The Vancouver Park Board has abandoned the idea of building a controversial new separated bike and pedestrian path through Hadden Park and Kitsilano Beach on the city's westside.
Board Chair Niki Sharma said they have heard clearly from the public that there is significant concern with any proposed changes, which had been the subject of a lawsuit.
"The Park Board gave direction to staff to discontinue proceeding with any options for a new path through Hadden Park, and to communicate that to the petitioner in the B.C. Supreme Court application," she said in a statement on Monday.
"The Park Board will not be pursuing a new separated path through Hadden Park or at Kits Beach."
Bike path faced strong opposition
The Park Board announced plans to build the 3.5 metre wide path in October. The path was intended to be part of the city's Seaside Greenway — a plan to build a bike lane all around the waterfront from Canada Place in downtown Vancouver to Jericho Beach.
However, hundreds of park users protested the proposal. Historian Megan Carvell Davis launched a lawsuit against the Park Board in November, alleging Hadden Park was required to be left in its natural state when it was gifted to the city in 1928. An injunction was granted, bringing work to a halt, until a hearing could be held on the matter.
On Monday, opponents to the path said they are pleased with the board's decision.
"It certainly wouldn't fit with a green policy for a green party wanting to be the greenest city in the world to put a 12 foot swath of asphalt right through the middle of a park," said former Olympic basketball player Howard Kelsey, who formed the ground Save Kits Beach.
Money allocated to the project will now be distributed elsewhere.
"Staff will also be relocating the funds from this project to other pedestrian and cycling safety priorities for the Park Board around the city," said Sharma.