Bike lane at Kits Beach won’t destroy the world

Jason John’s recent letter to your publication was so hyperbolic that I felt an irrepressible urge to mount my bicycle (Red Rage, I call her) and race through some parks, bowling over any children silly enough to cross my path [Letters, October 17-24].

Existing bike routes that encircle Vancouver via the Seawall are peaceful, well-established, and free of the child-maiming, terror-spreading anarchy of which John quakes in fear. Why would this be different in Kitsilano?

The real story isn’t the “but what about the children?” straw man offered in his letter, but rather an entrenched sense of entitlement that wealthy residents of Kitsilano and Point Grey have for their surroundings.

Lastly, if John’s daughter is so perplexed by the actions of city council, I’d encourage him to direct her to the closest dictionary and look up democracy and hysteria.

> Robin Ryan / Vancouver

Comments

13 Comments

Nick Drake

Oct 22, 2013 at 9:16pm

A bike lane is fine.... but why don't they use the Seawall which everyone might like better?

Just build the seawall extension as a detached boardwalk overhanging the natural waterfront between Kits and Jericho

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Lee L

Oct 23, 2013 at 12:10am

@Robin Ryan

Nope Robin. Not about entitlement. Not about Kits and Point Grey residents. You have it wrong.
Rather....

Kits beach is 'quintessential Vancouver' for those that were privileged to be born here ( I was ) and grew up here ( I did ). I lived in East Van. It wasn't cool or 'vibrant' then except it did have a tiger in a guy's back yard. ( location privileged information).

My mum and I usually went to 2nd beach since the logs on the beach were not so organized in lines, but sometimes, we went to Kits beach. It had really GOOD and CHEAP fish and chips ( before the nanny state prohibition of lard ) of course, just like all the beaches around Vancouver.

Now I am an old f**k, and I do feel a LITTLE entitled to rail against the destruction of some of these wonderful places.

I still go down to Stanley Park's 2nd beach and just LOOK at it, and compare what it is to what it was. Somebody who wanted to remember a passed loved one has bought( FROM THE CITY ) the right to put a bench at a key place where I used to run wild on the sunburnt grass. It looks out on the ocean and was a spectacular and cheap way for to spend an hour or 2. Unfortunately, the Vision Vancouver parks types have decided that CYCLING will save us all and have put a bike route BETWEEN the bench and the view. Now you can think of bikes as a tool to save the world, or as a fun machine or as a commuting device but... no matter how you think of it .. you have to admit it is TRAFFIC.

Bikes are TRAFFIC and do not belong front and centre in the refuge from URBAN crowding that Stanley Park and the rest of our parks like KITS represent.
They have a recreational place there, but that is all.
We sometimes went to Kits and there used to be a public stone and cast iron STOVE presumably installed by the Parks Board of the day. They supplied firewood to heat it, and people came with their families from all over the city, to boil their corn, cook potatoes and hot dogs, maybe forget work and just revel in the beauty of the harbour.

They didn't have to dodge bike TRAFFIC through the middle of the picnic ground.

This parks board sees itself part of a MOVEMENT and is made up of zealots. A bike route installed is not just a bike route, but a notch on the board toward victory.
Robin Ryan...you probably don't get it ...

My home is not Point Grey or Kits, but my home town is Vancouver.

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Patrick

Oct 23, 2013 at 9:59am

Dear self identified old f***,

Please note - the world is rapidly urbanizing. The old ways and planning methods of the past are not going to do the trick. That's why we voted Vision into office... well, "we" being the slient majority. We need cycling lanes, because, yes, among other things, cycling will save us all. Stop being such an old f***.

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Alan Layton

Oct 23, 2013 at 10:06am

Robin Ryan - you let out your true feelings of inadequacy with your moronic comments about 'entitlement'. I'm guessing you don't wander out of your East Van stronghold and over to Kits beach very often because you would find out that people from all over Vancouver use the beach - from all income levels and walks of life. It is one of the most popular beaches in the lower mainland and the area where they are putting the lane through is on of the few open spaces where you can play safely. I'm a bike rider and use bike lanes through parks a great deal and they are dangerous. Riders go way over the speed limit on a regular basis and pedestrians have to be cautious when near them.

If there is any sense of entitlement, it's the cycling community, who's superior attitude makes them feel that they are more important than other people in this city. Just because you may ride some or most of the time does not mean that you are not harming the environment in other aspects of your life...such as the emissions from manufacturing bike parts and tires. Hopefully this will be just another straw that will eventually break the camel's back and Vision-based officials will be taught a lesson at the polls.

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Alan Layton

Oct 23, 2013 at 10:20am

Patrick - you're probably one of those dicks who complains about changes from gentrification and densification, but derides anybody who wants to block something that you will personally benefit from.

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anonymous

Oct 23, 2013 at 1:29pm

I agree the concern for children's safety has been overstated (by both sides), however, it is not unreasonable to be concerned about the loss of green space in a park. I am in favour of a dedicated bike lane and the preservation of the park. It would be possible to create a dedicated bike lane with a low barrier similar to what is on the Burrard Bridge running along the already paved streets (Ogden, Arbutus) which travel parallel and feet away from the proposed route. There is very little traffic on those roads. It would be safe, have the same view as the proposed route and leave the grass. My concern is that reasonable, green, cost effective options that make everyone happy are not being discussed.

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Mitts Beach

Oct 23, 2013 at 3:21pm

Robin, if you think Kits Beach is only used by residents of the surrounding area you are just making the point that its you yourself that never visits the park. Anyone who regularly uses the park knows it an eclectic mix of people from all over Vancouver. In a way, your letter only serves to discredit your opinion on the matter.

This letter is a classic example of how bike advocates blindly endorse anything related to bike lanes and assume opposition is always evil.

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Poppy

Oct 23, 2013 at 8:18pm

@anonymous I think such a bike lane with a low barrier on those streets wouldn't be at all necessary, since they are all already traffic-calmed. I think the idea with making this relatively small portion of the Seaside route join up is because it makes intuitive sense when you're cycling and gets you to Kits Beach directly, instead of "from the back," assuming this can be done with minimum impact on the park--though making sense for all users including people on bikes. It really is one of the best little spots in Vancouver. I just hope all parties will agree. Eventually.

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Anonymous

Oct 23, 2013 at 9:25pm

@poppy the route I'm contemplating is not through the back, it runs about 4 feet parallel to the proposed route but paves no grass and doesn't cut down trees. I agree likely no need for a barrier, there is virtually no traffic on those streets, but that was a suggestion to appease the concerns by some that children are unsafe biking on those streets. Instead of everyone slagging each other can we not collectively come up with a creative and reasonable solution? I thought we were a world class green city. All I'm seeing are rude comments insulting the aged for being grumpy and cyclists for being arrogant. Lame.

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Poppy

Oct 24, 2013 at 9:44am

@anonymous And all I'm seeing is a fundamental unwillingness to talk reasonably.

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