edge of the park or is on the city street right of way, and I think those are details that will come back to us," he said.

It's expected staff will take about a year to create a new, more detailed report although there may be an interim report.

With files from Natasha Frakes

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