Report lists top 7 Metro Vancouver regional parks, greenways with excellent transit, cycling access

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      Seven locations top the list of Metro Vancouver’s most accessible regional parks and greenways.

      Visitors can get to these destinations without a car because of excellent access by transit or bicycle.

      In terms of transit access, only the Burnaby Lake Regional Park made the cut for an excellent rating.

      In the same category, the Brunette-Fraser Regional Greenway in Burnaby and New Westminster was the sole winner.

      For cycling access, two regional parks were rated excellent.

      One was the Pacific Spirit Regional Park on the west side of Vancouver and next to UBC.

      The second one was the Tynehead Regional Park in Surrey.

      Three regional greenways were rated excellent in terms of bicycle access: Brunette-Fraser, Delta South Surrey, and Pitt River.

      Jamie Vala with the Metro Vancouver district prepared a report about transit and bicycle access to regional parks and greenways.

      This follows an inventory made by staff, which will guide future measures to enhance public access to these locations.

      Vala wrote that the region’s population is expected to grow from 2.5 million to 3.7 million by 2050.

      According to Vala, visits to regional parks have been growing at “double the population growth rate”.

      “There is more work to be done to build on the past planning and improve transportation access,” Vala wrote.

      Twenty-two of the 23 regional parks and all five regional greenways were assessed.

      Thwaytes Landing Regional Park in the District of North Vancouver was not included. The park can be accessed by water only.

      Inventory results attached to Vala’s report indicate that 33 percent of regional parks and greenways were found to have excellent or very good cycling access.

      Thirty-percent were rated as having poor cycling access.

      “Cycling access ratings are based on the quality of the bikeways connected to the park or greenway, how well connected the park or greenway is to surrounding communities by bikeways, and whether a day-use area within a park or greenway is accessible by bikeway,” Vala wrote.

      Meanwhile, 26 percent of parks and greenways rated as excellent or very good in terms of transit access.

      However, 33 percent of parks and greenways were found to have no transit access.

      These nine regional parks cannot accessed by transit: Aldergrove, Barnston Island, Derby Reach, Glen Valley, Iona Beach, Minnekhada, Surrey Bend, and Widgeon Marsh.

      One regional greenway, North Alouette, is not accessible by transit.

      “Transit access ratings were determined based on the transit type (i.e. skytrain or bus) and frequency of service at a transit stop within 800 metres, about a 10-minute walk, from a park entrance,” Vala wrote.

      The report is included in the agenda Wednesday (September 16) of Metro Vancouver’s regional parks committee.